Digital distribution platforms feature regular special offers to lure in new customers. These exceptional deals can be used to your advantage as a means to quickly assemble a vast collection of great PC games at very low cost. But that requires regularly checking in on each and every digital download service for their latest deals, which can be a tiresome affair.
That’s where this weekly Discount Drone feature comes in. Within I take a weekly look at everything that is on offer and extract the best deals for your perusal. These are formatted by genre and accompanied by short and accurate descriptions, so that you can decide whether a game might be worth having. This includes special offers on: Direct2Drive, EA Store, GamersGate, Get Games, Good Old Games, Green Man Gaming, Impulse and Steam.
Only a few games truly stand out this week, namely the excellent fantasy-themed turn-based strategy game King’s Bounty: Armored Princess and the oddly successful mixture of half a dozen genres Space Rangers 2. But the real standout this week (and for the next couple of weeks) is the epic holiday sale over at Good Old Games which involves more than 290 great games at discounts of 30-50%.
Read on for more incredible deals and subscribe to GameDrone for weekly coverage of the best digital download offerings!
Deals of the Week
- Epic Holiday Sale on Good Old Games
More than 290 games are on sale over at Good Old Games with discounts ranging from 30-50%. As the service’s name implies these are (almost) all great older games and they’re available without any form of DRM and often come with extra goodies like soundtracks and wallpapers. This sale will last until January 3rd 2011 and includes many of the best games ever made.
- King’s Bounty: Armored Princess on GamersGate – Save 70% Today – 7,49 EUR
This stand-alone expansion pack offers an even better take on King’s Bounty’s excellent turn-based strategy/role-playing gameplay, with the introduction of flight, a dragon pet, new hero abilities, etc. Be sure to get this if you’re into fantasy turn-based strategy games with heavy RPG influences similar to Heroes of Might and Magic.
- Space Rangers 2: Rise of the Dominators on Impulse – Save 75% Weekend Deal – 3,77 EUR
Space Rangers 2 is a varied game that mixes countless genres into an engaging and over-the-top space adventure that you can’t afford to miss. The game combines text-based adventuring, planet-bound real-time strategy, arcade space shooter and role-playing game elements into a cohesive whole. This unfortunately doesn’t include the Reboot expansion pack that expands and improves upon the game in every regard.
- EA Store – Buy 1 get 1 free
Buy The Sims 3 and receive one of its expansion packs for free. A similar deal is in effect for Medal of Honor with the free games for that purchase being one of Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Dead Space, Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect or Mass Effect 2.
- Green Man Gaming – One unique deal each day until December 25th
Green Man Gaming will offer one extra special deal at a massive discount each day until December 25th in addition to ongoing bundle deals. The selection seems random so check back each day if you’re on the lookout for some cheap games. Click the right-hand banner on the Green Man Gaming website for the daily deal.
- Telltale Games – One unique deal each day until December 25th
Telltale will offer unique deals on one or more of their products each day until December 25th. These can range anywhere from great discounts on games to savings on game goodies like Back to the Future t-shirts. Today it’s 25% off all items in the Telltale store.
- Hitman Bundle on Get Games – Save 66% Weekend Deal – 10,21 EUR
This bundle consists of the first, second and fourth games in the Hitman series of third-person shooters. These aren’t your ordinary straight-up shooters, but place you in the role of an assassin who has to take out targets in generally open areas with a lot of NPCs. How the objectives are accomplished is generally left up to the player, but often involves sneaking about, silently taking down targets and using disguises to infiltrate buildings as opposed to blasting through hordes of enemies. The third game in the series is not included in this bundle for reasons unknown.
- Monday Night Combat on Steam – Save 10% Pre-order Deal (and beta access) – 10,34 EUR
Monday Night Combat is a class-based third person shooter multiplayer shooter that seems to combine Team Fortress 2 with the popular WarCraft 3 mod Defense of the Ancients (DotA). The Blitz mode sees 1-4 players fighting off endless streams of AI-controlled robots. The Crossfire mode is a 6 vs 6 competitive mode where each team protects their Money Ball while aiming to destroy the enemies’ Money Ball with the support of AI-controlled robots. Add in achievements, player tags, challenges, finishing moves, dedicated servers, a map editor, and exaggerated cartoon-like graphics with over-saturated colors and Monday Night Combat starts to look very promising indeed.
- Worms: Reloaded on Steam – Save 50% Weekend Deal – 9,99 EUR
A 2D sidescrolling action game involving worms with crazy accents, even crazier weapons and collectable hats. It’s a turn-based game in which you attempt to kill off the other team(s) of worms with over-the-top weaponry like the holy hand grenade and exploding sheep. Add in some modding support, achievements, leaderboards, a singleplayer campaign and multiplayer and you’ve got a fair purchase that should last quite a while.
- Ceville on GamersGate – Save 50% Weekend Deal – 4,98 EUR
A comical point-and-click adventure game in which you play a fallen tyrant who has turned to saving his kingdom.
- Dark Fall: Lost Souls on Impulse / Direct2Drive / GamersGate – Save 50% Weekend Deal – 9,99 EUR
The third entry in a series of horror-themed point and click adventure games. Lost Souls presents an eerie rundown village as its settings of choice and offers solid adventure gameplay and a decidedly creepy atmosphere. The somewhat cumbersome inventory and clumsy voice acting chip away at its appeal, but it’s still well worth a look for fans of creepy adventure games.
- Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space on GamersGate – Save 60% Weekend Deal – 11,98 EUR
The second season of Telltale’s comical new take on the Sam & Max adventure game franchise. Only five episodes this time around, but they tend to last longer, contain more challenging puzzles and generally improve upon the first season in every regard. Most notably it’s less repetitive in terms of characters and environments.
First Person Shooter
- ArmA: Armed Assault on GamersGate – Save 60% Weekend Deal – 9,97 EUR
ArmA is an excellent realistic military simulator similar to the original Operation Flashpoint in execution. This means that you’ll be faced with mission objectives spread across a large open region of conflict with completely realistic weaponry and vehicles. It looks a bit dated by modern standards and the AI is somewhat less than intelligent, but otherwise this is an excellent deal for fans of these kinds of shooters.
- Deus Ex Bundle on Get Games – Save 50% Weekend Deal – 9,98 EUR
This bundle contains both the gaming classic Deus Ex and its inferior sequel Invisible War. The former is an incredible first person shooter experience that should already be in your collection. Deus Ex presents a compelling story of conspiracy theories and corruption and ties it in with free form gameplay that allows for multiple ways to reach any objective and extensive character development. Invisible War is a slightly more limited experience that’s hampered by tiny levels – courtesy of the Xbox version – and dumbed down RPG aspects, but still manages to rank amongst the better first person shooters released to date.
- Far Cry 1 + 2 Bundle on Get Games – Save 50% Weekend Deal – 12,48 EUR
Take a tour of a tropical island populated by hostile people and creatures while on a rescue mission in Far Cry, then head into the dry deserts of Africa in its more realistic and deeper sequel that features an actual open world, albeit with annoying respawns. Both are excellent first person shooters that you really should be in your collection already.
- NecroVisioN: Lost Company on Green Man Gaming – Save 79% Deal – 3,- EUR
The latest title in the NecroVisioN franchise is actually a prequel that puts you in the shoes of a German soldier fighting off hordes of monsters during World War I. A good deal if you’re into arcade first person shooters with hordes of mindless monsters to blast your way through.
- Section 8 on GamersGate – Save 75% Weekend Deal - 4,99 EUR
This futuristic first person shooter focuses around special exoskeleton armors that allows marines to be dropped in from orbit, jetpack around the environment and take a whole lot of punishment. There’s a short, mediocre, singleplayer campaign that lasts for about 4 hours, but it mostly focuses around large-scale multiplayer battles that are mildly reminiscent of Tribes. It doesn’t live up to the Tribes legacy, not even that of Tribes: Vengeance, nor does it have much of a multiplayer scene, but at least it hasn’t been abandoned entirely, which makes it the next best thing.
- Dungeon Defenders on GamersGate / Impulse – Save 10% Pre-order Deal – 7,19 EUR
Choose a class, create a character and team up with three friends to defend your dungeon from waves of monsters! Add in a wide variety of towers, pets, loot, monsters, achievements, game modes and a storydriven campaign and you have Dungeon Defenders’ unique take on the tower defense genre. These digital pre-orders come with an exclusive familiar depending on the digital distribution service (Direct2Drive, GamersGate, Impulse or Steam).
- Gothic 3: Game of the Year Edition on Impulse – Save 50% Weekend Deal – 7,49 EUR
Gothic 3 is generally considered to be inferior to its predecessor despite its fancy graphics and impressive world design. It builds on the free-roaming nature of its predecessors, but doesn’t change much about the formula. The game was notorious for its bugs at release, but in later patches and the Forsaken Gods expansion pack these were largely resolved making it worth a look for fans of third person open world role-playing games.
- Gothic 3: Forsaken Gods on Impulse – Save 50% Weekend Deal – 9,99 EUR
The Forsaken Gods expansion pack offers mostly more of the same, but in an improved format. The interface is more user-friendly, there are new items to collect, new monster to slay and even the graphics have been improved. Most importantly this expansion pack resolves a lot of bugs that plagued the original game, turning it into the game that Gothic 3 should have been.
- Guild Wars: Eye of the North on NCSoft Store – Save 50% until December 29th – 7,49 EUR
Eye of the North is an expansion pack that builds on the story of the original Guild Wars Prophecies campaign and paves the way for the storyline heading into the highly anticipated fantasy MMORPG Guild Wars 2. It also introduces numerous new features into the mix such as challenging dungeons, improved graphics, the hall of monuments and much more. At least one of the three Guild Wars campaigns and a level 20 character is required to explore the areas added in this expansion pack.
- Codename Panzers: Cold War on GamersGate – Save 60% Weekend Deal – 15,98 EUR
Codename Panzer: Cold War is a solid real-time strategy game that puts American and Soviet forces against each other across 18 different skirmishes. It eschews base building in favor of more intricate tactical gameplay with a limited selection of units that’s required to capture and hold points on the terrain. It never quite manages to be as engaging as its predecessors due to more restrictive missions and smaller battles. Some of the singleplayer campaign’s missions can be played cooperatively, but not the entire campaign.
- Darwinia on Green Man Gaming – Save 83% Deal – 0,99 EUR
A retro-themed indie real-time strategy game where you have to save the Darwinians from extinction as a computer virus has infiltrated their world. It only features singleplayer, but is actually quite fun to play.
- Faces of War on Green Man Gaming – Save 92% Christmas Offer – 0,99 EUR
Faces of War involves small scale real-time strategy gameplay with heavy unit micromanagement similar to Soldiers: Heroes of World War 2. That involves managing units inventories and actions in far greater detail than in ordinary real-time strategy games. It’s also a very challenging game with extensive multiplayer support and 3D graphics similar of Company of Heroes.
- Spellforce 2: Shadow Wars on Impulse – Save 50% Weekend Deal – 7,49 EUR
Spellforce 2 offers an excellent mixture of RTS and RPG gameplay in an engaging and expansive singleplayer campaign. It’s good for more than 50 hours of gameplay and features both an overarching narrative and a multitude of sidequests. Spellforce 2 may largely have been overlooked by gamers at release, but it’s definitely worth picking up.
- Spellforce 2: Dragon Storm on Impulse – Save 50% Weekend Deal – 7,49 EUR
A large expansion pack to Spellforce 2: Shadow Wars that introduces a 30+ hour long singleplayer campaign and tons of new items, spells and a new race. The multiplayer component it introduced is unfortunately no longer officially supported, although GameRanger may be able to help with that, but it’s still a very good game.
- Civilization IV on GamersGate – Save 75% Weekend Deal – 2,50 EUR
Civilization IV represents the pinnacle of a franchise of turn-based civilization management games and can’t be missed by any self-respecting PC gamer. In this game you guide your chosen civilization towards world domination through diplomacy, warfare or culture while advancing through the ages from prehistoric times to the near future. The excellent expansion packs are unfortunately not included.
- Civilization III Complete Edition on GamersGate – Save 50% Weekend Deal – 3,48 EUR
Civilization III isn’t quite as impressive as its sequel mentioned above, but this complete bundle that includes both expansion packs is still worth a look. The fundamental gameplay is quite comparable, but not quite as broad of scope.
- Greed Corp on Steam – Save 10% Launch Deal – 8,99 EUR
Greed Corp is an interesting new turn-based strategy game that takes place on top of giant pillars that reach above the clouds. These pillars also form the foundation of the player’s economy and will collapse when they run out of resources. This unique dynamic results in a fun and fast-paced game that stays interesting for quite a while despite the limited unit variety. Both an extensive singleplayer campaign and excellent 4-player multiplayer component are included.
- Hearts of Iron II Complete on GamersGate – Save 70% Weekend Deal – 4,49 EUR
Hearts of Iron 2 is arguably the best game in this excellent series of World War 2-era grand strategy games. Take command of any nation and change the course of history as you battle through both World War 2 and World War 3. This complete package also includes both expansion packs.
- Sword of the Stars Complete Collection on Impulse – Save 50% Weekend Deal – 14,99 EUR
Sword of the Stars is an innovative 4X space strategy game that involves turn-based space empire management and real-time tactical battles. The most crucial innovation comes in the form of randomized tech trees, so that no two games will ever be exactly the same. Despite this randomization it’s actually the most accessible 4X strategy game ever made and the included expansions and DLC introduce a lot of additional features that truly push it to the top of the genre. An excellent game that’s well worth a look. This collection includes all expansion packs.
- Air Aces: Pacific on GamersGate / Impulse – Save 60% Weekend Deal – 19,99 EUR
An arcade flight simulator set in the Pacific arena of World War 2 with variable reality-mode settings for different flight experiences.
- Miner Wars 2081 on Impulse / GamersGate – Save 71% Pre-order Deal – 9,99 EUR
A space simulator with a fully destructible environment in both space and underground areas. It’s a combined single/multiplayer game that can be played cooperatively or versus and comes with joystick support as well as WASD + mouse. It supports battles with up to 300 ships, a wide variety of ships, numerous ship upgrades, full looting on all ships (similar to EVE Online) and 30 different factions to join. It’s hard to tell whether the game will actually be any good, but given the fact that it’s pretty much the only known upcoming space sim I’d say it’s worth mentioning by default. If you pre-order you will get access to the currently ongoing early alpha test.
- Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 Platinum on GamersGate – Save 50% Weekend Deal – 10,- EUR
Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 puts you in charge of a large themepark that you can build and manage as you see fit. It puts a 3D spin on its popular franchise with great success, letting you enjoy rides in first-person and look around the park that you’ve created. There are scenarios with challenges as well as an open sandbox mode to enjoy and this bundle also ships with both the Soaked! and Wild! expansion packs.
- The Guild 2 Collection on Impulse – Save 50% Weekend Deal – 24,99 EUR
This bundle contains The Guild 2 and all three of its expansion packs. The Guild 2 is a medieval life simulator with an emphasis on economic and political advancement. The expansion packs help squash most of the bugs that plagued the original and turn it into something that’s well worth a look if a realistic medieval life simulator sounds like your thing. Those looking for something more combat-oriented should opt for Mount & Blade: Warband instead.
- Test Drive Unlimited on GamersGate – Save 50% Weekend Deal – 4,99 EUR
A racing game that offers a wide-open island to drive around in a huge selection of cars that can be customized. Its key feature is the integrated multiplayer component which lets you see other players driving around your city, join clans and challenge each other for races. The game is hindered by so-so driving mechanics that aren’t quite simulation material, but certainly not arcade either. Damage models are non-existent, car sounds are unrealistic and the visuals lack that last bit of polish, but otherwise it’s a solid racer with a large tropical island to pollute.
Platform and Puzzle Games
- Blade Kitten on GamersGate – Save 50% Weekend Deal – 4,- EUR
Blade Kitten is a side-scrolling platform game with quirky 3D graphics. Its excellent and varied platforming gameplay is supported by a mediocre, but somehow still engaging, story about the bounty hunter Kit Ballard who sees her ship blown up and gets into even more trouble from that point on.
- Tomb Raider Bundle on Get Games – Save 66% Weekend Deal – 23,79 EUR
The three latest games in the Tomb Raider series on offer for a very acceptable price. These are all third person platformer games starring intrepid adventurer and archeologist Lara Croft who travels across the world in search of ancient and powerful artifacts. This involves a lot of climbing, jumping, puzzling and shooting. The latter more-so in Anniversary and Legend than the more recent Underworld.
- World of Goo on Green Man Gaming – Save 49% Deal – 8,49 EUR
Take charge of an armada of goo and use it to form all sorts of weird contraptions to solve puzzles. It’s charming, humorous and challenging.
Other Games and Mixed Bundles
- A Kingdom for Keflings on GamersGate – Save 66% Weekend Deal – 6,78 EUR
In this colorful city-building game you assume control over an avatar who can explore a fantasy world, go on quests, build up a village and help its inhabitants in gathering resources and improving their settlement. It also includes 4-player multiplayer.
- Go Commando on Green Man Gaming – Save 75% Christmas Offer – 5,- EUR
Included in this bundle pack are the two most recent top-down squad-based strategy games in the Commandos franchise: Commandos 2 & Commandos 3. These are generally considered to be inferior to their predecessors, but are still well worth playing for their challenging World War 2 era behind enemy lines scenarios. Strike Force is also included, which is a mediocre first person shooter loosely based on the Commandos franchise.
- Hacker Bundle on Green Man Gaming – Save 78% Christmas Offer – 11,48 EUR
A bundle pack that consists of three interesting indie games. The two Hacker Evolution games provide numerous hacking challenges that need to be overcome by the use of console commands in order to prevent a hostile AI from taking over the planet. Defcon is quite a different beast and puts the player in charge of a global superpower on the brink of thermonuclear war. In this case you don’t prevent the war from happening, but instead aim to win it by inflicting as many casualties as possible! With its distant global map view and cold statistics on nuke efficiency this is definitely not your average heroic real-time strategy game.
- Shooter Bundle on Green Man Gaming – Save 50% Christmas Offer – 24,99 EUR
This bundle consists of three very different first person shooters. Painkiller: Black Edition lets you go in all-guns-blazing against hordes of demonic enemies in a grim mythical setting. It’s over-the-top and crazy, but that’s what makes it so good. Mafia on the other hand is a brilliantly executed story-driven shooter set in 1930s and is an absolute must-have for all fans of Mafia movies and good singleplayer shooters. And Borderlands is a great co-op shooter with a random loot system based on action RPGs like Diablo.
- THQ Ultimate Bundle on Impulse – Save 68% Deal – 93,64 EUR
This is a bundle of some of THQ’s best PC games. It includes the entire Company of Heroes series of World War 2-era real-time strategy games, along with Warhammer 40.000: Dawn of War and Supreme Commander and their respective expansion packs. Proper first person shooters are also included in the form of the entire Red Faction franchise and both Full Spectrum Warrior games. The excellent Action RPG Titan Quest and its Immortal Throne expansion are also included, along with the superb free-roaming singleplayer FPS S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. The racing game Juiced 2 and zoo simulator World of Zoo round out the package.
- Uplink on Green Man Gaming – Save 83% Deal – 0,99 EUR
In this game you assume the role of a freelance hacker. Take on jobs and upgrade your tools with the earnings as you progress through the game’s plot.