Subject to Reddit memes and other gamer humor, the Steam Summer Sale is a unique event in the calendar of electronic entertainment. Arriving abruptly, unexpectedly, it empties wallets and bank accounts with rapacious ease. Its low prices are particularly good at getting gamers to buy games that they might not ever play — better to have them “just in case,” though, right?
The Game Front staff is far from immune. Below follows a list of the games our intrepid writers and editors bought — out of impulse, obligation, or curiosity — with their hard-earned Game Front wages this time around. If you spot something you own also, join our Steam Group — let’s game together!
Ron Whitaker – Editor
Max Payne 3 – I loved the first two Max Payne games, but I hadn’t had a chance to pick the newest installment up yet. Seeing it 75% off made this deal a no-brainer.
The Darkness II – Ditto Darkness II. I was a huge fan of the first game, and the chance to see what Jackie is up to now at a discount price was too alluring to pass up.
Age of Empires III: The Complete Collection – I actually own a physical copy of AoE3, but the chance to pick up all the additional content for less than $10 got me to buy it again. Plus, I don’t have to brave the closet where all those discs are stored.
ARMA 2 & Operation Arrowhead – I bought these two just so I can get in on Day Z. All my friends are begging me to play, and now I can.
Alan Wake/Alan Wake’s American Nightmare – I own the collector’s edition of Alan Wake on 360, but the chance to replay it on the PC was something I couldn’t pass up, especially when they tossed in the follow-up as well.
Dragon Age: Origins Ultimate Edition – Another title that DLC got me to buy again. I have my retail discs handy, but all the DLC for under $10 and the convenience of Steam had my wallet open again.
Saints Row: The Third – I’ve not had the chance to enjoy the mayhem that is Saints Row in its latest iteration. That will now be corrected.
RAGE – Now that many of RAGE’s initial issues have been patched, I can’t pass up a chance to go post-apocalyptic hunting again.
Thief Series – I had a ton of fun with these games over the years, but I have mislaid a couple of the discs I need to play them. Rather than actually tackle the task of finding them, I just decided to give Steam some money.
F.E.A.R. Series – Another franchise I bought just to save me the trouble of re-installing from discs. Plus, I haven’t gotten to play as Paxton Fettel in F.E.A.R. 3 yet.
Fallout: New Vegas Complete – Once again I re-buy a game to play it on PC instead of 360. Also, DLC. I’m sensing a pattern here.
From Dust – I had actually almost completely forgotten about From Dust until it popped on the Steam sale. I’m a sucker for god games.
Legend of Grimrock – Speaking of things I am a sucker for, how about an old school dungeon crawler?
Mark Burnham – Editor
Legend of Grimrock – It looks fascinating, and it was $5.99—which sums up my mind set during most Steam purchases. This one also caught some indie-buzz when it hit. A medieval fantasy-themed RPG, our own Phil Hornshaw described it as “addictive in a perfectly old-school way.” Sold! To the guy browsing the Steam sale with six dollars to burn.
The Binding of Isaac – It was $1.24, it’s been described as “Zelda-like” with its old school top-down action game formula, I’ve missed Zelda games recently (namely, A Link to the Past), it kicked up controversy when it hit due to its subject matter, and it was $1.24. There was literally nothing preventing this purchase.
Borderlands GOTY – The most expensive game I purchased, at a whopping $7.49. While I formerly owned the Xbox 360 version of Borderlands, I could never find the time to fully go down the rabbit hole. With Borderlands 2 out later this year, this seemed like a solid library addition. It’s the same motivation people have for “wanting to read the book before seeing the movie.” I want to play more Borderlands before I experience Borderlands 2.
Phil Hornshaw – Writer
My Steam summer sale experience was actually somewhat subdued this year, partially because I binged so hard on the last few Steam sales that there really wasn’t much I didn’t already have or really wanted. Steam has a knack for providing me with a game I’m marginally interested in for less than $5 or $10 however, so that facilitated snagging a few things that I’ll hopefully have a chance to get to later. I’ve also nabbed quite a few indie titles that will hopefully sate my need for new ideas.
Star Wars: The Knights of the Old Republic – Steam is a solid way to “future-proof” a lot of my games collection at a really low price. I played KOTOR what feels a long time ago (I’m not writing the second half here so just keep it in your brain), and my copy is for Xbox; so snagging a super-cheap PC copy means that if I ever get around to replaying it for the fifth or sixth time, I won’t have to rely on the kindness of Microsoft.
Vessel – An indie title I’ve been wanting to check out for a while, I was able to get Vessel for about $2.50. That it strongly recommends playing it with a gamepad, however, does not play in its favor, especially because the keyboard controls seem a little loose. Still, I’ve managed to give it 15 minutes of a test-drive, and the puzzle-solving and steam punk art style are engaging.
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth – After crowd-sourcing my search for new horror titles, good ol’ elder god Cthulhu came up and, seeing as I haven’t gotten on this one yet, I snagged it. Again: $6 or less.
Nexuiz – A friend said to buy it. It cost less than a cup of coffee. End of story.
Stacking – Another title I own on another platform, I managed to grab Stacking when it first appeared on the Playstation Network as part of my Playstation Plus membership. I generally dislike playing games on my Playstation and when I let Playstation Plus lapse, I’ll lose a lot of titles, including this one. I’d rather play $4 now than $50 later.
Space Pirates and Zombies – Now with bounty hunters, another game that pinged my radar months ago and which I scooped up with a $2.50 price tag. Does anyone else feel guilty when they do that? I feel like I’m taking food out of developers’ mouths when I grab their games for the same price I pay for a parking meter.
Ben Richardson – Writer
Limbo – I never got around to buying this on Xbox LIVE, and it’s high time I gave it a playthrough. I’m not gererally huge on puzzle platformers, but I like when games pick one thing to do and do it really well; Limbo’s striking aesthetic and somber mood seem like a good example of that.
Grand Theft Auto: III Pack – Shameful as it is, I’ve never experienced the exploits of Tommy Vercetti and Carl “CJ” Johnson. These games might be technologically a bit dated, but in terms of setting (and soundtrack!) they can’t be beat. The modding scene is also surprisingly robust.
Alan Wake Series – Sadly, I know everything that happens in this game because I edited the Game Front walkthrough. Still, it seems like a well-written game with some unique, creative mechanics, and the Stephen King-meets-Twin Peaks setting certainly intrigues.
Medieval II: Total War – I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Total War junkie, but I’ve generally given short shrift to Medieval II, which is regarded by some as Creative Assembly’s best effort. I had to return my borrowed copy to a friend — now I have my own.
Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition – Another classic I’m shamefully unfamiliar with. I like cyberpunk, I like RPG’s with lots of choice, and liked Human Revolution. Pretty much a no-brainer.
Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion – It’s been a while since I really got into a 4X game — more than a decade, maybe, dating back to my teenage obsession with Master of Orion 2. I hear a lot of talk about Sins of a Solar Empire, so I figured I’d see what the newest entry in the series had going on. (N.B. This might not actually have been on Steam Sale)
What did you buy during the Steam Summer Sale? Let us know in the comments, and please join the Game Front Steam Group if so inclined.