The year is 20XX. Over-reliance on mysterious "cloud storage" and catastrophic "Y2X" software failures have devastated the world's supply of PC games. You can only choose five games to preserve. What's at stake? Oh, just the fate of PC gaming and ten dollars. Yep, that's (mostly) right: drop by GOG this week and you can liberate five DRM-free games from their servers for only $10 (around £6).
There are 20 games to choose from, including the likes of Resonance, Gemini Rue, Torchlight, and Trine, and a combination of the most expensive nets $60 in savings. It's the perfect opportunity to be a hero and save great games for future generations, who will laugh at our local hard drives until the digital apocalypse brings their networks crashing down.
And this is just the beginning: every year in the US we spend a certain Thursday eating large birds, then the subsequent Friday spending billions of dollars to adjust retail outlets' yearly earnings reports. It's weird, I know, but we do benefit with big discounts. Rumor has it that Steam's Autumn Sale starts tomorrow, so prepare to trample their servers as well.
Red Orchestra 2, our 2011 multiplayer shooter of the year, is now on Steam Workshop. As I write, only one map and a selection of SDK tutorials have been posted, but phase two of Tripwire's $15,000 RO2 mapping contest should incite a blitzkrieg of community-made content for the WWII shooter.
Also, for the next few days, the Tripwire Interactive Bundle is 75% off on Steam. That's $15/£12.49 for Red Orchestra, Red Orchestra 2, Killing Floor and its DLC, The Ball, and Dwarfs!? (I wasn't angry and confused about that list, the game is called "Dwarfs!?" Or is it?!)
Halloween has invaded the grimly fun zombie co-op shooter, Killing Floor. Starting now and running until Nov 6, Tripwire's meaty shooter will get even meatier, with both free and paid for DLC dropping in their Hillbilly Horrors event. The free DLC delivers a new map, the residence of of the Wades, who make up the banjo-wielding new creatures that will hunt you down. But what will you use to kill them with? How about some community developed weapons?
Just like Team Fortress 2, Killing Floor will be bundling up community weapons as DLC. The Community Weapons Pack has four zombie killing armaments built by fans of the game, with the money kicking back to the modders. If you want to show Tripwire some gooey love, then you can always buy the new premium DLC character, the Chickenator. He's a half-chicken half-robot. There's also a bundle of new achievements that will lead to another unlockable character, the boney usher of souls himself: Death! Meanwhile, the game is 75% off while the event lasts, and all DLC is 50% off.
And if you think I made all that up, here's a trailer.
Speaking to PCGamesN, Tripwire Vice President Alan Wilson said the exclusion of modding tools from accessible genres -- most notably shooters -- is a choice they "really can’t wrap our heads around."
"Why would you stop people from modding your game?" he asked. "Why would you prevent people from being creative with your material? Just look what done for everyone concerned, for example. Arma 2 has been on the top-ten sales charts on Steam for about the last four months solid because of what one of their employees did for fun in his spare time."
Originally a team of spirited modders, Tripwire elevated to a full-fledged development studio after Red Orchestra took the grand prize in Epic's first Make Something Unreal contest. The standalone followup, Red Orchestra 2, gets its first expansion later this year.
"Frankly, we can see zero downsides to allowing people tools and letting them mod a game," Wilson added. "I never understand why companies effectively block people from doing that stuff."
Meanwhile, DICE recently reiterated that the closed environment it has established in Battlefield 3 should remain that way, warning players not to use a mod which affects the game's color saturation.
Excellent co-op kill-o-geddon Killing Floor now has Steam Workshop support, letting fans share maps, mods and weapons. The most popular mods include a version of Killing Floor that uses Doom 2 assets, a map set in hell, a version of classic Counter-Strike mod, Gun Game and a scythe. That's a pretty good cross-section of the sort of bonus extras we can expect from Killing Floor's active modding community.
Red Orchestra 2 will be getting Steam Workshop support soon as well. To celebrate, a Tripwire Steam bundle has been on sale all weekend at 66% off. There's still seven hours left on the deal, which includes Killing Floor (and all DLC character packs), Red Orchestra 2, Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45, The Ball and Dwarfs!?
Today in news we didn't post: new Remember Me screens, Killing Floor and Red Orchestra 2 are getting Steam Workshop integration (and they're on sale!), more Project Eternity details, and a Far Cry 3 video featuring voice over by Agent Huntley, who sort of sounds like Max Payne's less-clever cousin.
Killing Floor and Red Orchestra 2 are on sale, and both are on their way to Steam Workshop. Project Eternity will be using the Unity Engine, more stretch goals coming on Monday. The Far Cry 3 Official Island Survival Guide, ¿Comprende? Oh yeah, there are some new Remember Me screens. The RaiderZ open beta starts on October 24. Horror game Anna has been released, launch trailer seems to have the wrong music.
Mark Hadley is making a follow-up to Slender, called Slender: The Arrival. Scurry away now. UK artist Olly Moss is "disappointed" that Gearbox seems to have borrowed elements of his work in a piece of Borderlands 2 art. Sanic The Heghog in Team Fortress 2. Enjoy.
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.
Tripwire's WWII shooter Red Orchestra 2 gets its first expansion, Rising Storm, later this year. Yesterday, the dev posted a new gameplay video which shows off the expansion's Pacific Theater hallmarks, including booby traps, flanking spawn bunkers, flamethrowers, and banzai charges, all set within iconic battles including Tarawa, Kwajalein, Saipan, and Iwo Jima.
Rising Storm is a Tripwire-backed mod which turned into a full collaborative effort between the studio and the modding team. The standalone expansion -- which Tripwire says includes RO2's original multiplayer content as a bonus -- focuses on the war's Pacific front and the fierce jungle scraps waged between American and Japanese forces.
Apologies for the delay in getting this week's podcast to you, listeners. We had a technical issue whereby Chris' voice was very very quiet. It took a long time before we realised what was wrong: we knew he was trying to tell us something, but, well, we had no idea what it was.
This week Chris, Rich and Tom Senior gather to discuss Dota 2, Dragon Age 2, Spec Ops: The Line, The Walking Dead games, Killing Floor, Endless Space and more, including the Steam charts and your questions from Twitter.
Tom would like to offer his sincere apologies to oboists everywhere. He doesn't mean a word he said. Really.
Download the MP3, subscribe, or find our older podcasts here.
Tom Francis goes hands-on with Dishonored. Chris' Rome 2 preview and video interviews. Our Minecraft server. The PCG Planetside 2 forums. Gummy vitamins.
The Summer Sideshow event has taken over co-op survival horror Killing Floor, replacing all of your traditional hideous mutants with a freakshow of carnival themed monsters like an overenthusiastic sword eater and the Fleshclown, a monster with a talent for combining words that should never be together. You can find them and shoot them so hard they never come back on a new funfair level set among cardboard façades of heaven and hell. It's called Hellride, the perfect place to try out the five new weapons added by the update, which is free to all who own Killing Floor.
The Summer Sideshow will run until July 23. To celebrate, Killing Floor is half price on Steam, but only for the next 12 hours. If you're looking for something to blast through with friends, Killing Floor is a solid choice. Up to six players can team up to survive waves of mutants on some reasonably large, open levels. You can weld doors shut to manage the flow of the horde. Once you've got them in a bottleneck, you can start using Killing Floor's ultra-satisfying arsenal to turn them into zombie paste. Everything goes into slow motion whenever you or a friend take a headshot, which lets you revel in the carnage. Getting a headshot with a handgun rarely feels this good.
Find out more on the official Killing Floor site, and get more details on the new event on the Summer Sideshow page. If there's not enough zany in your life right now this Summer Sideshow trailer will fix that pretty quickly.