Broken menus, wonky mouse controls, single figure framerates - this is the familiar story of PC gaming prowess held back by consoles. We understand why it happens: console-land was where the majority of sales were, and thus the focus of development. But that reasoning has never seemed, well, reasonable: a trashy console port can knock a chunk off your Metacritic rating, sour a huge potential audience against you forever and lose you loads of sales on a platform that can be extremely lucrative if only you know how to approach it.
It's really not that hard or expensive. After all, a pair of talented modders managed to make Dark Souls' PC version immeasurably better within the space of an evening, and while devs might not want to spend resources making hi-res assets just for PC, there's plenty of really basic stuff that can be done to not totally fuck up a game. Which, given the amount of time, love and money spent on these creations, is surely something that would please the developers and publishers as much as their beleaguered PC audience.
We've thrown together a list of tips, common foibles and fixes - add your own in the comments!
On release, Binary Domain defaulted to gamepad inputs which could only be changed by running a separate settings program. Gnnngggn.
Accessible settings PC configurations are as many and varied as the gamers that own them. A PC game has to account for this with its range of settings. Have these options accessible in-game, and don't require the player to drop back to the main menu to change them. Definitely don't put them in a separate trainer which forces you to restart the entire damn game. (Hi there, Binary Domain.)
Resolution For the love of Baal, let us change the resolution. And definitely let us change the resolution before embarking on a lengthy unskippable opening cinematic in enforced default shatto-vision. (I’m looking at you, Max Payne 3 - or trying to, anyway.) Better still, autodetect the native resolution!
Key-bindings Let us at them. Particularly if, for whatever reason, you've decided to give charge of your keyboard inputs to someone who has never actually seen or used a keyboard before. How do you reach the main menu in Binary Domain? Oh, that’s right, it’s Enter. Of course. Then, when in the menus, you press space to select and F to go back. Obviously, in-game, F is the interact key - except when interact is space. Argh. Incidentally, Enter is not the PC's equivalent of the gamepad's A button - it's the furthest you can get from both hands in normal FPS control mode. So don't make it the compulsory key to dismiss pop-up messages.
Gamepads Some games are designed for and best suit a gamepad. That's cool. But for games which might easily be controlled by either a gamepad or a traditional PC set-up, please autodetect which system is currently under use. Most games seem pretty good at this now, but there are still some stragglers.
Framerate Let those framerates soar free into the vast open skies of PC gaming wonderment. Also, let us fiddle with things like V-sync - with the vast array of PC hardware set-ups possible it is unlikely you will have guessed how to best optimise your game's performance for any one PC. Why wreck your hard work with dropped or torn frames when you could just trust players to tweak the game to perfection.
FOV sliders, particularly in singleplayer games, should be a given.
Field of View PC gamers typically sit closer to their screens than console gamers and this changes the effect of a limited FOV. Unless you are setting out specifically to discomfit and sicken the player, offering the ability to adjust FOV will only make people like you. You do want to be liked, right?
Alt-tab If your game cannot do this, you are probably going to Hell, where you'll be forced to troubleshoot for irascible Windows ME users for the rest of eternity. Sorry about that.
Menus PCs typically come equipped with a mouse - the perfect device with which to gaily skip through menus. Please make use of it. Do not make us scroll through a gazillion options when a single click would do. Relatedly, make your menus pay attention to where the cursor actually IS. Console ports, like many carnivorous predators, seem to only sense movement. So you often see the wrong menu option highlighted and have to wiggle the cursor a bit to make it notice where you're actually pointing.
Mouse support Mice are not thumbsticks. This should be quickly apparent from their different shape. Do not duplicate the analogue stick deadzone with your mouse acceleration. (Got that, Dead Space?) Also do not impose momentum on mouse movements. My world stops spinning when my mouse stops, not a few seconds later, Syndicate. And don't use autotargeting systems based on the assumption that there are 8 degrees in a circle.
Sleeping Dogs was a port done right. It also featured a man urinating into a toilet full of sick. A rare game indeed.
Social media integration No.
Games for Windows Live Don’t do it. You may think that we PC gamers object to GfwL because we are a prickly bunch who resent having to install yet another wedge of corporate molestation replete with its own superfluous achievements system, fragmentary friends-lists, cross-promotional guff, easily lost log-in details and so on - particularly when we are already so well served by Steam. All that might be true of Origin or uPlay, but it doesn’t come close to describing the genuine horror of GfwL, which remains one of the most ill-conceived and poorly executed pieces of software it is possible to install on your PC. It’s hideously designed, hugely unergonomic, painfully slow, intrusive and prone to complete failure in every single aspect of its operation. It’s just unbelievably terrible.
DRM Piracy sucks. We know. However, the solution should never be to periodically lose players' saves, punt them to desktop mid-game or prevent them from playing the game altogether.
Hi-res textures Now, we’re not asking you to create an entirely new assets pipeline for the PC alone, but in many instances textures are created first at high resolution then scaled down to fit onto the itty-bitty consoles. You can make use of those on PC, you know.
Post-release patches We salute your ongoing commitment to PC gamers by releasing fixes after launch. But don't leave it until then to make your game playable. Don't leave it until launch day, even. There are good business reasons for this: reviewers will be playing your undercooked code; you'll burn your earliest purchasers and most loyal customers; you'll lose momentum building a community among players (particularly key if your game has an online component); people will be more likely to pirate your game if they think it's not worth the risk of an actual purchase.
If I have to endure another level in which I must escape from a burning building on the verge of collapse, I'll set fire to my house. I'll collapse through the floor, tumble twelve feet onto my back, crawl at tedious pace through a low section, traverse a room that's entirely on fire apart from a narrow path of miraculously not-on-fire floorspace and then climb a series of conveniently collapsed roof beams to safety.
"Phew!" I'll think, "I'd have been in a spot of bother there if I hadn't played through pretty much the same section in Black Ops 2, Max Payne 3, Far Cry 3, Medal of Honor: Warfighter and twice in Assassin's Creed 3 this year."
It's not the fire that's annoying. Things tend to catch fire a lot in videogames. No, it's the feeling that there are mission designers worldwide calling their set-pieces from the same playbook. You could tear out the pages, laminate them and resell the package as an Action Adventure Videogame Construction Kit. Shuffle the cards and lay them out in a row for an instant framework.
Let's have a go with the modern military shooter edition: escape a burning building - sniper section - flee a helicopter - warehouse section - fire at pursuers from the back of a truck - breach and clear - press X to kill prominent antagonist.
This section felt particularly incongruous when it interrupted the terrific free-roaming violence of Far Cry 3, especially considering the fact that Far Cry 3 has a fantastic dynamic fire effects built into the engine. The "escape from burning building" sequences that emerge naturally from Far Cry 3's systems are much, much better than the scripted sequence written into their early story mission.
But not all games aspire to create a dynamic open world, and nor should they. But in a dedicated, scripted action game there's an even greater need for new set-pieces and fresh settings.
Take Bulletstorm, whose opening sections dramatically undersold its capacity for bonkers theatrics. Sure, it had a "fire at pursuers from the back of a truck" bit, but in Bulletstorm's case the pursuer was a colossal red doom-wheel that careered about the landscape blowing up pipelines and threatening to stomp the player into a smear at any moment. If action games are determined to be rollercoasters, we're sorely in need of some new twists.
At the end of each year we hand out awards to honor the experiences that live in our best memories of the preceding months—the games that moved us with their ambition, quality, and pioneering spirit. None of the decisions are ever easy, and there's no secret formula: we pit opinion against opinion with straightforward, old-fashioned arguing until one winner is left standing in the GOTY battle cage. Look below for the first landmark of that exciting week-long debate: a list of our eligible winners in 11 categories, including Game of the Year.
Beyond recognizing what games we loved most this year, though, it’s crucial to call attention to a truth that connects them all: PC gaming is exploding. Our hobby is many-tentacled and unbridled—practically every niche, genre, and business model mutated in a meaningful way this year. Two shooters built on new, PC-only technology released (PlanetSide 2 and Natural Selection 2). Dota 2 grew into its adolescence. League of Legends’ Season 2 Championship drew an audience of 8.2 million—the most ever for an eSports event. Modders resurrected content that was thought to be lost. So many remakes and spiritual successors to old school PC games got crowdfunded that we're sure we’d miss some if we tried to list them all.
That said, the following list marks the peaks of this mountainous year, and you'll find out which games won in the next issue of PC Gamer, and here on the web soon.
Dota 2 Dishonored Mass Effect 3 PlanetSide 2 The Walking Dead Tribes: Ascend XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Crusader Kings II FTL: Faster Than Light Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Guild Wars 2 PlanetSide 2 Rift: Storm Legion World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition Diablo III Mass Effect 3 Torchlight II
Borderlands 2 Dishonored Far Cry 3 Max Payne 3 Spec Ops: The Line
Project Cars may secretly be the best looking game of the year. It's only playable for Project Cars team members at the moment, but there's no shortage of gorgeous screenshots for the rest of us to gawp at. Efforts like this one from Darkdeus demonstrate how much closer racing games come to photorealism than other genres. Humans are safely hidden behind reflective windscreens, which makes it easier for racing games to navigate the uncanny valley and deliver sublime shots like this.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim by Chewiemuse
Bethesda's decision to support modders with Steam Workshop support and the Creation Kit have paid dividends in the year since launch. Texture packs, shader tweaks and new character models and armour have turned a good looking game into something a bit special. Chewiemuse shows us how with this shot of a warrior disposing of his foe with the archery equivalent of a triple tap. Boost your own copy of The Elder Scrolls V with the help of our Skyrim mods guide.
Arma 2 by Blackhawk
The Arma 2 engine is certainly powerful, but it's not exactly pretty. It's rare for screenshots to capture the satisfaction of a well executed military manoeuvre, but Blackhawk does it with this shot of a team of soldiers securing a drop zone. Arma is as much about organisation and teamwork as good shooting, and the bleak colour palette is quickly forgotten in the tension and sudden drama of Arma's combat situations. Captured at just the right angle, Arma skirmishes look almost real, as ITV discovered when they accidentally used Arma 2 footage as part of a documentary last year.
Max Payne 3 by Glottis8
Yes, GTA 4 was a shoddy port, but Rockstar have done a much better job with recent releases like LA Noire and Max Payne 3. Glottis8's image of Max surfing an explosive shockwave shows off the improved textures and sharp lines of the PC version in dynamic fashion. It could only be improve if Max was perpendicular to the explosion. And his fingers were wrapped around a pair of handcannons. And he was wearing a trenchcoat. And it was snowing. In New York.
Okay, the third game got away from some of the elements that made Max Payne unique, but that's hardly Glottis' fault. Let's just sit back and enjoy imagining how good that explosion probably sounds.
The Mario Brothers in Garry's Mod by DOAmaster
What's this, the MARIO BROTHERS on PC GAMER? Thanks to the magic of Garry's mod and DOAmaster's screenshotting abilities, the impossible has come to pass. As pleasing as I find those blazing colours, I still haven't figured out exactly what's going on here. If I don't attach a narrative to this thing I'll never make it to the next page and we'll be trapped here in Nintendo world forever. Let's say that Mario and Luigi are holding a belt (small plank of wood?) and this squad of chipmunks (gophers?) is attempting to limbo (???) under it. Plausible? Good enough! Next.
Sword and Sworcery by Glottis8
The pristine and ageless pixel art of Swords and Sworcery is excellent subject matter for trigger happy screen-grabbers. S&S was released on iOS systems originally, but the artwork shifts up to larger screens rather nicely. That's lucky, because it's designed as a cohesive audiovisual tapestry, and it would be a shame for poorly upscaled graphics to spoil Jim Guthrie's marvellous soundtrack, Ballad of the Space Babies, which you can hear here. Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery is available on Steam.
Project Cars again by Leviathan
Yep, it's more Project Cars, but look at the stupendous detail on show here. The foil folds of the headlights reflect the horizon of the approaching terrain. Every nut and bolt is present and correct. Look, you can even see the tiny silver mouse periscope popping out of the bonnet in front of the windscreen wipers. Impressive. This slot was a toss up between the picture above and this shot of a car carving up a shiny tarmac track. Not bad, eh?
Team Fortress 2 by Rossrox
Remember when Team Fortress 2 turned into a sparkling, cheerful extension of the Pyro's demented psyche earlier this year? I was happy to be reminded by Rossrox' glittery and violent portrayal of the conflict. I especially enjoy the fact that TF2 has chosen this moment to remind players to be respectful to one another, as a soldier lies burning to death on a floor, and another readies a rocket launcher against a charging Pyro. It's important to remain polite in the face of impending doom. Jolly good show.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim by Zloth
There was always going to be more Skyrim in this roundup. There's something about that world's frozen peaks that make folks want to take pictures. Screenshots can fail to do justice to the sense of discovery and wonder that Skyrim's most impressive vistas tend to evoke. This grab from Zloth does the job quite nicely, though. Unfortunately it means that any human who looks upon it must endure a sudden urge to jump back into the world and go adventuring again, sinking yet more hours into Bethesda's fantasy juggernaut. The only cure is to look away, so follow me as we go travel onto the next page and absorb the final selection in our round-up of the best screenshots from the PC Gamer community 2012.
Battlefield 3 by RPhilMan1
It's Battlefield! I was a little surprised that there weren't more shots of Armored Kill maps like Alborz Mountain, but this sandy overview of a sprawling industrial warzone will do quite nicely. Look upon it and imagine the different skirmishes that players are having down there. Engineers will be trying to out-ferret each other in the maze of storage crates on the left. The plume of black smoke hints at the presence of a flaming tank corpse behind the tankers in the centre. A small collection of squads will be having their own private war for the squared off mountainous base on the left. It's a good overview that lays bare the variety and complexity of Battlefield 3's maps and drops in a chopper for good measure.
And that's your lot for this year. You can see plenty more on the screenshot thread in our forums. Browse at your leisure, and feel free to drop in a few of your own favourite gaming snaps while you're there. You never know, you might secure a slot in next year's round-up.
A dash of DLC developments appears on today's list for Mass Effect 3, Assassin's Creed 3, and Max Payne 3. Also appearing are NCsoft's official word on the community movements against City of Heroes' impending closure and Hi-Rez's narrower design focus for Global Agenda 2. In the wise words of Claptrap: read on, minions!
Patch 4 for Mass Effect 3 hits this week with tons of tweaks and balance adjustments to weapons and squashed bugs galore. "Fixed an exploit where players were able to use rockets from other weapons." Wait, that wasn't my pistol's actual alternate fire mode? I cannot tell a lie -- now off with his head: The "Tyranny of King Washington" DLC for Assassin's Creed 3 pits tree-hopping axeman Connor against the titular Founding Father in an alternate reality take on history. Buying the $30 Season Pass ensures access to all three planned episodic packs. The "Hostage Negotiation" pack for Max Payne 3 adds four new multiplayer maps for spear-diving gunmen themed around seedy nightclubs ramshackle favelas. Grab it later this fall for $10. NCsoft acknowledges the outpouring of support for keeping City of Heroes' servers online, but in a brief post on its official website, the publisher hit everyone's one weakness by saying it's "exhausted all options" that were ultimately "not successful." Hi-Rez announces Global Agenda 2 will be more oriented for PVP based on player feedback and the success of Tribes: Ascend.
This week's best deals ► Total War, EVE Online, Dragon Age Steam has routed your excuses for not trying out the Total War franchise with Rome Gold, Empire, Medieval II, Napoleon, Shogun 2, and Fall of the Samurai all for $32. Amazon will throw you pod-first into the ruthless galaxy of EVE Online for a fiver. GameStop is looking to hook you up with over 100 hours of Dragon Age goodness for $10.
Steam ► Total War Franchise, Modern Warfare 3, Hearts of Iron III Modern Warfare 3 is half price and the multiplayer is free to play this weekend. This is in addition to basically everything that says "Total War" on it being discounted 25% or more.
75% off Total War Master Collection - $31.98 Individual Total War titles are also 25% off or more. 50% off Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - $29.99 75% off Hearts of Iron 3 Collection - $7.49 75% off The Binding of Isaac - $1.24, Wrath of the Lamb DLC is also 75% off - 74 cents 50% off Age of Empires Online Steam Starter Pack - $9.99 More Steam Deals
Amazon ► EVE Online, Sleeping Dogs, XCOM: Enemy Unknown Get your start in Spreadsheet Commando EVE Online for only $5. You can also pre-order XCOM for 10% off.
75% off EVE Online: Inferno - $4.99 10% off XCOM: Enemy Unknown - $44.99 40% off Sleeping Dogs - $29.99 87% off the Viva Big Bundle of Games (Featuring Grand Ages Rome and Crazy Machines) - $9.99 26% off Assassin's Creed 2 - $14.83 More Amazon Deals
Green Man Gaming ► Alpha Protocol, Sonic 3 and Knuckles, XCOM Green Man is offering up Obsidian's spy-themed story RPG Alpha Protocol and an armload of Sonic the Hedgehog titles - including the quintessential Sonic 3 and Knuckles - at half off. They've also got two voucher deals running: GMG20-27J4Z-8NXHO for 20% off any download, and GMGSD-W3R94-DZBAZ for 30% off Sleeping Dogs.
10% off XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Pre-order) - $44.99 50% off Alpha Protocol - $9.98 50% off Condemned: Criminal Origins - $7.49 50% off Sonic 3 and Knuckles - $2.49 50% off Renegade Ops - $7.49 More GMG Deals
GOG ► Square Enix Squad How does this sound: Thief 1, 2, and 3, Deus Ex GOTY and Deus Ex Invisible War, Hitman 1 and 2, Tomb Raider 1, 2, and 3... all for $38.30. You can also add the Legacy of Kain series, Conflict: Desert Storm, Anachronox, and Pandemonium! to the deal to increase your percentage savings.
Also, it's not on sale, but the Carmageddon Max Pack is now available for $9.99.
Get Games ► Hitman Absolution, Guild Wars 2 (EU), Far Cry series Get Games is selling the Professional Edition of Hitman Absolution (pre-order) for the same price as the normal edition, which is cheaper than we've seen it anywhere else.
25% off Hitman Absolution Professional Edition (Pre-order) - $44.99 10% off Carrier Command: Gaea Mission - $44.99 15% off Guild Wars 2 - $46.75 (Europe only) 75% off Far Cry 1 and 2 - $6.25 60% off Lord of the Rings: War in the North - $19.99 75% off Overlord II - $2.49 More deals from Get Games
GameStop ► War of the Roses, Dragon Age, Battlefield 3 The problem with pre-ordering War of the Roses on Steam is that it gives you the House of Lancaster armor set. Toss aside those pretenders and support the noble House of York with GameStop for only 30 bucks. You can also get ALL THE DRAGON AGE! (Excluding DA2 DLC) that there is to play for 10.
War of the Roses House of York Deluxe Edition (Pre-order) - $29.99 80% off Dragon Age Bundle - $9.99, includes Dragon Age: Origins Ultimate Edition and Dragon Age 2 75% off Battlefield 3 - $9.99 50% off Spore Ultimate Digital Collection - $14.99 More GameStop deals
GameFly ► Modern Warfare, Prototype, Singularity You could grab the entire Prototype franchise for under 40 bucks, or the entire Modern Warfare franchise for $60 from GameFly this week.
50% off Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare - $9.99 50% off Modern Warfare 2 - $9.99 50% off Modern Warfare 3 - $29.99 75% off Prototype - $4.99 33% off Prototype 2 - $33.49 75% off Singularity - $7.49 More GameFly Deals
Best Buy ► Max Payne 3 Finally, Best Buy has Max Payne 3 for 66% off, at $20.
Let us know in the comments if you find any more great deals!
Disclaimer: We offer no guarantees regarding the validity of these sales, their restrictions, or the quality of service provided by these distributors. We cannot vet every deal: we only list what we see advertised at the time of writing. Buy at your own risk!
This week's best deals ► FTL, Max Payne 3, and more FTL: Faster Than Light released at 10% off on both Steam and GOG, GameStop opened its trunk in the parking lot to reveal deals on Max Payne 3, Killing Floor, and Amnesia, and Guild Wars 2 is 25% off at Get Games for European customers. That's just the beginning of our weekly savings spelunking expedition, so come along with me for more unnecessary analogies. And weekend deals.
25% off Guild Wars 2 at Get Games - $41.24 (Europe only) 50% off Max Payne 3 at GameStop - $29.99 50% off Killing Floor - $9.99 at GameStop 15% off Battlefield 3 at Amazon - $33.81 10% off FTL: Faster Than Light at GOG - $8.99 (Also on Steam) 30% off Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD on Steam - $6.99 25% off PC downloads at Green Man Gaming with the voucher code GMG25-1BW0K-K1A3G
Steam ► Sam & Max, Oddworld, and more Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD released today at a 30% discount, and Steam has also put together an Oddboxx bundle with all of the Oddworld games for 10.49. Also, Train Simulator 2013.
30% off Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD - $6.99 75% off Deus Ex: Human Revolution - $7.49 70% off Sam and Max Complete Pack - $14.99 10% off FTL: Faster Than Light - $8.99 33% off Vessel - $9.99 10% off Train Simulator 2013 - $26.99! More Steam deals
Green Man Gaming ► 25% off everything
Use the voucher code GMG25-1BW0K-K1A3G to receive 25% off a digital download by Monday September 17th at 4 a.m. PDT. Plus, tons of Saints Row: The Third DLC is on sale! Fun fact: if you mush all the DLC together, you get Saints Row: The Fourth, the illegitimate, possibly inbred son of Saints Row: The Third. He eats K-Y Jelly.
Get Games ► Guild Wars 2 You can still get Sleeping Dogs for 25% off and Borderlands for 50% off. New this week, Guild Wars 2 25% off codes are back in stock. There's also the usual selection of pre-order and other discounts.
25% off Guild Wars 2 - $41.24 (Europe only) 25% off Guild Wars 2: Digital Deluxe Edition - $56.24 25% off Sleeping Dogs - $37.49 50% off Borderlands - $9.99 More deals from Get Games
GameStop ► Max Payne 3, Killing Floor, Amnesia GameStop continues to cross off every price it can, but digging through its pages of sales this week revealed some pretty darn good stuff. Here are some of my favorites:
75% off Age of Empires III: Complete Collection - $9.99 50% off Max Payne 3 - $29.99 50% off Killing Floor - $9.99 75% off Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad - $4.99 75% off Mirror's Edge - $4.99 50% off Amnesia: The Dark Descent - $9.99 67% off Hard Reset - $9.99 More GameStop deals
GOG ► Diamonds of D&D Aside from 10% off FTL: Faster Than Light, GOG has its usual themed sale. This weekend, it's all D&D deals...wait, what's this?! *Spit take.* Something new for GOG: the discounts scale with the number of games you buy. At one game, you'll get 30% off, buy two and get 33% off each, and so on up to all nine games for 65% off each. *Cleans up spit.*
Links to the individual games are below, but if you want the scaling deal, you have to go to the hub.
30% - 65% off Baldur's Gate: The Original Saga - $6.99 - $3.49 30% - 65% off Baldur's Gate 2 Complete - $6.99 - $3.49 30% - 65% off Neverwinter Nights: Diamond Edition - $6.99 - $3.49 30% - 65% off Icewind Dale 2 Complete - $6.99 - $3.49 30% - 65% off Icewind Dale Complete - $6.99 - $3.49 30% - 65% off The Temple of Elemental Evil - $4.19 - $3.49 30% - 65% off Dungeons & Dragons: Dragonshard - $6.99 - $3.49 30% - 65% off Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone - $6.99 - $3.49 30% - 65% off Planescape: Torment - $6.99 - $3.49
Amazon ► The Over-The-Top TopWare Bundle Regular Amazon is way less fun than Labor Day Amazon -- it's pretty much back to the same 'ol, with games like Modern Warfare 2 and Civilization V on sale again. There is a new bundle sale, at least: the Over-The-Top TopWare Bundle includes 13 games. You probably don't want all 13.
85% off The Over-The-Top TopWare Bundle - $14.99 50% off Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - $9.99 15% off Battlefield 3 - $33.81 50% off Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X 2 - $9.99 21% off Sid Meier's Civilization V - $23.82 51% off Deus Ex: Human Revolution - $14.68 60% off Mount & Blade - $6.03 More Amazon PC game downloads
GamersGate ► A horde of romance
It's the same deal as last week: a giant, colorful patchwork of box art and red discount stickers. Only a few deals stick out at me. 50% off BioShock? Sure. 20% off To The Moon (Friday only)? Not bad. Miss Chic Romantic for only $7.48? Sounds goo- hey, wait a minute.
GameFly ► L.A. Noire L.A. Noire is the highlight of GameFly's sparse list this weekend.
75% off L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition - $7.49 75% off L.A. Noire - $4.99 More GameFly deals
Let us know in the comments if you find any more great deals, and if you feel like sharing: what are you playing this weekend? It's all FTL: Faster Than Light for me. Well, not all, but lots of it.
This week's best deals ► Mass Effect 3, Trine 2, and 25% off at GMG The tastiest specials on this week's menu include Mass Effect 3 Digital Deluxe for $20 during Amazon's big Labor Day sale, 75% off the Trine Complete Collection on Steam, and a new Green Man Gaming voucher code for deals on whatever you want deals on.
60% off Mass Effect 3 Digital Deluxe Edition on Amazon - $19.99 67% off Max Payne 3 and LA Noire bundle on Amazon - $29.99 75% off Trine Complete Collection on Steam - $8.74 50% off Resonance on GOG - $4.99 25% off any PC download at Green Man Gaming with code: GMG25-1BW0K-K1A3G 30% off Sleeping Dogs at Green Man Gaming with code: SDOGS-E1V8A-9R1HX
Steam ► Trine and Crysis Everything Trine is on sale at Steam, including the new Trine 2: Goblin Menace DLC. There's also Crysis, but when isn't it on sale?
75% off Trine Complete Collection - $8.74 75% off Crysis Collection - $17.49 33% off Vessel - $9.99 50% off Age of Empires Online DLC: Steam Starter Pack - $9.99 (Friday only) More Steam deals
Amazon ► Labor Day sale Amazon's big Labor Day sale ends Sunday, so you don't have much longer to get, say, Mass Effect 3 Digital Deluxe Edition for $20.
60% off Mass Effect 3 Digital Deluxe Edition - $19.99 50% off Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition - $14.99 50% off Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - $29.99 75% off Crysis 2 - Maximum Edition - $9.99 54% off Deus Ex: Human Revolution - $13.81 60% off Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - $15.99 68% off Mount & Blade - $4.77 60% off Psychonauts - $3.99 50% off Stacking - $7.49 75% off Assassin's Creed bundle - $19.99 67% off Grand Theft Auto IV and Max Payne 3 bundle - $29.99 78% off Spec Ops: The Line and BioShock 1 & 2 bundle - $19.99 67% off Max Payne 3 and LA Noire bundle - $29.99 90% off Square Enix Ultimate Collection - $9.50 More Amazon PC game downloads
Green Man Gaming ► 25% off everything
There are a couple of new voucher codes at GMG. Ending Monday, use GMG25-1BW0K-K1A3G to get 25% off any PC game download or SDOGS-E1V8A-9R1HX for 30% off Sleeping Dogs specifically.
You can't stack them for 55% off Sleeping Dogs, but you could buy Stacking for 25% off. Actually, you can't. It isn't in GMG's catalog. It is 50% off at Amazon, but that doesn't stop my joke from being ruined.
GOG ► Point-and-Click Mix Point your browser to GOG's adventure-themed weekend deals and click on games like Machinarium, Resonance, and Botanicula. Wow. Did I go too far that time?
50% off Machinarium: Collector's Edition - $4.99 50% off Resonance - $4.99 50% off Gemini Rue - $4.99 50% off Blackwell Bundle - $7.49 50% off The Whispered World - $7.49 50% off Botanicula - $4.99
Get Games ► Total War Nothing huge to report from Get Games. Sleeping Dogs is back up to 25% off, and the perennially on sale Total War series is on sale.
25% off Sleeping Dogs - $37.49 50% off Borderlands - $9.99 75% off Empire: Total War - $4.99 75% off Napoleon: Total War - $4.99 75% off Total War Shogun 2 - $9.99 70% off Total War Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai - $8.99 More deals from Get Games
GameStop ► Saints Row and Might & Magic GameStop's silly long list of deals is largely populated by Saints Row The Third's expansive DLC library and Might & Magic.
GamersGate ► A bin of bargains
Why can't I hold all these deals? At least GamersGate has gone from 10 pages of scattershot discounts to just two, but there's still a lot to cover. Here's the short version: it has same Trine bundle deal as Steam, 75% off Batman: Arkham Asylum GOTY, and tons of kings, crusades, and iron hearts.
GameFly ► Bulletstorm and Stronghold 3 GameFly is pretty light on sales this weekend, so I'll just use this space to think about the idea of a real bullet storm. It would be terrible. All those bullets plummeting from angry thunder-shots above. Clearly, we can never allow the gods to acquire firearms.
75% off Bulletstorm - $5.00 50% off Stronghold 3 Gold - $19.99
Let us know in the comments if you find any more great deals, and if you feel like sharing: what are you playing this weekend? I'll continue thieving in Guild Wars 2 on the Tarnished Coast server, though I am disappointed that the Thief class steals abilities instead of what I really want: money. I want to be the richest low-level scoundrel on the server, dammit.
Rockstar have released an update for Max Payne 3, introducing the Multiplayer Card feature, improved load times and anti-cheat measures.
The Multiplayer Card feature displays player stats, while improvements to the party system mean party leaders can now pull their friends out of existing games and into new ones. According to Rockstar this update also "enables Payne Thresholds, which will go live next week across all three platforms following the release of the free Disorganized Crime Pack DLC".
Here's the full list of Max Payne 3 updates:
The new Multiplayer Player Card, which allows you and your friends to track multiplayer stats including current amount of XP, total kills, favorite weapon and more. New Automated cheat protection and lag protection measures. Improvements to multiplayer load times Players can now spawn with dual wield if they have two sidearms and no two-handed weapon equipped Polish language support has been added Party leader now has the option of taking entire party with them when they back out of a match Weapon rank in the Arsenal is now visible on the left side of the screen, not just the right The Crew menu is now available inside lobbies XP gained for completing Grinds no longer contributes to rankings in Gang Wars matches Improvements to the spectator camera in Gang Wars Gang Wars wager system improved to better show betting results
Rockstar Games have announced that the next DLC pack for Max Payne 3 will see the grizzled, alcoholic gunman rendered in noir-ish black and white. The new Disorganized Crime Pack will give an even moodier look to the game, which is hardly sunshine and rainbows as it is.
Visuals aside, the free DLC will leave the single player campaign unchanged while adding the Hoboken Rooftops map, new multipliers for Score Attack mode, Lone Wolf AI (more aggressive enemies) and Headshots Only mode to the game's multiplayer.
The Disorganized Crime Pack will be available on August 28, and will look like this: