Lock up your wallets, board the bank account shut – The Steam Summer Sale is banging on the door, desperate to feast upon your funds. It’s pretty much Christmas in June for gamers, with hundreds of new, old, beloved and obscure titles all trying to melt some of those pounds (or dollars, in this case) to get that perfect game library figure.
If your willpower is waning, or you simply fancy something fresh to play, check out our top five picks for this year’s Summer Sale.
While the Steam sales are often filled with great deals, the truly fantastic discounts tend to steer clear of recent releases, doubly so for AAA games. You’ll be looking at 10 percent, maybe 20 percent off tops, while older games can stretch right up 80 or even 90 percent cuts.
So when you see a popular, recent, AAA release go down by 40 percent, it’s time to jump on that opportunity. While the new DOOM had a slightly shaky release, the fact is that everybody from T-Pain to your neighbours are likely smashing demons and stomping heads by now. If you’ve been holding back from pushing the button on DOOM due to the high price, now is the time to strike.
4) Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition
The Dark Souls series doesn’t appeal to everyone, it’s true. The difficulty curve can put people off, as can the required commitment to “git gud”. However, both the original Dark Souls and its sequels are an excellent example of a game that is both devilishly hard and (the more difficult of the two) wildly popular. Even people that didn’t enjoy this particular style of the game chose to pick up Dark Souls, and you can bet that it was the title that caused a fair number of people to rethink what challenge means in a game.
However, others likely held off from the Souls series, and now that we’re on the third iteration, it has become even more difficult to get involved without missing out on the (slightly odd) plot. Right now, Steam is giving you the chance to get right back to the beginning with a huge 75 per cent off. If you haven’t picked up Dark Souls yet, I think it’s about time you got good.
3) This War of Mine
Plenty of developers out there try to make a point through their creation. Political, ethical, artistic, the gaming industry is a medium for all kinds of thought experiments. There are very few, however, that have managed to mix this artistic expression with great gameplay and direct support for the cause they are representing. This War of Mine and its recent DLC The Little Ones does all this and more.
This War of Mine puts players in the shoes of the civilians during an unnamed war, desperately trying to survive long enough to see the combat through to the end. In an industry where you often only play as a soldier during such conflicts, this would be an interesting take on its own, but the fact that the developers are direct supporters of the charity War Child take it from a mere thought experiment to a product for a change. Right now, you can pick it up at a 75 percent discount – so if you want to support the people actually living through the experience you are playing in the game, you can do it much more easily during this sale. And you’ll get a fantastic title to boot.
2) Stardew Valley
Stardew Valley is one of those games that managed to take the titles that inspired it (Harvest Moon, in this case) and add its own unique twist, while also managing to keep the spirit of the ‘original’ alive and well. If you like kicking back, growing some plants, chatting to townsfolk, raising animals and generally working towards improving an otherwise rundown plot of land, then Stardew Valley has everything you could ever ask for.
I have sunk more hours into watering potatoes than I would care to admit, so I would recommend this game to anyone even at its full price (which is extremely reasonable for such a great game). However, right now, you can get it for 20 per cent less. While not as huge a discount as other titles on sale, this brings an already-cheap game to ludicrous value-for-money levels. If you fancy an escape from modern life, then you can pick up your ticket for an absolute bargain.
1) The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
If you don’t already own this game, then you have already been wasting a huge amount of time. Ranked as one of the best open-world titles, perhaps even one of the greatest games ever made, this should be in everyone’s library. Even if you haven’t played through the prequels (which you should also pick up while you have the chance), The Witcher 3 offers a deep plotline, a huge world to explore, monsters to fight and maidens to… um… “rescue”. Plus it spawned Gwent, which is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with on its own.
And, because it’s an AAA game that wasn’t released in the last six months, you can now score a seriously hefty 50 percent off the base price on Steam. Whether you’ve followed Geralt through his adventures in the previous installations or are a completely untrained Witcher recruit, it’s time to stock up on potions, hone your blade, and leap into battle – at a discount, of course.
What games are you picking up from the Steam sale this summer? Let us know in the comments below, and remember to stay tuned to The Nerd Stash for everything you need to know about upcoming games, movies and comic books!