Here's one for the space-goggles crowd to jump on. Croteam, the plucky studio behind the Serious Sam series and the lovely philoso-puzzler The Talos Principle, are running a 26th anniversary Steam sale for the next two days. While offering good deals across the board, the most surprising thing is a bundle of all their virtual reality games, currently going for 92% off its usual price. A cheap and cheerful way to pad your library if you're skint after spending hundreds of quid on exotic headgear. Below, the must-haves of this sale.
Croteam VR Bundle - £12.78/€15.70/$16.95.
While it could easily be argued that Valve's VR library was overpriced until this sale, it's hard to complain about this deal. Including VR ports of all the Serious Sam games (except for the bizarre Serious Sam 2) and The Talos Principle, and capped off with VR-exclusive shooting gallery Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope, it's a mostly-loud bunch of games. While The Talos Principle is the best fit for a VR adaptation (it's easier to think about puzzles spatially when you've got depth perception), the rest do let you dual-wield miniguns, which has to be worth something.
Serious Sam: The Complete Pack - £18.66/€23.12/$24.88.
Not a bad deal for those without VR, either. This includes almost all the Serious Sam series, including remakes, expansions and the oddball second numbered game. I'm more of a classic Doom guy, I can't deny that these games are still great fun in co-op, and many support split-screen multiplayer if you have gamepads. This also includes spinoff games Double D XXL, The Random Encounter and Tormental; a platformer, RPG and roguelike twin-stick shooter, respectively. Serious Sam Fusion also has its own little mod scene; this one highlighted on Croteam's official blog doesn't look half bad.
Oddly, this bundle does NOT include the recent I Hate Running Backwards, which is an endless runner/shmup hybrid by Binx Interactive. Also, Serious Sam's Bogus Detour by Crackshell (Hammerwatch), which is a pretty good top-down arcade shooter, and a surprisingly accurate adaptation to boot. The latter even features co-op (in survival mode) for up to twelve players. Both are cheap in this sale too.
The Talos Principle: Gold Edition for £6.87/€9.15/$9.15.
Including the excellent Road To Gehenna expansion and some behind-the-scenes goodies, I can't help but praise The Talos Principle when talking about Croteam. It seems like an impossible game for the loudest, dumbest shooter studio, but they did it, and brought in some great writers to boot. A slow, contemplative Portal-inspired puzzler which pokes and prods the player with questions about the nature of sentience in-between clever spatial brainteasers. Multiple endings, a huge number of secret objectives and a very chill soundtrack make this one great to unwind with.
This sale is a reminder that while Croteam may not be the most broad of studios, they're willing to branch out. Their indie incubator program is still active and produced the PvP tank-programming board game-alike Battle Bolts just last month. It's a pity that we didn't see or hear anything about Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass at E3. Still, it's on Nvidia's list of games that'll support RTX ray tracing, so that's some sign of life. How it'll handle that and Croteam's target of 100,000 simultaneous enemies on-screen (thanks, Kotaku) is anyone's guess.
That's most of it, but you can see the official Croteam sale page here on Steam.