Civ: Beyond Earth & Saints Row IV Steam Free Weekends

Loading SR4 up to take a shot for this post, I was surprised by how sensible my Boss looks.

Civilization: Beyond Earth does have a demo, but it’s limited to 100 turns – not many to feel how a Civ game ticks. Given lukewarm responses to it, you might want to see more. Here’s your chance: the full game is free for everyone to play on Steam until Sunday evening. Saints Row IV is also running a free trial weekend but surely you already know whether you’d like to be a superpowered scamp flying around cyberspace and punching aliens. Both are on sale too.

Clicking this here will get Steam cranking away on downloading Beyond Earth, while this one over here will get Saints Row IV going. You can play ’em up until 9pm (1pm Steam time) on Sunday, at which point they’ll become inert until another free weekend rolls around or you buy ’em. That option is a whole lot friendlier this weekend.

Civilization: Beyond Earth is down to £17.99 on sale – the same as during the Steam Crimbo sale. The Civ V bundle with its DLC and expansions is down to £8.74 too.

SR4 is £4.24 on Steam until Monday (longer than the free weekend runs), or it’s £6.24 with oodles of DLC, or £9.99 for Saints Row 2, 3, and 4, along with so much DLC. Or if you want something marginally more down-to-Earth, SR3 and its DLC is £4.24; I can relate to arguments for liking 3 more than 4, but I like the superjump so much.

Demos are great and I do miss them being commonplace, but SR4 and Civ are games far better shown off in slices bigger than publishers want to offer permanently. I’m glad they at least have occasional weekend trials rather than no demo at all.


  1. frightlever says:

    My “President” looks almost identical to your’s, except for less practical shoes. Brilliant game.

    The advantage that SRt3 has over SRIV is that within a couple of hours you will hardly bother with vehicles in SRIV. Also, fewer aliens in SRt3.

    • demicanadian says:

      But the dinosaurs! But tbh unlike SRtT I got bored with 4 rather quickly

      • RedViv says:

        Sing the song of our people! (Never got bored with SRIV. It is what it is. Not SRtT.)

      • frightlever says:

        I was like “dinosaurs”? Ah, haven’t played Enter the Dominatrix yet. Only finished the main story at the weekend. Giving it a rest before hitting the DLC. I actually played WAY more of 3 because I’d just pick it up for a while to tootle around the city and look for jumps.

      • Baboonanza says:

        Oddly I felt like I should have been bored by SR4 – after all it’s just a bunch of similar missions in a fairly dull environment – but ended up completing the story and all of the side missions.

    • Deadly Sinner says:

      I’d say that’s SR4’s advantage, since the series has some of the worst vehicle handling since Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing. Plus, driving is something almost every open world game has, fun on-foot movement is not.

  2. int says:

    Gee. I don’t even need to buy SR4, I can just play on these weekends. I’ll probably buy the all dlc edition whenever they’re done with the game.

  3. lowprices says:

    Never played a Civ game before. Is this a reasonable place for a noob to start, or should I try an earlier one?

    • Guvornator says:

      As it’s free, it’s probably the best place to start. It’s not the definitive version, though. Assuming you enjoy Beyond earth, a fully DLC’d version of Civ V is probably the better purchase, and is cheaper as well link to

    • Xocrates says:

      As an entry point to the series, Civ V is probably the best, but this one should be reasonable enough.

    • vlonk says:

      In the Civilization series Civ V was specifically designed to appeal to beginners while keeping as much complexity as possible/necessary. It looks good and plays good. It hides less information in obscure stat-screens than its predecessors. It offers a much easier entry than Civ 3 or Civ 4 while also having the better graphics/UI. The choice really comes down to Civ V and Civ: Beyond Earth. Civ V is at the end of its design and production cycle. Civ:BE is at the beginning. Naturally Civ V is the more complete product, better balanced, etc. There is little to ask for here.
      If you are a beginner in the genre you should start with Civ V. It offers the more diverse, rich and rewarding gameplay right now. Features are fleshed out, art assets are available in higher quantity and better quality too. Also the fan projects, like the Civ V wikis and guides are much stronger positioned right now. Balance patches will invalidate a lot of these in Civ:BE on a semi-regular basis.
      This evaluation will/might change in the future, when Civ:BE gets its expansion packs and balance patches. Civ V was in a pitiful state at release. They formed arguably the best gaming experience of the genre out of it. At least I spent a stupid amount of hours on it. My hopes are high that they can achieve something similar in the long term with Civ:BE.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I recommend starting with vanilla Civ V. I think it would be more fun and easier to learn for a beginner. The tech tree is immediately understandable (unlike the sci-fi tree in Beyond Earth), and there is more variety in the factions you can play, and play against.

      Check out Beyond Earth after it’s had a DLC or two to mature (hopefully), and most of the things you’ll learn in Civ V will translate directly.

    • Noumenon says:

      Civilization: Revolution for the XBox or Nintendo DS would be an even better starting point, I think. It’s super accessible and the exploring and achievements are much more fun than the early game Civ experience. I know, I’m on a PC website. The other thing is, if you start with Civ: Rev, when you want to go deeper you can play Civ IV, whose AI is way better than Civ V’s.

  4. Gap Gen says:

    I’d agree if you have a free weekend and you’re on the fence about Beyond Earth, this is probably a good chance to try it – I’ve heard playing on vast maps can be a pain because of the manually routed trade convoys anyway, and you can probably get a small map done in a couple of days.

    And yeah, SRIV is a lot of fun even if it breaks the core game by making cars pointless and allowing you to just fly away from fights.

    • TWChristine says:

      I’m willing to forgive the shortcomings in SRIV simply because it gave us the Christmas DLC. I don’t think I’ve laughed out loud (and often) at a game in a loooong time.
      link to

      • Gap Gen says:

        Oh man, I haven’t touched the DLC yet. Should get on that.

        • TWChristine says:

          Enter the Dominatrix wasn’t as great as I was hoping, but still decent..but the Christmas one was just bonkers and I loved every minute of it! The one annoyance I had was that I didn’t know I had to have (I believe) all of the super powers unlocked, so I got to a point where I couldn’t continue until I looked it up.

          • Gap Gen says:

            Ah, that’s sucky. But yeah, normally I can’t be bothered to go back to a game for a DLC mission after I’ve already finished the main game, but I might give it a go if the DLC is out for cheap now.

          • Premium User Badge

            Bluerps says:

            I feel exactly the other way around about those two DLCs. I thought that How the Saints Saved Christmas was good and that Enter the Dominatrix was great (I completely lost it at the ending, but the rest is hilarious too). Maybe it’s because I don’t like the American Santa Claus mythology (elves and reindeer and so on) that much.

            Anyway – I recommend that everyone who likes SR3 and SR4 should play those two DLCs. They are, basically, more of the same, and for Saints Row that is a very good thing.

          • TWChristine says:

            @GapGen: Yea, I know what you mean..It isn’t often I get DLC for games in the first place (in this case it was included in the pack I got), but if it means I have to go back and replay stuff I often don’t care to bother with it.

            @BlueRPS: You know, I might have to redo that one just to see. I remember distinctly liking the Christmas one, but I can’t remember much about Dominatrix, which is why I guess I figure it wasn’t that great..didn’t stick with me like the other did. Considering I still haven’t gotten around to beating the game, it’ll give me a nice diversion to break up all the main story missions!

    • Eight Rooks says:

      It doesn’t “break” the game any more than Crackdown was broken. Being able to escape fights instantly is a good thing, and you could argue cars were an annoyance in Third (other than the tiger taxi I don’t remember doing a single interesting or amusing thing with one).

      • Gap Gen says:

        Yeah, I’m mainly re-iterating arguments I’ve heard from people, I actually really liked SRIV.

        • Jalan says:

          The only time cars came to the core of the game was when you needed specific types for a given mission. That technically didn’t change for such missions in IV, it’s just that eventually you don’t need to drive them and can essentially levitate them to where they need to be.

    • Xocrates says:

      The last patch for Beyond Earth added the previous route to the top of the route selection screen, as well as removing the upgrade that gave you 3 routes per city instead of 2. Trade routes are far more manageable now.

      • Gap Gen says:

        Hmm, interesting! Also someone noted that trade routes tend to massively increase the amount of stuff a city can generate, so your economic limitation is how annoyed you get managing trade routes. Hopefully that’s less of an issue now.

    • Beanbee says:

      Sadly, DX11 for Beyond Earth :(

  5. LionsPhil says:

    Ah, their theme for this weekend is “disappointing sequels”, then.

    Still, rather than argue 3 vs 4, if you like both I suggest putting down the piffling amount of sale money for 2. It may be broken and not run playably, just, at all. But at this price it’s possibly a risk worth taking for more crime-lord gang-rivalry fun.

    Civ IV’s on sale for the same hugely discounted price, too.

  6. GeneJacket says:

    There is no reason NOT to buy Saints Row IV…or as I like to call it “The best superhero game ever made that isn’t about a Bat man”.

    • Jalan says:

      My first time playing it, my full intention was to make a boss I fondly dubbed Fatman. There’s just something to be said about the opening where he’s in that stealth suit and then once he’s out of I just imagine onlookers going “how the hell did he squeeze himself into that thing!?” added onto the shenanigans of a fat blur leaving a whirlwind of destruction behind him whenever he speeds off to a destination.

  7. mao_dze_dun says:

    Saint’s Row IV was pretty meh, even though I completed all the quests. Now The Third was something else. I can play that game all day any day :)))

  8. Burgmond says:

    All Saints Row games are having a Free Weekend, for those that don’t know. Saints Row 2 is sitting in my library, and I don’t own it. Along with 3 and 4, but I already own those.

  9. Laurentius says:

    I wish a had a chance for doing just that. Of these two underwhelming games I choose SRIV to be more underwhelming, I was suprised that game about superpowers can be that drab and boring…

  10. Aetylus says:

    Woohoo…when Civ:BE is free, us Australasians finally achieve price parity with the rest of the universe! Sadly our 40% off price if still more than full retail price anywhere else :P