It wasn't long ago that budget games weren't much more than simply being low priced cut down version which didn't really stand up to full priced titles. During more recent years a number of budget ranges have appeared, including the Focus Essential range which is made from a number of leading Ubisoft titles.

Focus Essential budget range

IL2 Sturmovik is easily one of the best combat flight simulations currently available, and puts some of the more established flight games to shame, with it's excellently terrain system and a good selection of Russian, German and American planes.

Despite being just over two years old IL2 still has a huge fan base, which means there's always active servers running which makes for highly enjoyable online multiplayer missions - especially when played in 32 player dogfight mode or the 16 player co-operative teamplay.


Myst III Exile is the third title in the point-and-click series and is so huge that it comes on four discs (making the budget price seem even more value for money), and immerses you in a world of fully photographic landscapes used throughout the adventure giving you a full 360 degree view of the areas which your character gets to explore.

The game is very easy to get in to and very hard to put down again once you've started, thanks to the highly involving storyline and real-time acting which takes place throughout the virtual world, helped by the fact that there's plenty of puzzles to be solved at various points during the exploration.


Destroyer Command fills a gap in what appears to be a pretty large void when it comes to PC games, as Naval simulators seem pretty few and far between and usually focus on non-graphical strategy elements such as sending fleets to specific locations for battle.

Fortunately Destroyer Command does things a bit differently and features a number of historical missions based on real World War 2 battles, which are represented in full 3D action from the ship's stations, and allows you to attack the enemy vessels and aircraft with a range of torpedoes, cannons, depth charges and a battery of guns on deck.


When you consider that each game in the Focus Essential range retails at just 9.99, it means you can buy all three games for less than the price of one title only a little more than a year ago, and shows the true value which can be got, and both IL2 Sturmovik and Myst III Exile still stand up well against other more recent releases.

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PC review: Focus Essential budget range