With digital distribution becoming more and more prominent, online stores hawking downloadable games are a dime a dozen. But standing out from the pack is a new site called Good Old Games that focuses on bringing old, time-tested games into the downloadable era with low prices and no DRM. Though the service, currently in beta, is still young, it already shows signs of being a big deal for PC gamers.
Drawing from a pool of Interplay and Codemasters Windows classics, GOG currently features the likes of Fallout, Fallout 2, Freespace, Giants: Citizen Kabuto, Descent, and many more. The site updates every Tuesday with a handful of new titles, and there are more games due "soon," including Soldiers: Heroes of World War 2, Operation Flashpoint, and Colin McRae Rally 2005.
Prices on the classics currently range from $5.99 for games like Fallout 2 to $9.99 for games like Perimeter. Weekly sales bring down the prices on some of the old games, as well. The true selling point here, though, is that all of the games are completely DRM free and available by direct download through the site. Users can access their purchased games list just by logging into the site and they are free to re-download the game files, manual, and even other tasty bits like stand-alone game soundtracks, desktop wallpapers, and more—all without having to download a special download client or install any invasive software.
The front page of GOG (click for a better look)
In addition, the team at GOG has put much time into ensuring the old classics play on new computers. Working with groups like DOSBox to pack a powerful DOS emulator into games that require it and offering Audiere for high-level audio APIs, the GOG team has ensured that your old PC favorites play as you remember them on your fancy new gaming rig.
A game profile, with ratings, reviews, and requirements (click for a better look)
For a small upstart, the actual website itself is surprisingly polished and sharp-looking in its beta form. Games can be sorted by a number of criteria, including price, publisher, rating, genre, and so forth. Best sellers for the week are made prominent on the store section, as are sales and recommendations based on your purchasing habits. Account information is kept to a relative minimum, and credit card information isn't stored through sessions. Payment options are currently limited to Visa and Mastercard.
The account page with game downloads (click for a better look)
The site also features a relatively large, though currently quiet, community section. Games can be rated and reviewed by GOG users and rewards are handed out to contributing users. Moreover, each game in the library has a forum where players can discuss the title, find modding information, and organize multiplayer matches. The helpful team has already posted a number of how-to guides and modding links for players diving into old titles for the first time.
In an age of increasing amounts of invasive DRM, the GOG store look like a dream for PC gamers. Most of these games are impossible to find on store shelves these days, and GOG has made some PC staples available at reasonable prices with no DRM. With an expanding library, a support staff already hard at work building a strong community even in the early beta stages, and some excellent policies, Good Old Games is a stand-out new portal for our favorite games of yore.Posted on