You know me - never can resist a bargain, and yesterday I found two. The first was Far Cry in PC World for ?25. I was going to get GAME to price match it for me, but they didn't have any copies, because they'd only received half their pre-orders. GAME's loss was PC World's gain, naturally.
I played through the first mission last night (after what seemed to be the longest install and most incomprehensible intro movie in the history of civilisation) and my first impressions are very good. Graphically it's lovely, though to get a frame rate out of it, I needed to drop the resolution to 800x600, and keep the FSAA set to low, but it still looks great. The levels are huge, and the give you a lot of freedom to vary your approach to areas. I like the auto-adjust on the AI, which scales the difficulty to your actual ability, though it seems to me that pretty much annihilates the need for the four difficulty settings... Only played with two weapons so far, the Desert Eagle-a-like and the M4 carbine (which I'd used in the demo) and they're pretty solid, though I wish the zoomed "aimed" mode was through the iron sights like in Operation Flashpoint - why don't more games implement that? The buggy with the .50 cal on top is quite fun too. I managed a hit and run on a pair of grunts, which really showed off the physics system, which is also rather good, as you can push boxes off tables, knock things over, etc. It's also nice to be able to throw rocks to distract guards.
My second bargain of the day was driven by the purchase of Far Cry and also of UT2004. With the install for Far Cry weighing in at 4GB, and UT2004 being even more massive at 5.5GB, suddenly a quarter of my hard drive has disappeared. It's almost as bad as the old days when installing Mechwarrior 2 took up half of my 171MB hard drive on my P75. Fortunately, if talk is cheap, disk space is even cheaper. Thanks to a link courtesy of a loyal forumite on State, provided to me a week or two back, I now have a new 160GB Western Digital hard drive with an 8MB cache from these lovely people for just £74, including VAT and shipping. That's 46p a gigabyte. Or 0.00045p per megabyte. Considering that I paid roughly the same amount of money for a 4.3GB drive about five years ago, that's ridiculously good value. I should install it as a secondary hard drive towards the end of the week, meaning that I should be able to reinstall all my games again, with some room to spare. Yay!
I do love a bargain.