Category Archives: Bargain Exchange

Features that focus on special discounts and sales. Indie bundles make frequent appearances.

Bargain Exchange: Steam Summer Sale Day 10

As the minutes count down to the final hour of the sale, just before Valve “surprise” us with their bonus sale day featuring all the highlights of the sale, here I am writing this bargain exchange on the sale. Let’s get this over and done with, I’m supposed to get excited.

Biggest title on sale today is also the cause of the most disappointment I’ve had for the past few days. Batman: Arkham City (as well as Arkham Asylum and Gotham City Imposters) are on sale with a 66% discount. That’s actually pretty good, so what’s the problem? The problem is that it brings Arkham City to £6.74. I only have £5 left in my bank. If the title was 75% off, I could afford it! For those of you with money, however, this is a must have. I also definitely stand by you picking up Arkham Asylum and all the DLC for both titles, but make sure to avoid Gotham City Imposters. It’s not worth your time. And, if you’re feeling nice, do me a favour and gift me Arkham City too, can you? Sniff. You can read an Arkham City review here, Arkham Asylum review here and Gotham City Imposters review here.

Fable III is back on sale, and this time Fable: The Lost Chapter is not on sale with it. With the 75% discount, Fable III is nearly worth it, but frankly I’d still avoid the game. While it delivers an action role-playing game experience, it also delivers a lesser experience than the original Fable and its sequel. Give this one a miss and pick it up when the full price has also been reduced, because frankly, you’ll be wasting your time right now. You can read a review here

Torchlight is on sale with a 75% discount, but despite the incredible quality and the fun experience that this game delivers, don’t do what I did and purchase it. Instead, avoid this game. You can do yourself one better by pre-ordering Torchlight 2, which will also snag you a free copy of Torchlight. I’d recommend you do that instead. Torchlight is an action role-playing game with an isometric view. You can read a review for the title here

Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War II is a pretty good real-time strategy game set in the Warhammer 40k universe that boasts a non-linear single player campaign. The game is on sale with a 75% discount, including the wide range of DLC that’s available. I’d recommend this, especially if you’re a Warhammer fan. You can read a review on this title here

We also have Arma II available with a 75% discount. The thing about this title is that the experience you get with the game isn’t why people are buying it. This is sought after for a very special reason, and that’s a pretty famous mod named DayZ. It’s so popular, in fact, that the Steam store page Arma II informs the reader that DayZ is not playable without it. This isn’t even done for popular DLC on other games and it’s a testament to the mod’s value. I’d definitely recommend this for DayZ, but on it’s own I’d avoid and wait for another sale. You can read the review on Arma II here

As per usual, the Indie Bundle is absolutely worth it. Indie Bundle X is on sale with a 75% discount and is, unsurprisingly, a must have. The bundle contains personal favourite Beat Hazard – a brilliant audiovisual game in the style of a birds-eye view and bullet-hell arcade shooter, as well as other fantastic titles such as the likes of All Zombies Must Die! and BIT.TRIP Runner. You have no excuse for not picking this bundle up. 

As for the rest? Prince of Persia dumbed down the franchise a bit, but it’s still well received. It’s worth looking at, but I can’t really recommend it too much. The other titles would be much better. Quantum Conundrum is an interesting puzzle game, but only boasts a 40% discount. Lastly Evochron Mercenary is an indie title that wasn’t so greatly received. These are titles I’d personally avoid. 

Bargain Exchange: Steam Summer Sale Day 9

I missed a day, but that’s okay. The Steam sale is getting to a stage where the only things going on sale have already been on sale during the flash sales. Some of them have even been the community’s choice as well. The Witcher franchise was on sale, the Fallout franchise was on sale, and Alan Wake was on sale. These were the best items and only ones I would have considered yesterday. Now, let’s move on to today.

Our first title is Civilization V, a turn-based strategy game. This is the latest in a very popular PC gaming franchise, and a must have. The game focuses on building a Civilization from all sorts of eras – from the very beginning of mankind’s history to the space age, our future. If that’s not enough, the title has a 75% discount. You can read a review here. Of course, it’s not only this title that’s available. If your machine isn’t capable of running Civilization V, try picking up the third or fourth title, as they’re also on sale with Civilization V. The fan favourite is widely considered to be the fourth title.

Similar to previous daily deal title ‘Orcs Must Die!’ we have Dungeon Defenders, another tower defence game. While I did bring up Orcs Must Die! as a superior single player experience, Dungeon Defenders really shines with its multiplayer. The game features multiple classes, a large variety of tiered equipment, character progression, and loot which makes for a compelling co-op experience. Up to four players can participate together. The game is a must have for anyone who enjoys playing with friends, and the 75% discount gives you little excuse not to pick it up. Here is a review.

Another indie title stealing the highlight; we have Magicka on sale with a 75% discount, making it one cheap computer game. Magicka brings with it to the table an incredible system where players can discover their own spells by mixing elements and methods of casting. It has an insane variety and is an absolute blast. One downside is that the game is pretty glitchy at times and requires a lot more power than it should to run, but it’s an absolutely fantastic experience. If it weren’t for the issues, it’d be a must have. Instead, I’ll recommend it to you. Take a look at a review here.

The Deus Ex franchise returns in the form of Deus Ex Human Revolution. This title is an action role-playing game. It’s a pretty nice looking game, and particularly well developed. Unfortunately, it’s held back by its poor bosses and locked content for downloadable content. The game is on sale with a 75% discount, as we’ve come to expect from Steam sales, and I totally recommend you pick it up. To help your decision, here‘s a review.

For some reason, whilst Driver San Francisco was well received by critics, it was pretty poorly received by the common gamer. I genuinely don’t understand this, because the experience I had with this title was incredible fun. Driver San Francisco ditches reality to make a game that’s ultimately focused entirely around having a good time. It’s whacky at times, but this just adds to its charm. Honestly, especially as a result of that 75% discount, I have to recommend that you give this game a shot. You can watch a WTF is on Driver here. And here‘s a review for the extra push.

The entire Crysis franchise has a 70% discount and the series is widely regarded as a must have for PC gamers. This seems to be particularly focused on the sheer power behind its graphics as it is absolutely beautiful – especially the first title. I must say that I’m not a fan, however. The first game felt a bit weak, despite the stellar reception the game received. The series is good, but at the end of the day it’s another first person shooter. If you’re really into that, then I recommend this title, but it isn’t enough for me to get excited. You can read a review of the most first title here, Crysis Warhead here, and Crysis 2 here.

Lastly we have the ninth indie bundle, and it’s a brilliant one. Every single game is a hit, and with the 75% discount, this bundle is an absolute must have. My personal favourite here is Jamestown, a bullet-hell styled arcade shooter set in an alternative history where we’re attacked by aliens in one of the British colonies… on Mars. It’s colourful, beautiful, stylish, fast paced, and incredibly fun – and that’s just one of the titles in this bundle. Seriously, purchase this bundle.

And that pretty much wraps up today’s deals. F3AR is a major disappointment and not worth talking about, and Red Orchestra was a poorly received and buggy messy. In all fairness, you could do worse than these two games. Red Orchestra apparently runs far better now; but I hear F3AR is still a bad game. In any case, I’d consider F3AR a solid avoid, whilst Red Orchestra is one to contemplate. I’m personally still avoiding it though.

Bargain Exchange: Steam Summer Sale Day 7

The sale is starting to lose a bit of steam for many people at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any good titles available! Let’s take a look at Today’s Deals!

Yesterday’s Grand Theft Auto bundle isn’t the only fantastic bundle to make the daily deals. The Total War mega pack has a great 75% discount which makes every Total War title on Steam (excluding Shogun 2) very accessible to those with a budget. The Total War franchise, developed by Creative Assembly, is an amazing Real-Time Strategy developer. Now, if you can only pick up one title from the bundle, I heavily recommend getting Medieval II. At any rate, this bundle is a must have. 
L.A.Noire is a really interesting and relatively unique game. I thoroughly enjoyed this game, and with a 75% discount on both the game itself and the complete edition I also consider this game a must have. It could do a number of things better, and the world feels very empty, but with its really interesting story and intriguing gameplay, it’s really worth checking out. You can read a review here
Stalker is a PC gamer favourite. It combines survival and role-playing game elements with a first-person shooter. The game is notorious for the learning curve and not being casual friendly, but it’s a must have for any PC gamer – especially with the 75% discount on the bundle. In particular, you can’t go wrong by picking up the first ever STALKER: Shadow of Chernoybl, which is actually set this year! 
The Carpe Fulgur collection contains all of Carpe Fulgur’s titles released on Steam so far. Each game uses anime-esque graphics. The bundle itself has a 75% discount applied to it, but I wouldn’t bother with the bundle anyway. Instead, pick up Fortune Summoners and Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale. Both games are better than 2011’s Chantelise – A Tale of Two Sisters. Both games are fairly interesting and deliver a pretty unique experience for Japanese Role-Playing Games. I’d recommend them if you’re into the genre.
The Sins of a Solar Empire series is on sale, with Trinity receiving a 75% discount and the more recent Rebellion receiving a 25% discount. And I almost want to suggest you pick up Rebellion despite the low discount. These games are brilliant sci-fi strategy games, and I’d consider Trinity a must have if you’re a fan of strategy games. It looks great, feels great and plays great. Definitely pick it up. You can read a review here
A brilliant platformer up next. Super Meat Boy is a really tight and well designed platformer that, while a bit floaty, delivers an exciting and somewhat anger inducing experience. It’s one of those challenging games that’s out to get you, but unlike shallow and cheap games like ‘I Wanna Be The Guy’, with Super Meat Boy the blame rests entirely in your hands. The game is cheap, especially thanks to the 75% discount. If you’re a platformer fan then I heavily recommend this title. You can read a review here
Thief is a stealth and action franchise, as the name suggests. The games are quite old, particularly the original one that is rendered in the really early 3D style similar to Doom and Duke Nukem 3D. They’re pretty good games, all reaching a high metacritic rating. The bundle itself is pretty inexpensive, not entirely as a result of the 75% discount.  I definitely suggest you take a look at the bundle, and if you have to pick up just one: grab Thief: Deadly Shadows. 
That’ll do me I think. The indie bundle contains some great games, but they don’t really excite me. Meanwhile, Age of Empires Online is a free-to-play title anyway. It’s not astounding, but feel free to try it. It’s free after all.

Bargain Exchange: Steam Summer Sale Day 6

Today is probably the most underwhelming day for the Steam sale yet, but at the same time it also delivers one of the absolute best value offers I’ve seen. Contradictory, I know, but read on to find out what I mean.

We start off with Call of Duty: Black Ops, a First-Person Shooter that everyone who cares about it has the title. I wouldn’t call that an exaggeration either, being the best selling title at launch before the current record holder: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Black Ops already has a sequel on the way this year, so anyone who does lack this game may want to pick it up for that reason, but with it getting a measly 50% discount I would honestly suggest that you avoid it. You’re better off picking up Modern Warfare 3 for the same price, because I have little doubt in my mind that it will appear again in the final sale day. If you’re still interested despite my recommendation to avoid the title, you can read a review here. As a final note, many places gave Black Ops a score of 100/100, but this is just plain silly. I looked for a good balanced review, as per usual.

Best offer today. Railworks 3: Train Simulator 2012 boasts the largest downloadable content library which, even when the DLC is half price, costs £645.86. It’s absolutely crazy. Railworks 3 is the definite train simulator of last year and even features a Trains vs. Zombies DLC pack. Jest aside, the title does come with a 90% discount, but it’s less of a game and more of a simulator. The hint is in the name, I guess. This is an obvious avoid to be honest, unless you’re really into trains. Or you really, really, want to see Trains vs. Zombies. Now would be the best time for that given the discount.

Now we reach our real best offer for today. The entire Grand Theft Auto franchise – at least, the titles available on Windows – is on offer. Not only is every title discounted, but the bundle containing the lot is also on sale with a 75% discount. Here in the United Kingdom, the cost of the bundle containing: Grand Theft Auto, Grand Theft Auto 2, Grand Theft Auto 3, Grand Theft Auto Vice City, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto IV (complete with Episodes in Liberty City) costs a total of £5. It’s absolutely incredible. You’ll be a fool to pass this offer up. I consider this a must have. No debate.

Next on our list is Company of Heroes, a real-time strategy game set during the Second World War. The game is of incredibly high quality and delivers great value, especially with the 75% discount. The bundle containing all three titles costs the same as getting them individually, so I recommend getting the first two titles. Unfortunately, the third game was relatively weak; although, it may be worthwhile for those who want to complete the franchise or get more from it. I recommend picking at least the first two titles. You can read a review of the first game here, the second here, and the third one here.

The award winning Limbo received a 75% discount. Developed by Indie developers Playdead, Limbo is an adventure and puzzle game that’s widely regarded as genius. It’s disturbing and uncomfortable, but it’s a great game about a young boy entering Limbo to discover the fate of his sister, and I recommend that you try picking this up, especially at the price that it’s selling for. You can read a review for this neat little title here.

Whilst Wargame: European Escalation is considered a great real-time strategy game that also looks fantastic, it doesn’t deliver as great value for your money at a pathetic 50% discount compared to the other RTS game that popped up today. I would avoid it, although you could do worse than purchasing it. You can read a review here.

The sixth indie bundle contains some pretty good titles. In particular, I’m a fan of Defcon. Defcon is a relatively old title by this stage, but it’s still a good RTS game. Unfortunately, with one or two exceptions, this bundle isn’t as strong as the last few. I’d suggest contemplating it, as it does contain some good titles. We recently looked at Trauma in a past bargain exchange, and the great sports game with a ridiculous title – AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome. I hope I got the correct number of characters.

Stronghold 3, sequel of the pretty great Stronghold 2, sees itself receiving a 66% discount. Unfortunately, it also sees itself receiving an solid avoid. There’s a good reason that Steam doesn’t reveal its metacritic rating on its page. The previous game is definitely worth grabbing if you can find it, but this title should be left in the bin regardless of the discount. You can read a review here.

33% discount? Avoid. You’re better off saving your money for something else, frankly. There’s little else I need to comment. It’s not a bad game, but it doesn’t do anything spectacular worth picking up with such a pitiful discount. Wait for the next sale.

Bargain Exchange: Steam Summer Sale Day 5

That’s us halfway through the sale! Have you picked up much yet? I’m surprised that my low budget has survived this long, but we’ve only hit the halfway mark. I’m also halfway through my budget. Looks like I could be in a spot of bother. Anyway, let’s take a look at Today’s Deals.

First title I’m going to touch on is the incredibly well received Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Set long, long before the movie series, Knights of the Old Republic stays faithful to Star Wars lore as well as developing its own. It’s highly regarded amongst Star Wars fans and gamers alike. The game itself is a role-playing game developed by Bioware and released in 2003, so you can expect that classic Bioware flavour to the game. With the 75% discount, I heavily recommend picking this title up. You can’t go wrong at that price. You can read a review here.

Metro 2033, developed by 4A Games and published by THQ, is an atmospheric first-person shooter. Selling with a 75% discount and already being a relatively cheap game outside of sales, Metro 2033 is an incredible bargain for the budget gamer. The only draw is that it’s an incredibly linear game, but it doesn’t change that it’s a gem worth picking up. Especially at that price. I recommend grabbing yourself a copy. You can read a review here.

RAGE is a first person shooter that also follows the post-apocalyptic theme much like Metro 2033, with a rather unusual 67% discount. Set in a wasteland, there are plenty of quests to get involved in as humanity tries to rebuild as you play in an open world environment, complete with third person vehicles. The game itself seems to throw in everything that was popular for the past few years: guns, post-apocalyptic world, mutants, corrupt political movements, first person gameplay and an open world environment. I wouldn’t say that’s a bad thing, because you’re left with a game comprising of what gamers like to see. If you’re not sick of any of that, I suggest picking this title up too. You may watch the WTF is on RAGE here.

The entire Assassin’s Creed franchise is on sale right now, mostly at a 75% discount. The only exception is Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. That’s fine, because you should avoid Revelations. It’s not worth the price. I can, however, say that the rest of the franchise is worth the price including Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. The Assassin’s Creed franchise is a pretty great series of games with a unique and interesting conspiracy plot, well developed action elements and a decent stab at stealth. While it leaves room for improvement, it does deliver a pretty fun experience over all. My honest advice? I recommend purchasing Assassin’s Creed: Director’s Cut, Assassin’s Creed 2 Deluxe, and Assasin’s Creed Brotherhood separately. Don’t waste your money on the bundle. And for those who may only pick up one, get Assassin’s Creed 2. You may find a review on each title by clicking their name.

Men of War is predominantly a World War II real-time strategy series, but the Vietnam spinoff reaches into Vietnamese territory. The Men of War franchise are great RTS games that aim to be realistic. With the bundle selling with a 75% discount, I recommend picking that up instead of any of the single titles, as it isn’t that much more expensive than the high liner. You can read a review of the original here.

Age of Empires is a fantastic real-time strategy franchise; however, the third has aged poorly and isn’t anywhere near as great as the second title. Even with the 75% discount, I would suggest that you avoid this title and pick up its predecessors. While the game looks great and it’s not that bad, you can get a much better deal elsewhere. You may also read a review here.

A bit of a controversial game up next. Dear Esther has been the centre of debate as to what defines a video game. Dear Esther is more or less scenery with a strong soundtrack and interesting narration. It strikes me as more of a narrated virtual tour than a video game, but I digress. For those into experimental titles or willing to give such a game a chance, I suggest you take it out. But otherwise, it’s a solid avoid. Don’t expect much ‘play time’ either. You can read a review here. It’s for some, but not everyone.

Personal favourite of the hidden summer sale, Audiosurf makes an appearance in the fifth indie bundle. Accompanying Audiosurf is Ys: The Oathin Felghana, Gemini Rue, Greed Corp and The Tiny Bang Story making for a very solid recommend. This is a pretty brilliant bundle, and each title is worth the current price (given a 75% discount). Take a gamble and help the indie industry, there’s certainly a title in here for everyone. Promise.


Steam Summer Sale 4

Okay, this is getting tiring now. Remind me next time to turn my Steam Sale feature into a video feature. At any rate, let’s take an in depth look at what’s available today (yesterday…).

Serious Sam 3! The next part in the amazing Serious Sam franchise that shows First-Person Shooters how they should really play. The game is more linear than the previous outings, but it doesn’t stop the gunplay being really good. It’s an incredibly challenging game, especially in comparison to the more ‘casual’ audience targeting titles we’ve been getting lately. I heavily recommend picking up this title if you can, as the 75% discount only makes it even more worthwhile. You can view a WTF is on Serious Sam here.

Next on the bill is Saints Row the Third. This sandbox third person action game is said to be a better Grand Theft Auto than Grand Theft Auto. The game is off its head with just how crazy it is. Anyone who found Grand Theft Auto IV too serious would most likely love this game, as it delivers the experience that many gamers enjoyed from previous titles such as Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. While it does fall at points due to some modern conventions (turret sections are a prime example), the game still delivers a pretty enjoyable experience. I recommend picking this title up, especially at the 75% discount that it’s selling at. You can find a review here.

The Darkness II is the first title of the franchise to be released on PC, and is a first person shooter which also plays into the psychological horror genre. The game proudly features demon arms as a core game element allowing things such as quad wielding guns. That’s kinda cool. And brutal. I can’t forget brutal. It’s a fun game and it’s selling with a 75% discount, but honestly this isn’t enough to recommend it full-heartedly. While heavily reduced, the game is still double the cost of many games at that discount; although that’s because it’s relatively new. The game is good, but not completely amazing. I will suggest that you check up some extra details to see if this game is for you. You can find a review here.

Up next is The Walking Dead. Whilst my rule of thumb is to avoid purchasing games with a 40% discount or lower, this is a title that nearly made that exception – and would have had I the budget. The Walking Dead, based on the popular graphic novel and hit TV show, follows it’s own story set around the time of the outbreak. The game is developed by point and click adventure game enthusiasts Telltale Games, who do a great job at bringing alive the horror of the undead. Even just watching a video, the game felt tense, and this is one that I’m excited about picking up. I definitely suggest taking a look at the game, with the only reason to avoid it being that it could sell for far more during a later sale. The Walking Dead is an episodic game, but you will already own all five parts upon purchase. You can find the particular video I enjoyed here.

Trine 2 is a side-scrolling puzzle game developed by indie developer Frozenbyte. The game is absolutely gorgeous to look at it, and is incredibly stylish while looks really distinctive. The game is really interesting with it’s physics based puzzles and also features online and local co-op with three players, meaning even more fun should you be able to get friends to pick up the title too. It’s a fairly interesting game, and it’s already cheap let alone the 75% discount that it’s currently selling at. I definitely recommend this title. You can read a review here.

Next on our list! You can pick up Hitman: Blood Money at a 75% discount if it’s your thing, baring in mind that it’s a fairly old game. Hitman is a stealth and action game. It’s certainly worth picking up at the price it’s going for, but there isn’t much more I can say on it. I do recommend it if you can get a chance, and you can find a review here to help tie you over.

The remaining titles consist of the usual indie bundle fare that you should pick up, as it contains some strong titles, but I know there are people who like to avoid indie games too. This contains Sanctum, which alone is worth the sale. It also contains the fantastic Atom Zombie Smasher, an the very intriguing A Valley Without Wind. I recommend this bundle to everyone willing to pick it up, as it contains a good enough variety that would have something you would likely enjoy, while the sale price warrants the risk of picking up the other titles.

Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword is dirt cheap and might be worth picking up. It’s a strategy game set in a sandbox environment with quests. It’s an interesting mix of genres, and at the 75% discount it may just be worth taking the gamble and purchasing. I’d suggest this title on that premise alone, but the overall reception towards the game seems to be that it’s fairly average. You can take a look for yourself here.

Finally, our very last is Cities 2012 XL, at a 75% discount. The answer to this one is relatively simple, given reception. Avoid. We can always pick it up cheaper in another sale.