Ah, another week, another Steam deal. This week we're looking at the Shadowgrounds pack, which includes the original 2006 shoot 'em up and its sequel Shadowgrounds Survivor, both of them frenetic top down shooters with shiny graphics and many many things that go boom. Anyone who has ever been anywhere near any of the Alien Breed or Alien Syndrome games will feel right at home here.
Steam are offering the two of them at massively discounted prices for a day or two and if you'd rather just buy them one at a time, then Shadowgrounds itself will set you back £1.49, with Survivor costing marginally more at £2.24. However, if you fancy taking the plunge and going the whole hog, you can save yourself an extra few pennies (24 to be exact) by purchasing them together for just £3.49. The cheapest competitor we could find was Direct2Drive, offering downloads of just the original for £7.50, which means this deal will save you £6 on just the first game alone!
I'll be honest, Shadowgrounds isn't normally something I'd pay over the odds for. In fact, with a multitude of barnstorming top-down shooters available for free online (such as last week's featured Click To Play) I'd usually just walk on by. However, whilst Shadowgrounds might not win any awards for originality - there's a thin Aliens-esque plot involving an attack on a colony - the gameplay speaks for itself. It's a case of unrelenting, furious shooter action that'll be an absolute blast for any fans of the genre.
There are some issues, like the hastily patched-in respawn system, the lack of player-controlled vehicles, and a plot so thin that if it turned sideways it would disappear, but you won't really care because of all of the alien killing fun you'll be having. You can upgrade your weapons as you progress (a bit too easily) and there's plenty of jumpy moments, flickering lighting and more blood than a vampiric buffet. If top down shooters aren't your cup of tea then avoid this like the plague, but for those of you with itchy trigger fingers,and a hankering for some 2D violence then this is well worth picking up, especially at this price. I've seen bottled mineral water more expensive than this!
Could've done with some internet multiplayer, though...