Major Steam sales come four times a year, generally towards the end of each season, showing insane markdowns on some of the service’s most popular titles. As in every sale, games like Skyrim and every Valve title were marked down about 75-80%, but I wanted to dig through the mess to find some more unique games featured in the sale. This year Steam decided to ditch the daily and flash sales and just do a straight sale, more than likely in light of their new refund system. This was a disappointment to many Steam users, including myself, who got a rush from checking the newest sales ever few hours. Nonetheless, there were still some great deals and, for the $30 I spent on the five titles I picked, it was well worth the sacrifice of the daily and flash deals. A few of these titles I’ve played before, and some I’ve just heard about, but whether on sale or not, I think each is worthy of your attention.
Shadow Warrior – $3.99
Shadow Warrior is a remake of a classic FPS that is a favorite among PC gamers that have been around for awhile. Thankfully, the game wasn’t toned down or tuned for modern sales, offering the same balls-to-the-wall fun that the original did. You play as Wang, who can only be described as a grade A badass. He’s sarcastic and vulgar as he chops through mobs of demons among the Asian inspired backdrop. Even in the couple of hours I’ve put into it, the game has made me laugh more than most games I’ve played, which is a nice change of pace to the serious military shooters that plague the market today.
If you want to take a break from the mindless action, Shadow Warrior also includes Viscera Cleanup Detail: Shadow Warrior for free; a game that’s original version skyrocketed through YouTube personalities. In this new version, Wang is required to clean up after a bloody battle in one of the first levels, a surprisingly good distraction to actually cleaning.
Another mindless shooter, Bulletstorm is something of a hidden gem. While there is an incredible lack of depth to this insanely fast paced shooter, it would be a falsehood to say that it isn’t fun. The system that combines melee and weapon-based combat into trick shoots is innovative and unique to Bulletstorm, completely changing the pace of the game.
The only fault in Bulletstorm is the Games for Windows Live requirements that had me ripping out my abundance of hair upon starting the game for the first time. However, after that was settled, the fun commenced and this small package of bloody joy is a great addition to any Steam library.
Democracy 3: Collector’s Edition – $10.19
Perhaps the polar opposite of both Bulletstorm and Shadow Warrior, Democracy 3 is an in depth and intuitive political simulator. It is probably lesser known than most titles on Steam and thus grants the title of a true treasure. The bubble splatted interface of the game may seem boring from screenshots, but I find it difficult to pull myself away from running my country even after hours of playtime. You assume the role of a leader whose only job is to get reelected. While you can’t please everyone, it’s nice to balance each demographic in order to get an overall bump in happiness from citizens. Or you can be like me and create a fascist military dictatorship and throw out the goal of the game entirely.
The collector’s edition features three pieces of DLC that allow you to put new policies into action. The most attractive of these DLC packs was the “Extremism” bundle for obvious reasons.
Rainbow Six Vegas 2 – $4.99
I’ve played Rainbow Six Vegas 2 back in the dark ages when I was still partaking in virtual worlds on a Xbox 360. However, after joining the master race, I’ve found it difficult to play one of my favorite tactical shooters to avoid giant brick wall that I like to call Uplay. In all seriousness, I’ve found this game for only a couple of bucks and have passed picking it up just to bypass the annoyance labeled as DRM. The Steam version is Uplay free, making this game an obvious choice for the Autumn Sale. The controls of intuitive and the tactical feel is perfect, making you feel like you’re a professional taking down terrorists as part of a team instead of a one man army. The cover system, customization, and weapon selection is still some of the best I’ve seen to date and has set the framework for many shooters since.
Rainbow Six Vegas 2 is an old title, and unfortunately it does show it’s age. The colors are washed out and the graphics dulled, probably due to the port being somewhat lazy from consoles. However, there is still plenty of fun to be had and I’ve been having it since I picked up the title on the last day of the sale. With Rainbow Six: Siege around the corner, it’s clearly a great option to get you pumped for the release.
The Stanley Parable – $2.99
I saved the best game and best value for last. The Stanley Parable is one of my favorite games of all time. I’ve played it on friends’ machines and through the demo on my own, and I’ve never found a more unique title. This title praises and discredits games, and laughs & weeps over the human condition. It is vague, yet in your face. It’s about nothing and about everything all at the same time. All of this may sound strange, but anyone who has played the game would agree with that description. It’s an experience that truly has to be lived through. Youtube videos simply don’t give the same feeling as being in control of Stanley does.
I love Davey Wreden, the developer of the game, and I just played through his newest title, The Beginner’s Guide. As much as I loved that game, The Stanley Parable still holds a special place in my heart. It’s witty and creepy, and some of the most thoughtful, yet some of the most fun, I’ve ever had with a game.
That’s my haul! I’m happy with the titles I’ve picked and they should serve me well going into the cold months. Make sure to leave whatever games you’ve picked up on this sale or others in the comments, or maybe just tell me a cool story of your favorite Steam sale. Even if you missed some of these titles while they were marked down, I would recommend every single one of them even at full price.