The Steam Winter Sale is continuing to decimate wallets across the globe, and has some heavy contenders battling over your paycheck today. As always, do not buy any game until it’s on a daily deal. Now let’s get down to it and see what’s worth what.
Defense Grid: The Awakening -$2.45 – Defense Grid is a fantastic take on the Tower Defense game. While the game is fairly traditional, the narrator’s quips really add an element to the game that fleshes it out more. The main campaign is about 8 hours, however there are numerous challenge maps that allow for replayability as your efficiency is also taken into account with the grading. For an additional $1.50 you can get all of the DLC as well adding hours to this title. This one is definitely worth picking up.
F1 2011 – $24.99 – In F1 2011 you race F1 race cars. They go really really fast. While someone heavily interested in the sport would be able to break it down further, my knowledge of automotives ends with knowing what side my gas tank is on. Fans should know that this game does include Games For Windows Live, so you’ll have to decide for yourself if that’s too much of a hassle.
Jurassic Park: The Game – $14.99 – Jurassic Park could have been fantastic, but instead comes off as a movie with quick time events. All but the most feverish fans of the franchise should pass on this one.
Monday Night Combat – $2.49 – Often written off as a Team Fortress 2 wannabe, Monday Night Combat offers a lot of fun on its own merits. The single player and coop are almost nonexistent, and while the community has been dwindling this price could help pick it back up. If you’re going to pick this up, I heavily suggest grabbing the four pack and splitting it with some friends.
Neverwinter Nights 2 Platinum – $4.99 – Neverwinter Nights is one of the quintessential online RPG’s from the early days the internet. The game is heavily inspired by Dungeons and Dragons and plays out as a classic turn based RPG. If you’re interested in a trip down memory lane with an old school feel, definitely pick this one up.
PAYDAY The Heist – $9.99 – PAYDAY is a fun little title that may have priced itself out of competition. While it’s often called Left4Dead with criminals, that really doesn’t do it justice. It has a fairly complex levelling system that offers a branching skill tree as you complete more quests, and with the enemies being armed to the teeth you’ll find yourself immersed in some truly spectacular firefights. The game may be lack luster on its own, but as a co-op experience it’s incredible. Get a few friends together and pick this one up. Dollar per hour of fun, this could easily be the steal of the day for many players.
Swords And Soldiers HD – $2.49 – Swords And Soldiers is a casual action/tower defense game. While it has a charming personality and a vibrant color scheme, but it’s not the deepest of all titles. You’ll get $2.50 worth of fun out of it for sure, but with so many other titles this may get lost in your library.
Batman: Arkham City – $24.99 – I knew this was going to happen. I had been holding out until today to pick up Batman:AC but a friend purchased it for me as a birthday gift last week. As soon as I saw that waiting for me, I knew it would be on sale for sure. Well, the rest of you get to benefit now, as this is a killer price for one of the year’s best titles. A few points of interest, however. Even with the latest patch, the DX11 features don’t seem to work for all users so if you’re experiencing slow down turn those off, and I highly recommend using a controller. All of the DLC is also 50% off today, so this is a perfect excuse to pick up the new map packs for a song.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Bundle – $8.74 – The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series of games is absolutely incredible. If Metro 2033 was the equivalent of Fallout 3 as a shooter, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. would be the original Fallout. The world moves around you and makes changes, leaving you feel like a part in a fluid world. The game manages to keep a constant feeling of dread and the deck being stacked against you. The combat is tight and responsive, and manages to make you feel like a constant underdog trying to compete in a world you’re not properly equipped for. You’ll never be the guy shooting weaponized plutonium eye lasers, you’re the nomad with a pistol made from junk parts.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky isn’t included with the bundle, but it’s also arguably the weakest title in the series so you can safely pass it up in favor of the bundle. I harp a lot about proper modding in these games, and the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Complete Mods are unparalleled in their ability to refine the games and iron out a few bugs without changing the director’s vision. These are considered “hardcore” games, so casual gamers may not enjoy these as much but there is a fun product here waiting. As I was publishing this, I noticed that buying Shadow of Chernobyl and Call of Pripyat separately is cheaper by $.01 cents. Tis the season to be frugal!
Mount & Blade: Complete – $12.49 – Mount & Blade is a series that caught me completely off guard when I first picked it up. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting the first time I fired up Warband, but the massive world and chaotic fights were certainly not it. When I say the world is massive, it’s easily something you can get lost in to the point where you will miss quest deadlines.
The game leaves the story in your hands, letting you fill the world as you see foot. It can be intimidating to some players without having a strict guideline to follow, but in my opinion, more than makes up for it with incredible world you become part of. Saying all this, I can’t recommend the complete the pack. Warband is a complete upgrade from the original, and Fire & Sword was originally a mod. Pick up Warband for $7.49, look into the modding community (there’s everything from the American civil war to outright zombie apocalypses) and enjoy a killer title. For the sheer amount of play time you get out of this for your dollar, I’m claiming this one the steal of the day.
Grotesque Tactics 1 and 2 Pack – $6.24 – While I can’t find the author of this quote, Reddit has summarized this title perfectly. “I detest preamble, so I’ll just come out and say it: Grotesque Tactics: Evil Heroes is a good game trapped in a bad game. It’s a witty parody covered with a poorly done translation and awkward control that rob it of its essential nutrients; much like a turducken. And, much like a turducken, it sounds awesome until you try it. Then you’re simply left with regret and a funny taste in your mouth.”
The Sherlock Holmes Collection – $12.49 – The Sherlock Holmes games will make you feel less like the legendary detective and more like someone suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder. There is a lot of game included for the value, but developer Frogwares put a heavy influence on pixel hunting and solving obscure puzzles in certain orders. If you’re a huge adventure game fan, there may be something here, but I would be hard pressed to recommend it for anything else than to be stalked by Watson. Seriously, that guy is creepy.