The Steam Summer Sale has now launched, with thousands of games all discounted, including some at their lowest ever price. As Valve often do, they’re using this sale to introduce some new features to steam, including some kind of market-mechanism points-based system for gifs and such. I don’t really understand what Valve is going for with this points store, but apparently I already have 466 points accumulated, so maybe I’ll buy a Goo from Into The Breach.
The points store launching is just a sideshow, the main event is, of course, the sale, with some great discounts available on some games that are certainly worth your time. We’ve scoured the sale for the highlights, and here are our top ten games from the Steam sale.
Doom 64 – $1.49/£1.19
Freshly remastered just a few months ago, this release of what was previously the only Doom game that remained exclusive to an older console, this was the Doom game originally created specifically for the N64 back in the 90s. It’s a continuation of the lineage of Doom and Doom 2, with a look and feels that is clearly based on those classic games, but with a few unique tricks and level design elements to make it stand out. Highly recommended at this impulse purchase price. You could also check out this mod for the original Doom that adds the weapons from Doom 64 if you find yourself enjoying them.
Flower – $1.74/£1.29
A beautiful and relaxing game that sees you controlling a petal on the breeze, as you explore serene valleys collecting other petals, and bringing like back to the world. It’s a relatively short game, and it’s far more about chilling out and enjoying the scenery than it is about conquering any enemies or trying to beat your high scores, but this is totally worth a look if you’re after a game to play to unwind.
Gris – $6.79/£5.79
This is a 2D platformer with incredible hand-drawn 2D art, where the environment design and character animation really stands out. There’s some fantastic use of subtle visual details, and some really bold use of strong colors and clean lines. There’s an interesting narrative weaved into the game that will gradually unfold as you progress, exploring themes like processing past trauma. Worth a look.
Hollow Knight – $7.49/£5.49
This is a tough as nails Metroidvania, with some really punishing boss fights, and very little in the way of handholding. You even have to work to access basic functions like a world map. The punishing difficulty is paired with some really oppressive feeling levels, so you really do feel like you’re not supposed to be in these areas that you explore. It’s got very harmonious game design and world-building, so the haunting tone and challenging mechanics feel like they go hand in hand.
Mirror’s Edge – $1.99/£1.79
A personal favorite of mine, this is somewhat of a flawed game, where there are a few spots in the game that feel a little under-cooked, and the controls aren’t absolutely reliable 100% of the time. But where it shines is the incredible feeling of running at full pelt across the rooftops, leaping from building to building. It takes a bit of time and effort to master, but it’s so rewarding once you get the hang of it. I would advise that you skip all of the cutscenes between levels though.
Shatter – $0.99/69p
One of the better examples of a modern-retro game, where they’ve taken the classic concept of Breakout, and rebuilt it for the modern era. This has a lovely bright and modern visual aesthetic, with flashy colors and slick animations. It’s also got a few clever twists on the breakout formula, with physics-based interactions between the pieces you’re trying to destroy with your ball, and a bunch of clever and creative powerups. A steal at this price.
Soma – $2.99/£2.29
This is a first-person sci-fi horror from Frictional Games, makers of Amnesia: The Dark Descent. It’s intended to be a scary experience, although if you’re just interested in the hard sci-fi plot you can in fact turn the monsters off with the game’s “Safe mode” and enjoy it that way.
Undertale – $3.39/£2.37
This is the best lowest price this cult RPG has ever been on Steam, so it’s bound to be popular in this sale. This is an RPG somewhat modeled after Nintendo’s Mother series, with the unique hook that combat scenarios can either be resolve with a fight or with simply having a conversation with your attacker. It’s got a very unique narrative tone, and a killer soundtrack. Highly recommended at this very low price.
Vanquish – $4.99/£3.74
For my money, this makes most other third-person shooters feel obsolete. Who wants to play a dull cover shooter where you’re hiding behind walls most of the time, when you could be playing Vanquish, with rockets on your feet, darting about the place at extreme speeds. If you like your action fast and relentless, this is going to be right up your alley.
The Yakuza Bundle – $26.97/£21.35
All three of the Yakuza games that are out on Steam have been generously reduced, so that’s Yakuza 0, Yakuza Kiwami, and Yakuza Kiwami 2. You can get them individually for cheap, or you can get all three for a combined discount. These are somewhat absurd games that blend the gritty Tokyo criminal underworld, with fights where you beat people up using a bicycle. These games are serious when they need to be, absurd when they want to be, and overall just a lot of fun.
Some additional honorable mentions from the sale:
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom – $17.99/£14.99
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice – $8.99/£7.49
Devil May Cry 5 – $19.99/£17.49
Crayola Scoot – $1.99/£1.54
Project CARS 2 – $8.99/£6.74
Way of the Samurai 3 – $4.99/£3.74
DiRT 4 – $6.24/£4.99
Burly Men at Sea – $2.49/£1.79
Are you going to be picking up anything in this Steam sale? Let us know in the comments.