S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl is Today's 99 Cent Games for Windows Live Offering

By Xav de Matos, Dec 06, 2010 12:50pm PST One of my favorite PC games could make its way to your gaming collection, if you're willing to part with a crisp George Washington. As today's Games for Windows "Daily Deal," the GSC Game World-developed shooter S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl is available for 99 cents (or 80MS Points).

If you're planning on picking the game up--or own it and haven't fired it up in a while--make sure to download the "Complete" mod, which adds a slew of enhancements to the game. The latest S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Complete 2009 mod kit is available right now, for free, on FileShack.

The Games for Windows marketplace is offering a new title for 99 cents each day until December 8. Previously the sale featured Viva Pinata and Deus Ex, among others.

More post-nuclear fallout action is planned for the far-flung future, with S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 planned for release in 2012. The series' most recent entry, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, launched earlier this year.

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  • Great deal, if I had any intention of ever using GFWL to buy anything.

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    • It's GFW Marketplace, not GFWL. So you just have to use the marketplace client to buy and download the game, and then you can quit it and forget about Microsoft's involvement completely (until the next time you want to reinstall the game). It won't add GFWL to the game, thankfully, and the client doesn't have anything to do with any DRM that is or isn't on the game. It's not great, and I'd recommend waiting for an equivalent Steam sale on STALKER, but for GFWM-exclusive titles there's no reason to avoid a $1.05 viva pinata or a $0.11 Age of Empires 3.

      The marketplace isn't great, it has the usual levels of Microsoft incompetence and lack of communication across multiple divisions, but once you've jumped through the hoops setting up your account and billing info across 3 or 4 different Microsoft sites (some of which require you to manually launch a browser and login to accept a TOS, some of which can be setup through the client), it works. It silently adds tax and you don't learn the actual total until you receive the receipt in the mail, but it works.

      You can then just login to the client and buy without too much trouble in the future. I'd skip trying to use a web browser, though -- they seem to be unable to handle caching on the web, and you'll often see the price change back and forth between the sale price and the regular price, when viewing the game, adding it to your cart, logging in, or trying to check out, in a sort of russian credit card roulette. Plus the website apparently adds additional regional restrictions which aren't there when you're going through the client. But the client gets special access and doesn't show the flip-flopping prices.

      The client itself is mostly functional. It doesn't show the current download speed, and has a ton of .NET dependencies which can cause random bugs and massive memory leaks if you aren't at the latest versions, and it relies on the Windows BITS service to do the downloading in the background via a flaky linkage, but it does work, usually. And the close button does actually quit without too many nags, unless there's a game downloading, in which case it reminds you that you must use the client to send a request to the service to stop downloading, otherwise it will continue downloading whenever Windows is running. But I haven't had to use the command line BITSAdmin tool yet, the client has handled communication with the service correctly, so far.

      Basically, I'd never use it for anything except these $1 bargains, and I'll probably never load it up again once I've installed the games. But it doesn't do too much damage in the meantime.