Dark days for the world. Maybe videogames can save us? Haha yes of course they can haha.
Here are some really good videogames, though. They’ll take you to a better place for a while. These are the RPS team’s 13 personal favourites from the current Steam Summer Sale: we believe in these games, and we believe that you should play them too.
Note: Graham and John aren’t around today so we’ll have to guess as to their picks. I’m pretty sure John would have chosen Blood Dragon, Stellaris and Ashes of the Singularity though, and Graham as many different versions of Assassin’s Creed as he could find. Alice was definitely here, though. Definitely.
“Subnautica is my beautiful undersea hideaway where I retreat from everyday life and spend long evenings in my underwater garden, or being fascinated by the different biomes and lighting and…. ugh – it’s so good! It’s also in Early Access so I’m enjoying having the pleasure of watching a lovely environment grow and expand.”
“A brilliant, boogying dungeon crawler where rhythm is your best weapon. I would buy this for the shopkeeper’s singing alone. Luckily the rest of the game is wonderful too.”
“If it hadn’t come along so late in my gaming life I could see this being a Gaming Made Me candidate. It’s the first time I recognised teenage girl-ness in a Big Game, one of the few games that has made me cry, and, although not perfect, it earned a unique spot in my heart. It won’t be for everyone but I adore it.”
“Impeccable, tense and massively flexible turn-based, cyberpunk stealth with good hats. Maybe if I play this forever I’ll stop feeling as if the world just ended.”
“Do not dismiss this as some joke sim or the sole preserve of realism obsessives with £500 steering wheels. ATS is road trip zen for any and everyone. Maybe if I play this forever I’ll stop feeling as if the world just ended.”
“A pure connection between you and your computer: senses dialled down so that planning, predicting and interfacing can take centre stage. Wildly atmospheric, deeply convincing. Maybe if I play this forever I’ll stop feeling as if the world just ended.”
“I’ll never stop banging on about Dying Light. It’s the best zombie game since Left 4 Dead 2 and my favourite implementation of full body presence in a first-person game since F.E.A.R. It’s one of my favourite big action games in a long while, occasionally bogged down by the Ubi-like icons littering the map, but offering a massive world where you can happily go offtrack and make your own stories and games. The Following expansion adds a coastal area, all wide spaces rather than urban claustrophobia, and a buggy. You get to squish zombies with a buggy.
Despite some confusion on the Steam page, which suggests the contents of the package can be bought as DLC, this is the base game plus The Following expansion, as described here.”
“Puzzle games are my Kryptonite. Very occasionally, the structure of a game and its actual puzzling click with me though, and then I feel clever and enjoy the elation that comes with struggling to understand something and then having all the pieces fall into place. The Talos Principle gave me that feeling again and again, and it’s beautifully written as well.”
“A fiver for one of the best games ever made. This is the perfect chance to dip your toes into the water if you’ve been hesitating. A kraken will instantly grab your toes and pull you into the depths, of course, but chances are you’ll enjoy fighting your way back to the surface.”
“Perhaps the game I love to hate and hate to love most. This may be a recommendation, but you should be warned: Darkest Dungeon is a bastard of a game. As a brutally unforgiving permadeath dungeon crawler roguelike that leans heavily on micromanagement and resource gathering, it can be stubborn, incredibly frustrating, at times baffling, but often wonderful. You’ll die more times than you care to admit, but that won’t stop you going back for more.”
“I love puzzle games, I do, and this is the grand master of them all. A fully-fledged follow-up to the Orange Box-bundled original that’s been expanded in almost every way, Portal 2 is a masterpiece in first-person puzzle platforming, humourous storytelling, and lateral thinking. It deftly combines head scratching bafflement with unparalleled moments of amazement and co-op is an absolute joy into the bargain.”
“Ten years after joining Steam, Garry’s Mod, Garry Newman’s sandbox free-for-all take on a Source engine mod, has spawned a dedicated, burgeoning community and stands as a proper game in its own right. There’s no objectives, no predetermined goals, no end-game; just a playground to build things in and it’s great fun. This might not be for everyone, but for less than two quid why not dive in and see what you can come up with?”
“Only the lack of a chiptune soundtrack keeps Deadly Premonition from perfection.”
“The only reason I ever uninstalled this was in order to make room for more Quake graphics mods on my hard drive.”
“In my fondest dreams, Deadly Premonition gets a remake from the Assassin’s Creed team.”