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Welcome back to Cheap this Week, our round up the best deals in gaming every Wednesday. Here you'll find all sorts of delicious discounted gaming treats, compiled for your consideration. If one dose of cheap games a week isn't enough for you, SavyGamer.co.uk is constantly updated with offers plucked from bargain bins the world over.
I'm in the camp that preferred the first of the two Crysis games, but stomping around New York City in a power suit in the sequel was still hugely entertaining, and a league above most other FPSs.
I was just disappointed that the huge open levels and the chaos they led to were missing in favour of very wide highly detailed corridors. Likely a concession to get the game running on today's aging consoles.
Video: Shooting men.
Plain Sight, PC - £2
Hot off the press, this deal will be going live at some time just after 6pm. I'm not sure if they will be discounting the 4 Pack too, but it seems likely.
This discount coincides with an update released yesterday, with numerous bug fixes, tweaks to the perk system, and balancing. Patch notes here.
Quintin gave this a solid 8/10 when it came out a year ago. He said:
"There's nothing for it but to accept Plain Sight for what it is - a fun, smart, inventive action game that comes with a big grin and a cheap price tag."
And since that price tag is even cheaper than usual, I'd say it's time to get your robot on.
Splinter Cell: Conviction, Xbox 360 - £6.99 delivered
These are unsealed, but new. Not my favourite of the Splinter Cell series by a long shot, but at this price it's worth a go. Simon wasn't massively impressed when he reviewed it either:
"Where once players were free to tackle Splinter Cell's enemies in myriad, improvised ways, now the options are more limited, traded for an upped tempo that's more Arkham Asylum than Metal Gear. At its best, Conviction is played as a high-stakes puzzle game, taut and thrilling when everything is going your way. But when cover is broken, the floodlights go up to reveal a mediocre shooter. Perhaps the greatest irony of all is that Splinter Cell: Conviction appears brightest in the dark."
The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, Xbox 360 400 MS Points (Xbox Live Gold subscribers only).
Classic point and clicker that, er, I didn't really like. Perhaps I need to give it another go, but it didn't really tickle my funny bone. Dan had this to say of the modern prettied up remake in his review:
"These bare bones form the skeleton of a truly marvellous game, however, and one that everyone should play. While it would be nice to have a more robust package, simply having such an unmistakable classic back in active circulation where new players can discover its dazzling inventiveness and giddy humour is victory enough."
This offer is available until next Tuesday, and if you're in need of MS Points, Amazon are currently doing 2100 for £14.99 delivered.
Video: The making of the remake.
AI War: Alien Bundle, PC/Mac £16
Here's the complete version of the dead clever intergalactic strategy game, AI War. Included is the original AI War: Fleet Command, and the three expansions: The Zenith Remnant, Children Of Neinzul and Light of the Spire. Everything has been individually discounted too (see here).
You can either download them straight from Arcen's website, or the serials will optionally register on Steam.
Phill had this to say of Fleet Command in his review:
"The heart of AI War is in its asymmetrical nature, but that uniqueness permeates the entire game, from the way each fight works to your overarching strategy. There's an element of discovery in it that is partly due to the procedural nature with which the galaxies are created, but also down to the incredible amount of options each time you create a game."
Also of note this week...
Online gaming innovator InstantAction may have just changed the way games are distributed on the internet, with the introduction of a service that lets publishers embed games like The Secret of Monkey Island as easily as a YouTube video.
InstantAction's new service uses thin-client, in-browser, and progressive downloading technology to allow publishers to stream video games directly to clients. Games like LucasArts' The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, seen below, can then be embedded anywhere HTML code is accepted.
"It was only a matter of time before the Internet disrupted the extremely limited distribution channels available to game creators, enabling direct-to-consumer access and more control over sales performance and profits," said Evan S. Wilson, senior research analyst of Pacific Crest Securities. "The InstantAction platform virtually obliterates the obstacles to game distribution by making it possible for anyone to embed any video game anywhere on the web, just like embedding a video. For game creators, this opens up distribution channels that haven't previously been an option – especially for console-quality games. For consumers, it creates endless possibilities for game discovery, risk-free trial, and faster downloads."
Right now the service only works on PCs, but support for Macs and mobile devices is planned for the future.
The potential of such a service is mind-boggling. I mean, look at Monkey Island down there. LucasArts provides players with a 20 minute timed demo of the full game, after which they can unlock the full version for a modest fee. I'd imagine the need for distribution channels would quickly fall off, once people start embedding full games directly into blog entries, Facebook updates, or say, Kotaku posts.
"The InstantAction platform provides a brand new way to get games from their creators to customers, thus avoiding obstacles to publishing and discovering new games that are inherent in the traditional brick and mortar model," said Louis Castle, CEO of InstantAction.
"We give game creators a secure way to offer free trials, item purchases and pay-as-you play options, with a broad range of monetization formats and platform compatibility," continued Castle. "Gamers not only get the try-before-you buy and rent-to-own benefits; they can easily embed full games into their social networks, accessing their friends' lists and adding social features to games where they may not have existed. InstantAction not only changes how games are distributed and discovered, but how they are enjoyed."
For more information on this compelling new technology, visit InstantAction.com. Otherwise, enjoy the game!
LucasArts celebrates the summer release of The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition on the PlayStation 3 with enough virtual goods to recreate the game yourself in PlayStation Home.
Fans of the Monkey Island series patiently awaiting the PlayStation 3 release of the remastered adventure game classic can now show off their pirate pride in style, letting their skull and crossbones flag fly high over their very own pirate ship. Spruce it up with an assortment of Monkey Island-themed accessories and furnishing, pick up one of the nifty new costumes, and invite over your friends to roleplay your own Monkey Island adventures.
Just don't tell us about them. We really, really don't want to know.