From XCOM To Payday 2: Steam’s Free Weekend Weekend

We'll start with XCOM, then move onto Killing Floor, then...

I do miss demos. These Steam free weekends, where the full version of a game is opened up for a few days, do let us really get a feel for a game, but we have to wait for one to come along and then we need time to download and get stuck in. You won’t have time to download or play much of this weekend’s free trials, as Steam is holding a Free Weekend Weekend with a grand eleven games. Payday 2, XCOM, Don’t Starve, Company of Heroes 2, and the other seven are all on sale as well, with discounts from 50-75% off. The first Payday is properly free too.

All these games are free to play until 1pm Steam Time on Sunday (9pm here):

I’d recommend trying games you’ve heard less about first, the ones where you don’t already have a reasonable opinion of what to expect. You already know people will say “Oh gosh, you haven’t played XCOM? Play XCOM.” Perhaps try Blade Symphony, a game that’s a bit more Marmite-y. Or XCOM. Play XCOM if you haven’t. XCOM’s really good.

Perhaps Valve are hoping you’ll panic about not having enough time to try them all and end up buying loads because they’re on sale. They are mostly great games, anyway. The discounts end on Monday.


  1. Anthile says:

    The first Payday is also free-free for today.

  2. timur says:

    Er, Xenonauts isn’t actually on sale though, is it?

    • jezcentral says:

      Thank God. I thought I was going a bit forgetful.

      “Bu-bu-but isn’t that Xeno-NO!” I told myself. “RPS would not make that mistake! Bad Jezcentral, bad!”

    • bills6693 says:

      No, although I’d highly recommend getting it anyway because its just so damn awesome!

      This is coming from someone who never played ‘original’ XCOM, and did play ‘new’ XCOM by Firaxis. I feel xenonauts has so much more depth, and although it is sprite-based the visuals still look great – its not like the 3D, flashy new XCOM but it looks good in its own way.

      And then take into account that there is the ‘community edition’ which is a dev-endorsed (and available via steam, in the ‘betas’ tab) community update for the game which refines the game even more with UI and basic gameplay elements.

      (this is directed at everyone btw, not just ye poster to whom this is a reply)

    • Havok9120 says:

      Glad I’m not the only one who had that initial reaction.

      Fixed now, though.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I was tricked into this article! I was hoping they’d added it because I already own 6 of the games on this list with the other 4 being of no interest to me.

    • Chris England says:

      Go on then – Xenonauts will be 35% off on Steam this Saturday and Sunday (sadly we can’t set sales to start immediately).

  3. Anthile says:

    That’s the only proper way to wear a fedora: with a suit.

    • leeder krenon says:

      I bet that fedora guy is all over #gamergate

      • lowprices says:


    • MacTheGeek says:

      I think that’s Don Cherry, Space Marine. He’s probably pissed because all the aliens keep coming down to Earth and taking hockey jobs away from good ol’ Canadian boys.

  4. Xzi says:

    Very solid grouping of games. Which is why I already owned all of them save GRID 2 (I’m not a fan of racing games). I did manage to pick up all of the CoH 2 DLC for around $6, though, so I’m not complaining about these deals. Praise lord Gaben.

    • aldo_14 says:

      GRID2 was a massive disappointment, anyways. It’s not an awful game (in retrospect), just inferior in almost every way to its predecessor – the progression system is awful (moving from an easily understandable ‘buy some cars’ approach to some weird nebulous mechanic involving fans), the ‘storyline’ pointless, the handling tuned to a gamepad (And ruined for a wheel) with most of the configuration options removed (I think), and a fairly appalling interface that shoves DLC adverts into your face. And I’m one of the few who didn’t mind the removal of dashboards.

      (that said, it’s not awful; I started playing it again, and it’s still a fun arcade racing game with some nice graphics – but hard to ignore how much of a shadow of its prequel it is)

  5. kyynis says:

    Also worth of note: if you link your Steam account with Playfire and have played the tutorial of XCOM, you get -80% GMG voucher for Enemy Within.

    EDIT: And get free copy of XCOM by voting in Golden Joystick awards. Info here.

    • Ross Angus says:

      Wow. Thanks for this. The process is pretty long, but it seems to be working.

  6. Dwarph says:

    Heavy reccomendation to check out awesomenauts. Just a hell of a lot of fun

  7. FireStorm1010 says:

    Me hoping putting xcom on sale/demo mode means advertising, means maybe maybe XCOM 2 anouncement soon?

  8. wonkavision says:

    You can thank extremists like Anita Sarkeesian for that ridiculous pink suit.

    • Bremze says:

      Thanks Anita Sarkeesian!

    • Gog Magog says:

      If all extremists introduced hype suits like that this would be a better world.

    • AyeBraine says:

      Shit, if Anita Sarkeesian could introduce floral prints with flowers into men’s shirts again (like in 60’s to 70’s), and, as a bonus, introduce a character skin with them in every game, or any game – I would take my rifle and go protect that woman from hatemail.

  9. Gog Magog says:

    So, is Payday 1 perma-free now? Or is that also just for the weekend.

  10. SkittleDiddler says:

    It’s permanent, but you have start the install process in order for it to appear in your library.

    EDIT: Reply to Gog Magog right above.

  11. noodlecake says:

    WHy does the dude in the green have a weird blue alien face? I guess I didn’t get far enough. I’m assuming it’s to do with the genetic upgrades and I focused more on the mech ones until I realised how much time I was spending playing XCOM and not making art so stopped before I got into it.

    • Highstorm says:

      It’s a helmet with a skull insignia on it. The only visual changes that gene mods bring on are an allergic reaction to sleeves, and the occasional particle effect, depending on the mod.

  12. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    XCOM was fun until those spider crab things showed up.

    • RedViv says:

      As it should be. Once the freaking smiley lobsters show up, you should be scared. This time they aren’t even smiling any more!

    • Gog Magog says:

      those ain’t lobsters

    • AyeBraine says:

      The reason XCOM is amazing is that after you get sad on account of these guys, you get the “It’s super-fun again!” phase at least a dozen times. And then the Long War begins. In which you oscillate between superfun and o shit all the time anyway.

  13. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    I may sound overly privileged here, but what this really does make me wish for is a better way to sort and prune my list of games on steam. I really dislike the way Steam just dumps them onto my list.

  14. tx3000 says:

    I’m so sick and tired of these falsely advertised free weekends. I have a right mind to get all the games then Sue steam for misleading product details when they try and revoke the game and make me pay for what they just gave out for free during the weekend

    And before all you Steam fanboys start up with everyone knows what Steams free weekend means let me clue you all in on how the what the law states and how it works compared to your logical thinking and opinions and your thinking that somehow a company like valve is exempt from having to follow federal consumer law.

    In the USA when it comes to the laws, it’s illegal to mislead consumers by having a product explained so it looks like they’re offering something they’re not..You can argue these laws all you want but in the end Steams free weekend where they’re adverting games FREE for you to keep just as long as you download it inside the weekend it’s being advertised it’s free for

    As it stands the way Steams free weekend is explained, gets it so the consumer is under the impression that they are getting free games permanently because you obtained it during the time frame Steam said it was free for.

    If people really pushed the issue they can sue Valve and win all because valve is giving away games for free During the weekend. and once you have the game under those conditions Valve cannot decide to all of a sudden revoke the game they gave to you.

    Again Don’t bother trying to say It’s obvious or it doesn’t say that the game is yours to keep forever because it does. This is about false advertising and misleading product representation which is exactly what it is

    The way it’s advertised actually does say it’s free forever as long as you download it during the time frame they’re giving it away free.

    What it actually says and what people think it says because they think of it that way are 2 completely different things What people think isn’t relevant, what the law defines is what matters.

    • AyeBraine says:

      But even when you buy games on Steam, you do not come in actual possession of them. Technically (legally) it is a licensing service, akin to Netflix, but with one-time payment. Even this license can be legally revoked at Valve’s discretion – though, of course, the reputation of the service rides on making sure it never does.

      Free weekend, in this case, means exactly what the Steam user agreement and even the basic, non-legalese explanation tell you anyway. It’s a limited-time, free-of-charge license – compared to the unlimited-time, paid-for-once regular license. It even has a big timer in the title of the game.

      I don’t know if you actually use Steam, but for a Steam user, these offers most often pop up as games in the list first, not as big-ass ad campaigns that “bait” you in some way. Meaning first you see that some game is temporarily free to try out (with a clear timer) – and then you might or might not see the actual announcement, if you visit the store. You know, it’s not as if a fairy dropped a game into your library by accident, and you’re all “Mine now!”.

      But to reiterate, law is very clear on this. You don’t own the games you’ve bought from Steam, and you don’t own the games available for a trial period during free weekends. It’s a subscription service, and it always says exactly what is provided to the customer.

    • lomaxgnome says:

      I’m sure if you go to court, they’ll be certain to award you the exact amount you lost by participating in the “free” weekend. Sorry bud, but the laws don’t protect you from being stupid. No, they don’t say they are free if you download them. There are games like that, like Payday, that in fact are permanently free. But the free weekends very clearly state all over the website when they expire. It isn’t a question of being “steam savvy,” it’s a question of reading the obvious things all over the website, not least of which is a giant expiration date next to the name of the game in your library.

      All that said, these free games cost you exactly nothing, which is to say, there are no damages for you to win. If you choose to buy them, the best you could hope for is a refund.