Poll Question 348 – Are you buying older games on Steam?

2nd June 2016

I have a pretty good collection of FPS in boxes and every year I say “I’m gonna install some of those and play them”. Of course, I never do as something shiny comes along, but this year I might actually do it.

In the past it could be quite difficult to get really old games to work on modern PCs but now you can buy a lot of them directly from Steam which means no set up (YAY).

But since i hate spending money, I don’t see why I should buy them on Steam since I already own them. It might be possible to input the code into Steam and get the game but all my games are in the basement and just getting upstairs will be effort enough.

So, onto this week’s poll question…Are you buying older games on Steam?

Who can tell me the name of the game in the featured image?

Time to vote

Are you buying older games on Steam?

  • No, I am like Phillip and hate spending money. (15%, 11 Votes)
  • Maybe, but only my favourite games. (58%, 43 Votes)
  • Yes, I try to get everything on Steam. (27%, 20 Votes)

Total Voters: 74

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  1. Heinz

    Game featured in the image is System Shock 2^^

  2. Yes and I’d love to see more older and obscure games be released from the confines of needing a disc and make their way to Steam.

    Imagine getting to purchase Gunman Chronicles and getting to see it in your Library, not as a non-steam game or mod, but an actual Steam powered application.

  3. I basically only use Steam to buy older games (or indies). Newer ones don’t run on my crappy-ass personal laptop, but there’s a lot of great oldies I never played so, whenever a classic gets a discount, I tend to grab it. I’ve even done it with some games I already owned just because it’s more practical to have it on Steam.

    That said, in the pre-refund days I often found myself buying an old game just to find out it doesn’t run, and struggling to get it to work with fan-made patches that sometimes conflict with Steam. It got bad enough that I recently jumped to GOG.com and now prefer to buy older games there, since they do a better job trying to get them to work on modern PCs.

  4. I buy a lot of old games. I actually bought System Shock 2 last year or so but it didn’t motivate me to complete it, stopped playing after 2 hours or so. It has aged very bad IMO, even though I played all Bioshock games, so I was used to some of it’s features.
    I also played Quake 1 and 2 for the first time in 2015 or so, and I fell in love with Quake 1, but I HATE Quake 2, REALLY bad game IMO.

    1. I think it might be one of those games where you either got into it when it came out, or it’s just too tough to get in. Like how so many kids can’t handle Half-Life 1 because of the outdated graphics, old-school gameplay and comparatively archaic (although at the time revolutionary) scripted sequences.

      1. I disagree completely. Half-Life 1 is extremely simple to play, the controls of the game are exactly like every FPS today and it doesn’t have 100 million menus where you have to do weird things. That’s what annoyed me the most about SS2, it’s full of menus which weird things and it’s extremely slow.
        I know a lot of people who played Half-Life 1 for their first time in this time and they had no problems, just got stuck a few times here and there. I don’t know about kids, but I don’t care about them anyway.

        1. Look around online and see how many people say to play Black Mesa instead of Half-Life 1. Just look it up, Google it, whatever. It’s not about agreeing or disagreeing, it’s facts.

          1. ehm, but that doesnt mean that Half-Life is unplayable. Of course people prefer Black Mesa xD
            I mean, I dont understand your point here exactly. When there is a new version, why not play that?
            But if you ask me I would always say play the original first, but if you play Black Mesa first, that wouldnt be a problem to me.

            1. My point was more that a lot of people can’t even play Half-Life 1 based on those outdated elements (I’ve heard that a lot, believe me) and it’s so common that people just say “play Black Mesa” instead.

              As for “When there is a new version, why not play that?”: it’s a remake, not the original. You’ve never noticed how much people tend to hate remakes? They’re rarely, if ever, as good as the original. Black Mesa is amazing, it truly is, but it doesn’t replace the original Half-Life. At all.

              In fact, a bit of a tangent here, but let me tell you a personal story of mine: I love Metal Gear games. My first one was actually a remake of the original PSone MGS, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes. I love that game, it must be the game I’ve played through the most in my life (I’ve lost count, maybe 30). Fans of the original tend to hate it to death, and I see some of their points, but it’s still a really great game.
              I never played the original version, which looks like ass in comparison to TTS and doesn’t have half the gameplay features, until years later when I bought it on PS3. And guess what? It’s better! It’s older, it looks a lot worse, it doesn’t play the same, but it’s overall a more polished experience. I actually prefer it to TTS now and would more quickly replay it than the remake (though, to be fair, I did replay the remake recently).

              All that just to say… if there is a “newer version” that is a remake rather than a remaster (i.e. the exact same thing with a new coat of paint), you’re usually better off with the original. 😉 And even with remasters, sometimes the original artistic vision is lost!

              1. Even though I respect the amount of work that has gone into Black Mesa, it is an inferior game to the original simply by virtue of the bizarre and often arbitrary changes they made to gameplay.

                Seriously, for the life of me, I have absolutely no idea why they don’t have some kind of “purist” mode that restores the original weapon and movement values. To make such changes is to insist you know better than Valve does, and I’m not certain they do.

                1. I agree

                  although there are rebalance mods on the workshop

    2. System Shock 2 takes a while to get going though. The first couple levels, the Medical and Engineering decks, really aren’t that interesting. It’s not until you get to Hydroponics and Recreation that things really start to get twisted and the same qualities as BioShock become really evident.

      It’s not a game I finished either, though. I made it to The Body and was hopelessly out of luck and frustrated with the gauntlet of one-hit-kill enemies at that point. I wasn’t having fun anymore. But as an academic curiosity, SS2 was interesting. If only to see how so many of BioShock’s concepts were done years before it was. What it kept, what it removed, etc.

      1. ” If only to see how so many of BioShock’s concepts were done years before it was. What it kept, what it removed, etc.”

        yeah that was the reason I wanted to play it. Also because people kept comparing Glados to Shodan (at the times when Portal 2 came out), so I wanted to check that out too.

        1. GLaDOS and SHODAN do have a lot in common. I personally think SHODAN is a bit cheesy by modern standards – she is only as scary as a 14.4 modem going off in the middle of the night is scary – but the fact remains that you cling to every word she says because the delivery is so bizarre.

          I agree with a lot of the fat-trimming that BioShock did with formula, but I think one of the big things about System Shock 2 that I really enjoyed was that the world of the Von Braun felt like Metroid. As the different decks become accessible, you are free to travel between them at will, and you’ll have to in order to complete objectives. The world feels like a coherent whole and that’s something that was missing in BioShock, which just feels like a series of levels.

          Because the game remembers where you drop items, I wound up setting up my “base of operations” in the elevator car and as the objectives would take me between floors, I would have to figure out the best way to get there and arm myself accordingly. No one tells you to do that. It just feels like the rational thing to do. And I think that’s the best thing about System Shock 2 in a nutshell.

          1. that sounds cool, but I think I’ll wait for the remaster of the first system shock and play that.
            And System Shock 3.

            Btw I had no problems playing Deus Ex 1 and I absolutely loved every single second of it.

  5. bobdog

    Unfortunately, not all older Steam games are completely compatible. For best bet, get them from GOG, as all of those games have been formatted to run right out of the gate on today’s systems.

    For System Shock 2, you can get some mods that will spruce up the gameplay significantly from vanilla gameplay. Google “How to get the most out of system shock 2” and it will point you to SystemShock.org, with precise instructions on how to install basic mods: hd textures, hd soundtrack (!!!) and all bugfixes and tweaks created over the years. These include ADAOB(bugfixes), SHTUP(hdtextures), Four Hundred-AccFam (bettergeometry), SHMUP (hdsound), Tacticool(hdweaponmodels), and Vurt’s Hi-Res Space(hdouterspacetextures).

    Interestingly, an Enhanced Edition of the original System Shock has been released, and the same company is now creating a modernized version of the game, possibly to come out late 2016 or in 2017.

    1. those System Shock 2 mods only improve the techincal stuff. I stopped playing because of the aged gameplay.

      Also, did the remaster of the original System Shock already came out? I thought they are still working on it?

      Also most old games on Steam ARE the same version as on GOG. At least for games like System Shock 2 or Total Annihilation.

      1. Unq

        Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Give me SS2’s gameplay any day over lame cover-based shooting in between cutscenes.

  6. Or in other words, “Are you buying older games on Steam?” No, I don’t, but I do, exclusively at GOG!

  7. Older games on Steam tend to be gimped compared to their GOG releases. GOG gives you a lot of bonus content, like the soundtracks, PDFs of the original manuals, etc. Not to mention entire games for free sometimes. I got Fallout and Duke 3D for the low price of nothing.

    I don’t have too many old PC games I revisit, though.

  8. Mega Sean 45

    The last old game I got was Oblivion. It’s really fun! The guards aren’t as ridiculous in this game than on Skyrim. XD

  9. Older games tend to be easier to pirate, so I don’t buy them off Steam.

    What I DO buy are games with a load of replayability, like Portal 2, Half-Life 2, STALKER, Deus Ex, and so on…

  10. I do buy older games on GOG because it’s DRM-free and they give you some extra stuff (e.g. soundtrack, manual, wallpapers, etc.).
    But I usually check whether my money will go to the developers of such game. In some cases the licenses on these games belong to some evil publishers, like in case with all of the id Software games – you can be sure that most of the money will go to Bethesda (and even if it’s not the case, none of the actual developers of Doom or Quake are working at id Software nowadays).

    1. That seems like an impossible demand though. People leave companies. That’s just how it is.

      To me, the money still goes to id because their lengthy development times have to be financed somehow. I think Rage was 4-5 years ago, and before that, Doom 3 was all the way back in 2004. Not everyone has the luxury of having a continuous revenue stream like Steam. Even though new Doom will be a critical success, I’m confident it was quite expensive to make.

      But the point is taken on most old games, though. In the case of Descent, for example, publisher Interplay had been withholding royalties to the original devs since 2007. They were smart enough to have a deal to get royalties. Most don’t.

  11. asterixer

    Just bought “Postal2” because it was very cheap. Its fun to play 🙂

  12. I have a lot of old games, however currently I don’t wanna spend too much money generally. So, I guess it’s maybe for me.

  13. Have not played System Shock 2 in a while. It was an interesting game and involved a lot of backtracking throughout the ship. I even had my favourite storeroom for extra weapons and goods set up conveniently located near a phaser charge point!
    I have been looking at older games and may give a few a try. I had some installed on my ‘XP PC but that ransom-ware hack forced me to wipe and start again with a clean Win 7 setup. Lately found out that those people had released the codes. Maybe they hacked the wrong person, ha ha!
    And yes; some of the games I had were free versions like the Blade Runner game and of course SH 2!
    Like Phillip I prefer the zero cost versions!

  14. Unq

    Very timely poll! GOG just started their Summer Sale, where you can get System Shock 2 for free! See https://www.gog.com/summer_xp

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