All good things must come to an end, and this is a friendly reminder that Humble Indie Bundle 6 will sadly expire at 23:00 tonight.
It's one of the most impressive indie bundles yet: a perfect fusion of massive quality and lesser-known titles that deserve your attention. You can see all the games in the banner above, but you'll only need to check out our 9/10 Dustforce review, 9/10 Vessel review, 8/10 Rochard review, 8/10 Jamestown review and 8/10 Wizorb review to know that you need to get involved to avoid seriously kicking yourself down the line.
This week's selection of Xbox Live Arcade deals is actually rather good (a nice change of pace), featuring a selection of great games at great prices. And a few absolute howlers like Daggerdale and Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team to avoid like the plague, just for variety.
For your convenience, we've got all the marketplace links, prices and even reviews rounded up below.Torchlight and Hard Corps: Uprising are definitely the standout bargains.
Remember that you'll have to be an Xbox Live Gold subscriber to access the deal of the week, but a standalone Konami sale is open to all.
Deal Of The Week (Gold Members Only)
The latest selection of festive Steam deals is fairly disparate, but there's something here for everyone. Blur and Brink are both down to £3.74 and both worth taking advantage of at this price level. The Mass Effect and Operation Flashpoint games are also cheap as chips, while the indie loving is brought to you courtesy of Limbo, SkyDrift and Torchlight. Space Marine, however, is not much of a deal - since Zavvi will happily sell you a physical copy for five pence less. I suppose that Steam will be your best option if you really need it before Christmas, though.
Us loot-grinding action RPG fans are starting to get real desperate (and feral, even) during the unbearable wait for Diablo III. Things were looking bleak... and then in strode Runic Games like a level 90 Paladin and buffed the lot of us. Torchlight takes the best bits from Diablo, cuts out the stuff that doesn't work, streamlines the hell out of everything and emerges as a truly exceptional action RPG. My advice would be to play as the alchemist, who can wield the most ridiculous laser beam I've ever seen outside of an 8-Bit shooter. We've only got a review for the XBLA version, but it should do if you need some more info.
Torchlight, Runic Games' overtly familiar homage to Diablo, has sold well on both PC and Xbox Live Arcade... but there may be trouble ahead for the sequel. Torchlight 2 is set for release this summer, and Runic's Max Schaefer explains that Blizzard's juggernaut franchises will impact their upcoming title in a number of ways. Mainly because they'll be too busy playing Diablo III to get any development done.Click here for more details...
Platform: XBLA (1200 Microsoft Points)
Developer: Runic Games
Publisher: Xbox Live Arcade
Loot Grinders have received short shrift this console generation, but Torchlight sets out to deliver a streamlined take on the beloved genre. Switching from the traditional PC to the Xbox 360 was a brave and controversial move, and I'm delighted to report that Runic Games' decision has been thoroughly justified by a refreshingly pure dungeon-crawling experience.
Torchlight does its utmost to ensure that players aren't separated from the action with obtrusive cutscenes or an overblown plot. Your trawl through its deep dungeons involves a search for an insane mage and a desperate bid to rid your body of magical corruption, but it's nowhere near as involved as you'd expect from an RPG. A smattering of skippable scrolling text provides only the flimsiest excuse and context for the dungeon-crawling, meaning that you'll be slaying your first horde and grabbing your first loot drop within scant minutes of starting a new character. Personally I appreciate this emphasis on gameplay over exposition, but be aware that this makes Torchlight an exercise in grinding for the sake of it. If you're looking for strong characters and an emotional rollercoaster ride, Torchlight simply isn't the game for you.
This puts the spotlight firmly on the gameplay itself, which is as close to the classic Diablo formula as it's currently possible to get on a home console. You'll trawl through massive, sprawling dungeons on a never-ending search for phat lootz; encountering hordes of smaller enemies, randomly-generated unique monsters and the occasional major boss. Your character becomes more and more powerful (as well as more influential thanks to the innovative fame system) the more you grind, with two familiar coloured globes showing off your health and replenishing mana. When you need a break or run out of inventory space, a quick town portal scroll will whisk you back to the town of Torchlight; which is as convenient and streamlined as you'd expect. The core experience may not be as deep as other RPGs - and it's certainly nothing new - but it's immediately accessible, ruthlessly addictive and fantastic fun.Click here to continue reading our review!
Microsoft and Sony have given their keynote speeches at this years Consumer Electronics Show... and there are a few little announcements hidden behind the usual posturing and posing. For your delectation, here's the whole shebang in digestible bitesize form.
Did we miss anything important? Excited about this year's CES- or was it a bit of a damp squib? Drop us a line in the comments!
This is probably the biggest news from CES 2011. Intel have revealed their new Sandy Bridge processor, which is the first 32 nanometer-based chip on the market. Apparently it will offer "a console-like experience on the PC," which means less messing around with graphics options and drivers before being able to play the games themselves. Sandy Bridge will apparently also provide lower manufacturing costs along with improved performance and cooling rates, which will hopefully guarantee a competitive launch price.
Valve's Gabe Newell stepped up to the plate and praised the new chip, stating that "it’s a real game changer." Portal 2 will apparently be optimised to run on the Sandy Bridge processor when it releases later this year.
This week brought us the (sadly inevitable) news that the PS3 has been completely hacked to play backup games and movies by copying Blu-Ray discs to the Hard Drive. Known as PS3 Jailbreak, this applet uses a combination of software and a USB dongle. We take a dim view of piracy here at Dealspwn... but in an ironic twist, the Jailbreak software and device has itself fallen victim to imitation and subsequent competition.
PS3 Jailbreak are now urging consumers to support their developers by buying the "original solution" in the wake of their own piracy device being pirated. There's something... genuinely poetic about the whole situation.
During our Gamescom preview, we learned that Portal 2 is slated for a February 9th release... and not much else. We were hoping to get some more information about the cooperative mode, but luckily GT managed to get an extremely short gander at how it's going to work.
For your delectation: robots, terminal velocity and a button slam dunk.
Deathspank gave us a funny, flawed and surprisingly pretentious taste of downloadable loot grinding- and it's practically alo0f on both XBLA and PSN. However, Runic Games' Torchlight is headed to both downloadable marketplaces and has now been strongly hinted for a Christmas release.
In an interview with Joystiq, Runic Games CEO Max Schaefer revealed that they were looking for a release "by the holidays"... and that the sequel would also be heading to consoles after the springtime PC and Mac debut. [Joystiq]
A while back, we hypothesised that Scottish Studio Realtime Worlds (creators of Crackdown and ABP) was on the ropes... and it sadly seems that our fears were confirmed. Over 60 staff members were laid off in a brutal speech that forced them to march out individually to collect their severance package and leave the building.
At least they aren't going to have to worry about employment. 23 have been rehired for a new project, and from the whispers that we heard on the trade floor, a number of other big-name developers are doing their best to secure some experienced talent on the cheap. [Gamesindustry]
Another day, another deal. And another million people dying from all sorts of unnecessary exercise and beach-related mishaps. Don't go outside- it's dangerous out there. Luckily, the Steam Summer Sale is giving us plenty of reasons to stay inside... where it's safe. Note that you've only got a few more hours to take advantage of this sale!
Valve have been wowing us with incredible deals on their own games this summer- and once again, they've beaten the competition by a huge margin. The cheapest new physical copy will currently set you back £12.99 from Sendit...meaning that downloading from Steam will set you back a cool £8. More than worth the lack of a box and paper manual, methinks. Left 4 Dead is a fantastic and intense cooperative experience that pits you and 4 companions against... and adequately illustrates the dangers of going outside.
Shatter takes the original Brick Breaking concept and takes it to an entirely new level. Dynamic physics, an eyepopping contemporary art style and epic boss battles makes Shatter one of the most impressive Indie experiences to come out of left field- and now you can pick it up for less than a cheap bus ticket. Recommended.
Tired of waiting for Diablo III to make an appearance? Looking for another addictive isometric loot grinder to tide you over? Well look no further. Torchlight's a capable little action RPG that's well worth checking out at this price (which will save you over £7, incidentally). Expect swords, spells, crowd control and a helpful pet to cart your loot back to the shops. Mac users can also get involved thanks to its dual compatibility!
Sometimes Steam comes through. It's quite rare, as the bigwig digital distributor is often so laughably expensive that its 'deals' still manage to fall under the umbrella of daylight robbery, but nonetheless there are times when an independent's gem of game suddenly falls sharply in price for a day or two and an excited little buzz goes around the Dealspwn office.
Torchlight, last year's critically acclaimed, dungeon-crawling Diablo-wannabe is one such game, and Steam are now offering the RPG for just £3.75, which is about £9 cheaper than you can get it anywhere else at the moment. Admittedly, this is part of the weekend deal so it'll bounce straight back up come Monday morning but remember, being a digital distributor, you won't have to worry about them running out of stock any time soon.
Torchlight doesn't break the mould when it comes to the dungeon-crawler genre - you attack, win, rinse and repeat, all the while picking up increasingly statistically-inspiring loot to bring the pain a little harder on your enemies, but for those of you hungering for a little snifter of some hack'n'slash RPG action while you wait for Diablo 3, this provides a wonderfully executed diversion.
The graphics, whilst perhaps not stunning, certainly result in some good presentation that won't kill your average machine, the class system is fairly traditional as you start in one of three classes - Destroyer, Vanquisher or Alchemist (read Warrior, Thief and Mage) - and with the addition of the 'infinite dungeon' there's almost endless replayability. There's some excellent modding support thrown in there too for those of you who enjoy crafting and tinkering for yourselves, and it's certainly a surefire genre-pleaser.
Whether or not it will appeal to anyone not a huge fan of dungeon-crawling is a touchy area. You see, what plot there is might be considered laughable and Torchlight really doesn't do anything too new, but it does prove frighteningly addictive. This is streamlined RPGing, and perhaps it doesn't really have any right to be this good - I, after all, am a bit of a plot junkie - but that urge to just get one more level, or test out a new piece of hard-earned loot is stronger than ever with this little game.
Definitely worth a look for...well....pretty much anyone this weekend. Especially if it keeps on raining.