We have some really brilliant offerings this week on Gaming on a Budget, two of which are from the same company—though they are wildly different games in terms of their spectrums and aspects explored.
Described as somewhat of a combination between Thief and Bioshock was the well-received Dishonored. Borrowing aspects from both, the game put you in the shoes of Corvo Attano—a palace guard charged with keeping the Empress of Dunwall safe. Failing in his charge, the Empress is killed and he is forced to flee. Plunged into a world of darkness and conspiracy, Corvo must clear his name and discover the actions of those who would conspire against the citizens of Dunwall. But are the people involved who they claim to be? I certainly won’t tell.
Dishonored was a very competent stealth title that let you play how you wanted to. If you wanted to play violently and go loud you could. All sorts of abilities were at your disposal, as were various weapons and special unique powers, harnessing dark magics. Every level is full of secrets, and as you progress your abilities grow stronger. You are faced with decisions as you go through, making the hard choices. Do you kill, or do you not? What will happen if you choose to poison a military general? Do you trick some into taking out for you? With a rather fantastic stealth system, Dishonored is well worth picking up, especially considering it’s entirely free for PS + members on PS3. Check it out.
Setting out to coast on the goodwill of the Descent series is Freespace: The Great War. It’s a shame too as Freespace definitely didn’t need any help in showing its greatness. With some of the most advanced controls in any Sim-game since the Flight Simulator series, it is easily one of, if not the most definitive space sim of all time. You will be challenged time and time again, fighting off Shivan invasions while hanging onto the edge of your seat as you battle in huge dogfights across the sky.
You are a pilot for the Galactic Terran Alliance and you’ve been in countless battles, but something feels wrong. This latest battle holds far more secrets than originally anticipated. You’re not just fighting the Shivans, and they seem to be far more powerful than previously. Something dark looms in the shadows, guiding their every move and strategy and it will take all your dog fighting prowess to emerge victorious and save the human race. This slice of space-age history is available on Steam for only $2.99, which is practically giving it away. This offer ends April 13
The next game on sale is what some would call a spiritual successor to classic CRPG’s of old. Dragon Age: Origins puts you in the shoes of the Hero of Ferelden, and individual with the power to help save mankind from the Blight. The Blight is somewhat of a plague sweeping through the land. Hideous creatures are rising from the land, as the Fade slips. Mages of the circle are being rounded up and slaughtered needlessly, but why? Whispers of blood magic are on people’s tongues, but can anyone do anything about it? Does anyone want to do anything about or would they rather just execute those desperate enough to try it? The Blight is upon the land and only you can save us.
With gameplay that borrows the gambit system from Final Fantasy XII, and combines it with a dash of Baldur’s Gate or Neverwinter Nights, Dragon Age: Origins is a look back to an age where roleplaying games didn’t hold your hand, and did whatever they could to demolish your party. Generally considered the best game in the series, Dragon Age: Origins is currently only $9.99 on Origin. That price is good for AU only at the moment. Spring Sale just ended here in the States and prices have gone back to normal for most of the Dragon Age titles.
Finally, this last game is easily one of my favorites. Sparking the highly successful, but also highly controversial sci-fi epic trilogy that really put Bioware on the map. Mass Effect tells the story of Commander Shepard—an Alliance navy soldier tasked with hunting down and eliminating a rogue agent of the Galactic Council. Shepherd is hit with a dangerous warning of things to come while out on a regulation scouting mission. One of the most revered SpecTR agents is mysteriously gunned down. Who did it? Did one of the Council’s best betray their calling, or could there be more to this traitorous betrayal and could it have something to do with those visions Shepard saw on Eden Prime? Time will tell.
Mass Effect went and took the strategy roleplaying game formula and decided to turn it on its ear. Issuing commands on the fly as you struggle to pull off the perfect headshot—there’s no other feeling like it. Choosing between one of a few classes drastically changes the gameplay. You can go in all guns-a-blazing as a Vanguard, or you can try and pick them off sneakily as an Infiltrator. Don’t like that? As an Engineer, you can hack into the enemy’s weapons and overheat them, or fry their circuits and heal your team. The choice is yours in this revolutionary sci-fi epic which changed the bar for roleplaying games forever. Mass Effect is currently available for just $7.49 on Origin. This price, again, is only effective in the AU at the moment. Origin throws Mass Effect on sale often and, in fact, the entire trilogy can be bought for $20.99 right now.
Some really great games this week, truly. If you can only afford one, then I suggest Freespace. It’s a game that no science-fiction geek like myself could pass up. That’s it for this week. I hope you enjoyed our picks this week. Follow us on Twitter if you like this segment.