Our Steam Sale Picks, Round Two

We already chose 13 of our favourite games in the current Summer Steam sale, but more games have been discounted since. So, based on the entirely correct hypothesis that you all have completed every single one of our first round games and are now thirsting for more, here are 18 more to throw your spare change at. Everyone on the RPS team has picked three stone-cold personal favourites, making for a grand old set of excellent PC games: here’s what we chose and why.

John:

Dishonored £3.99 / $4.99 Our coverage

Having recently replayed it, I’ve been reminded how this is, well, one of the best games ever made. For £4! If you played it at the time, it’s even better than you remember. If you didn’t, what a treat you have waiting.

Far Cry 3 £3.74 / £4.99 Our coverage

Yes, the story is bad like dying in a ditch on your own is bad, but the world is amazing! Hunting, fleeing, flying, exploding – there’s so much meandering to be done here. And a game this massive for £3.74 makes it actually illegal to complain.

Saints Row IV £2.74 $3.74 Our coverage

One of my all-time favourite games, with unquestionably the funniest moment in all of gaming during its closing credits, for £2.74. That’s actually too low. You’ll not properly value it while you play it for £2.74. Wait until it’s a tenner again.

Adam:

Mount and Blade Warband £3.74 / $4.99 Our coverage

The sequel looks absolutely fantastic but you might be waiting a long time to play it. Warband will fill that time comfortably. It’s Crusader Kings as a third-person RPG. Total War where you play a single person, getting a soldier’s view of the battlefield, or a general’s, or a lord’s, depending on the choices you make and the goals you set for yourself. And if you do get tired of the base game while waiting for the sequel, there’s a healthy modding community to explore.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons £1.09 / $1.49 Our coverage

A singleplayer cooperative game, in which the control system is not only inventive but a key part of the story’s arc. It’s emotive but it’s also one of the smartest marriages of character and control method that I’ve ever seen. And it currently costs £1.09.

Mark of the Ninja £2.74 / $3.74 Our coverage

From the mighty Klei, they of Invisible, Inc. and Don’t Starve, this is one of the best stealth games ever made. Worth playing just to see how elegantly great gobbets of information can be communicated. Perfect clarity, even during moments of incredible tension and trickiness.

Pip:

The Stanley Parable £1.99 / $2.99 Our coverage

While I’m not sure there’s anyone left who doesn’t own this, I’m going to recommend it just in case. A high watermark when it comes to writing and design working together (and both being wonderful) and yours for less than two quid.

Child of Light £2.99 / $3.74 Our coverage

I wasn’t super keen on Ubisoft’s playable poem when I attended a preview event so never picked up the full game. But now it’s 75% off and it’s downloading as we speak. I remember the JRPG-inspired combat being pleasing too.

Regency Solitaire £3.49 / $4.99 Our coverage

One of the greatest games of last year combining a Jane-Austen inspired love plot with some solid (and very more-ish) solitaire. I go back to this time and time again because it’s just this lovely, different, soothing thing. And now it’s 50% off.

Subnautica $11.99/£8.99 Our coverage

Alec says I’m not allowed to recommend it a second time but what’s he going to do about it? I RECOMMEND SUBNAUTICA AGAIN.

Alec:

Helldivers £9.59 / $11.99 Our coverage

This top-ish down alien-shooter is best co-op game I’ve played in a while: intense, over-the-top, basically a Space Marines game in disguise. Not sure how big a community it picked up, but given that a ton of people are probably taking a punt on it the sale, now might well be the best-ever time to Helldive.

Hand Of Fate £3.70 / $7.49 Our coverage

Conventional wisdom has it that computer-controlled opponents cannot possibly emulate the thrill and challenge of human ones. Hand of Fate, an RPG/CCG hybrid, says otherwise – because it understands that you have to hate your enemy in order to truly wish to defeat them. The hooded dealer character who acts as both enemy and narrator is a masterclass in supercilious, quiet bastardry. HOF is a pretty good singleplayer CCG in its own right, too.

Assassin’s Creed Black Flag $7.49 / £3.99 (or £5.99 for deluxe edition with all DLC) Our coverage

This flabby, fearful series often makes me despair for what modern gaming has become, but Black Flag is the best AssCreed by several furlongs – mostly because it’s the only one that dares to meaningfully tweak the icon-hoovering formula. It’s a game about swashbuckling and gloriously pop naval buttons rather than collecting feathers from rooftops, and its Welsh hero has a wit and a cavalier merriment about him that his fellow cover stars have so often lacked. At £4, this is yer bona fide steal.

Graham:

Mirror’s Edge £2.49 / $4.99 Our coverage

Its sequel Catalyst does most things better, but the original first-person free-runner still has a better sense of place than any other FPS ever made. It’s worth playing today – and even struggling through its combat and dismal boss fights – in order to see its bright blue sky, its bright green shopping malls, and to enjoy the still-satisfying movement.

Universe Sandbox 2 £15.19 / $19.99 Our coverage

An educational simulation about outerspace, but one that’s educational in the way that watching a building demolition is educational about physics. US2 lets you do things like increase the mass of our sun to see how long it takes before the earth is pulled in and swallowed by its gravity, or to see what happens when two galaxies collide with one another. It’s pretty, and playful, and it now has an experimental VR mode.

Rocket League £8.99 / $11.99 Our coverage

The best game about driving cars into footballs in order to score goals. Unlike watching England play, Rocket League is remarkable because it’s a game that’s fun even if you’re bad at it. That’s because while it’s skill ceiling is frighteningly high, supporting impossible jetpack-flying wundergoals, its fun flooring is extremely low. It’s fun to move forward. It’s fun to jump. It’s fun to hit the boost button and to try to leap into the giant ball. £9 is a steal for the best game of last year.

Subnautica $11.99/£8.99 Our coverage

I haven’t played it but Pip frightens me.

Alice:

Californium £3.49 / $4.99 Our coverage

A failing writer goes tripping across colliding realities in this beautiful odd thing inspired by the work Philip K. Dick. Parts can get a bit repetitive but the spectacle is well worth a couple of quid.

Viscera Cleanup Detail £6.99 / $9.09 Our coverage

Sure, maybe it is fun to be a space marine gunning down robots and demons, but you know what’s really satisfying? Playing the space janitors tasked with painstakingly mopping up every blood splat, picking up every bullet casing, buffing out every bullet hole, incinerating gibs, and restocking those medkits. It’s a real co-op treat.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance £4.99 / $7.49 Our coverage

The spin-off combines the fun parts of Metal Gear silliness with the beautiful fighting of a PlatinumGames hack ‘n’ slash. By the end of the tutorial level, you will have sliced cyborgs into hundreds of pieces, parried the stomps of a twenty-metre robodinosaur with only your sword, flung that robodinosaur into the sky, and sprinted down the side of a collapsing church tower to bisect that robodinosaur. That’s before you even get the ability to devour spines.

Please do suggest more below!

From this site

48 Comments

  1. Joe Clark says:

    A shoutout for Epistory is a shoutout for alternative! It’s 1/3 off in the sale and seeing great user feedback on Steam.

    Bonus: foxes!
    Bonus II: Origami!

  2. Foosnark says:

    I’ve enjoyed the little bit of Distance I’ve had the chance to play. Sort of Megarace + Wipeout + TRON-inspired graphics + giant circular saws and lasers + gliding + zero gravity sometimes + almost defying gravity when it’s not zero. And I’ve only messed with the adventure mode so far.

  3. RegisteredUser says:

    I know it is not on sale, but if you like “hard” and different RPGs do yourself a favour and look into Bastard Bonds. There’s a free PC demo, there’s a nice in-depth review on gamesnosh and I sincerely hope RPS will do an article on it.
    The dev did insane work, will never charge for DLC and provide free updates and the whole thing is still absolutely off the grid in terms of publicity.

  4. CarthAnne says:

    When the sale first started, I was so excited! This sale, I wasn’t going to buy the slop the big game companies wanted to shove down my throat like I always do, I was going to use my hard earned cash to support hard working indie developers and play a bunch of awesome independent games!

    And then I bought The Sims 3 and all the expansion packs….

    My weak, weak soul. ;(

    • Roald Hoffmann says:

      I only intended to get the base game plus Pets, and now I’m reading all of the descriptions for the other packs and I’m getting weaker. And now somebody else has already purchased them all? Halp D:

      • CarthAnne says:

        Stay strong, my friend! Do what I could not!

        • Roald Hoffmann says:

          I did well! I only bought Seasons.

          …and Generations, Ambitions, University Life, Late Night, 70s-80s-90s, and Fast Lane Stuff….

  5. Premium User Badge

    Bracknellexile says:

    Have to give a nod to This War Of Mine – still one of the most harrowing, thoughtful, insightful and wonderful games I’ve played, all for the price of a pint. And the new DLC has 10% off too.

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      And now there’s a board game of it, which is the very definition of “Wait…what?”

      • Premium User Badge

        Bracknellexile says:

        The boardgame version does look all kinds of awesome though. Cannot wait to get it to the table and make my friends miserable and hate themselves for having to choose between survival and pity :)

  6. Vacuity729 says:

    Hand of Fate is great! The soundtrack by Jeff van Dyck is also great! General greatness, all round!

  7. Kasper says:

    I bought Running with Rifles last night and ended up playing quite a few hours. It’s basically top-down Battlefield wrapped in a cozy, nostalgic blanket of green and brown and grey childhood toy soldiers. It’s a great little game.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlkZG2OO-7o

  8. Zenicetus says:

    I put some games on my Wish List when the sale started to get things organized. Then I removed most of them, put a few back, removed them again. I dunno… I already have too many games I’m meaning to play but haven’t yet, so I guess I’m reluctant to stock up on more dead wood.

    So far the only one I’ve actually bought was Wolfenstein Old Blood, because it was cheap, and I know it won’t be as good as New Order, but it should serve for some mindless FPS action.

  9. madAzrael says:

    I bought “Pony Island” and it was great.
    Don’t watch to many trailers though. It lives from surprises. Clever little game. Grab it for 3€

    Hand of Fate – definitely will buy it and some day I will even play it…

    • Ragnar says:

      I really enjoyed Pony Island too. I went in blind, which was ideal.

  10. KieranFurie says:

    I highly recommend you pick up Cook, Serve, Delicious! It is £1.74 which is ridiculous value. It’s compulsive and frantic keyboard action. You can use a mouse but that would be madness.

    Blitz through your orders while trying to avoid setting fire to anyones food and keeping on top of your dirty dishes.

    link to store.steampowered.com

  11. platypusfool says:

    Flywrench. Flywrench. Flywrench. Frenetic, psychedelic flying, spinning thing with bonkers music for the price of a pint. Scratches the same primal instincts as another Cactus game, Hotline Miami. Wonderful. Buy.

    • platypusfool says:

      Oops, I’ve conflated Cactus with Messhof, but still! Great game.

  12. uh20 says:

    Saints Row: Gat Outta Hell and Doorkickers are my two cheap picks. The first is fun just for the cringy musical alone.

    • Symarian says:

      I just realised the pun in the game’s title. And then I face palmed.

  13. Yukiomo says:

    NEO Scavenger is less than five dollars right now. The interface is super janky, but any game where you can try to attack someone, trip and fall over, and then get stabbed or robbed is worth playing.

  14. godunow says:

    Dishonored is also available as Definitive Edition for 12.50 €

    If you suspect you’ll like the game it may be better choice, or else, you will buy definitive edition next sale on top of your regular one (like I did ;) )

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      I played Dishonored: Def Ed, but my self-imposed ghosting, non-lethal playstyle made it very strenuous to play through it. I just felt like I had failed each time I was discovered by the guards and then felt like reloading, to get it right this time.

      The game was great and I spent like two weeks playing several hours a day, but I felt burned out after playing the main campaign and never touched the DLC. Lol, I have to give up my preconceptions about how I “should” play and just play it by ear, but games like these activate my perfectionistic tendencies.

      • njury says:

        I think most people who do non-lethal/ghost have played the game many times and know the levels.
        Anyway, large part of that game is making crazy impressive kills. I think you missed out of you never went beserk!

  15. RaunakS says:

    The strange thing about all these wonderful games for me is that now that I have the disposable income to afford them, my 20 GB a month internet cannot handle the downloads at all. I bought Portal 2 from the previous RPS suggestion list and that has entirely used my monthly quota. Shame.

    Also, since I’ve literally never used or owned a gamepad controller, some games are out. I think I’ll look into The Stanley Parable – the review was very funny.

    • Mags says:

      20 gig a month! Yowch! I’ve got that on mobile internet alone…

      And yes, Stanley Parable is very good.

      • RaunakS says:

        Yeah Indian internet in semi-urban areas can be quite terrible. And my mobile data cap is 500 MB a month. Rather unfit for gaming.

        Also, The Stanley Parable announcers voice is wonderful. I’m definitely getting it!

        • malkav11 says:

          I routinely complain about the terrible state American internet service is in, full of monopolistic practices, terrible customer service, ridiculous data caps, etc. And it’s pretty bad. But it’s instructive to remember that it could be worse. :(

    • Ragnar says:

      The controller issue is at least easily remedied. Buying a gamepad was the best hardware purchase I’ve made in the last 8 years.

      I love my X360 wireless controller, it’s so comfortable to hold, but the D-pad is rubbish and the buttons are kind of hard. The XB1 and PS4 controllers have much better D-pads if you like fighting or platforming games.

      The PS4 one has flatter, more comfortable buttons, and I think the best D-pad, but I prefer the offset joysticks.

      The XB1 one may be the best compromise, though the shoulder buttons take some getting used to, and it may be worth holding out for the new smaller XB1s controllers with Bluetooth.

  16. Romeric says:

    I picked up The Long Dark, Undertale and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. I’ve played the latter to completion (highly recommended), whereas the other two will probably sit on my list for quite some time.

    While it’s not in the sale, but still definitely on sale, Factorio has been stealing most of my free time lately. Well worth a look if you’re into anything where you build things.

  17. Mags says:

    Picked up Roundabout for £2.19. Great fun, and I’m thoroughly enjoying the FMVs so far.

    Also picked up Lakeview Cabin Collection for £1.74 as I’ve heard good things, but haven’t played it yet.

  18. Razumen says:

    I can definitely second the Helldivers recommendation. There’s no real story, or singleplayer (unless you like solo challenges), just a never-ending battle alongside friends and strangers to spread democracy against three different freedom races across space.

    The main gist of the game is calling in Strategems to aid you during missions and can range from extra weapons, mechs, turrets, nukes and other useful tools. Like their other game though, calling in a Strategem requires you to momentarily stop what you’re doing and type in a code with the d-pad. Obviously during a lot of actions this requires speed and can become very tense, especially since respawning your dead teammates requires calling in a strategem as well.

    Also the game is HARD, and not only because of the enemies. Again like Magicka, your teammates are as much of a danger to you as the enemy. Friendly fire is deadly, grenades are lethal, and if you’re not careful, an incoming strategem just might turn you into a freedom pancake. It doesn’t really make the game frustrating though, because as long as there’s one person left they can always call in reinforcements (This is balanced by a cooldown after every time it’s used).

    If there’s one thing the game needs it would be more variety from mission to mission, but the game is so much fun it’s not a terribly big issue.

  19. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    Last night I discovered that you can get the Frozenbyte collection which includes every game they’ve made for the same price as buying Shadwen on its own. This is a great deal if like me you haven’t picked up the Trine games yet. I played a bit of Shadwen last night. It seems pretty good so far. I like the time-freezy aspect of it and it is a very pretty game.

  20. Toadsmash says:

    Dungeonmans. Dungeonmans Dungeonmans Dungeonmans.

    Oh, and I’m binging episodic games now thanks to this summer sale.. Apparently Tales from the Borderlands has a 97% review rating on Steam? And yet it barely got any attention. I guess people are pretty ho hum about episodic games no matter how good they are these days, but a game still has to be something pretty special to earn that elusive “Overwhelmingly Positive” category.

    Life Is Strange was my first purchase of this sale and I keep dropping it like a hot potato whenever I run into one of the puzzles. Not because I get stuck, but because the puzzle solving is just so completely blase compared to the storytelling parts of the game. Zzzzzzzzzz. I’ve been trying to make myself avoid playing the other two I bought because I have a feeling once I make the jump to Borderlands, Life Is Strange will join the forgotten ranks of my unfinished games backlog forever.

    • malkav11 says:

      Tales from the Borderlands is the best thing Telltale have ever made. But I think a lot of people were (reasonably) skeptical of it for a few reasons. For one, previous games in this format had been sold on really gut-wrenching decision points in unforgiving scenarios, which seemed like a strange fit for Borderlands’ silliness. For another, it seemed unlikely that Borderlands’ rather threadbare lore was a workable basis for engrossing story. And finally, a lot of people are turned off by the sense of humor exhibited in Gearbox’s Borderlands games.

      Turns out it’s really, really smart; it’s both inherently absurd and surprisingly heartfelt, human and good at making you care about these weird misfits; it riffs on Borderlands without merely aping it and is quite regularly sidesplittingly hilarious; and it contains scenes of pure magic, including astonishingly well chosen and composed musical intro sequences to every episode and an absolutely bravura battle sequence in episode 4. You’ll know it when you get to it.

      Life is Strange is also really good, mind you.

    • Ragnar says:

      Life is Strange is wonderful, don’t give up. The puzzles get better with reach episode as the devs get more comfortable with the rewind mechanics.

  21. malkav11 says:

    I already recommended a number of things in the previous thread, but one (admittedly not super discounted) bargain I took advantage of myself would be The Quest. The Quest was a mobile RPG back in the days of Palm Pilots and yet, weirdly, it was actually good. A huge, turn-based, open world first person RPG with tons of depth and plenty of addon content. It got revived for iOS, and now the original developers have brought the base game and the first official expansion to Steam. It’s worth a look. (I believe they intend to round out the other first-party expansions, of which there were two or three total, but there were a bunch of third party ones that may not make the transition.)

  22. baekhesten says:

    May I make a suggestion? Perhaps, it might be best, if the pictures aligned with the games right underneath them. Because, well, the way it’s currently arranged, I got a very different idea of what Californium, Dishonored, and The Stanley Parable are about…

    On the topic at hand, Transistor is on sale for $4.99. One of the best sci-fi action RPGs you will ever play. Added bonus: everyone you introduce to this game will yell at you for ruining their life.

  23. Premium User Badge

    john_silence says:

    Keeping a close eye on everyone’s recommendations. Ironically it’s not on sale but I added Bastard Bonds to my wishlist, thanks for the tip.

    Completed my Blackwell collection.
    Subnautica, check.
    Also got myself Ilamentia (from the Echo of the Wilds devs).
    The Guest and Investigator, both 1st-person horror adventure games with respectively Noir and post-ecological apocalypse themes.
    Visual novel We Know the Devil, great OST there.
    Deer Man (I do love animals!)
    Masochisia (I do hate myself!)
    Murder through another RPS tip.
    Minimalist stealther Neon Struct from the Eldritch dev was discounted deep enough for me this time.
    Hand-drawn TBS Highlands, mostly for its looks.
    And CAT Interstellar, for its cool hard sci-fidev blogs, it was just 0,99.

    I’d recommend the wonderfully eerie Fran Bow; and Sunset, a perfect summer game.

    I’m also interested in structural engineering horror game INFRA, the slow-mo action spectacle of Cobalt, Akiba’s Trip: Undead and Undressed, Black Closet by Hanako Games (they had me at the first line: “a game of boardroom politics, lesbian romance, and schoolgirl noir”)… Btw 1931: Scheherazade is 75% off – and a few dozen others :)
    Many wargames are unusually deeply discounted, with Mius Front at 30% off for the first time, the Slitherine catalog, Hegemony III…

    Also of note: Greenmangaming is having a 0,15€ party right now. Snatched Cross of the Dutchman, literally a steal.

  24. tuku473 says:

    Im a bit disappointed that noone recommended ibb & obb, Its $4.79 (60% off) and if you pay $5.59 you get a free copy, I purchased the latter and gift it to my gf, we’ve been playing it a lot :)
    I also bought M&B Warband, I used to play it pirated (whoops) and saw the deal and said why not lol. Glad you recommended it aswell.

    • Glacious says:

      OK, I recommend ibb & obb! I’m sporadically playing through it with a friend and always looking forward to returning to it’s colourful, soothing aesthetic and fun co-op puzzling.

      I’ve been thinking of replaying NightSky recently. Again, nice and chilled colourful backgrounds – fittingly titled final area aside – with physics puzzling, only single player this time. It’s currently 75% off at 2.49 USD.

      I impulsively highly recommend everyone take a punt on more obscure titles this sale. I will pick up Refunct, which the store page indicates is 1.49 USD, can be finished in about half an hour, and features stuff I like in games such as first person leaping about and fun music.

  25. Neurotic says:

    I’ve been filling in the gaps in my LEGO collection – Indy Jones 1 and 2 for a tenner, then Batman 1 and 2 for another tenner. Oh,and SUBNAUTICA – amazing game, well worth a punt.

  26. ROMhack2 says:

    So far I’ve picked up The Sea Will Claim Everything (£2.79), Plug & Play (£0.99) and The Old City: Leviathan (£1.74).

    I don’t even think I like having fun anymore.

  27. Solrax says:

    Stardew Valley. Such a nice, relaxing game for when you just don’t want to have to test your reflexes, or think terribly hard. $11.99 US.

  28. qoelet says:

    I feel overwhelmed by this incredibly boring survival games wave. And also curious about the next crappy trend. Thankfully the zombie one almost died out

  29. VeritableHero says:

    Thank you for mentioning Stanley Parable again. I can’t believe it has been sitting on my Steam wishlist for years. Pip, you are the person who finally pushed me over the edge to purchase it. $3 and 2.5 hours later and I am enamored.

    It even got my 4 year old and 5 year old kids interested because they heard the narrator. Before too long, they were conversing with the narrator and telling me what to do (or not do). A great experience!