5 Games to Pick Up During the Steam Sale
Steam is a digital download service from Valve.
If you have a gaming PC, you've probably bought at least one game from Steam, Valve's digital download service. One of the reasons why gamers love Steam is because of its frequent and often very generous sales. Twice a year, Steam goes all-out and offers consumers more bang for their buck than usual. Once is around Christmas — the other time is right now: the Steam Summer Sale.
While hundreds of games will be on sale, this is the ideal time to pick up expensive games from within the last year. (Older and indie titles will be cheap, too, but 50 percent off a $10 price tag is still only a $5 savings.) Keep an eye out for these titles, but be warned: Prices can vary from day to day, so look for the best bargains.
This first-person shooter from Irrational Games debuted in March 2013, and many publications pegged it as a contender for their "Game of the Year" almost immediately. Like its predecessors, "BioShock Infinite" raises salient philosophical questions while providing players with a beautiful setting and an arsenal of satisfying guns. The year is 1912, and as Wounded Knee veteran Booker DeWitt, you must brave the floating city of Columbia to team up with Elizabeth Comstock, a girl whose enigmatic powers can reshape reality. The game is well worth its $60 asking price, and an absolute steal at Steam's sale price of $30.
"Dishonored" can best be described as "a stealth game for people who don't like stealth games." While most such games require players to be slow, meticulous and sneaky as they tackle linear corridors full of powerful enemies, Bethesda's "Dishonored" gives you options. You can teleport across rooftops, climb through a window and knock a target out in order to interrogate him later. Conversely, you can burst in the front door, summon a swarm of rats to devour your foes and duel your target in a tense sword fight. Add in a politically charged storyline and a creative steampunk setting, and this $30 game is a smart investment at just over $10.
The Walking Dead
If you've invested any time in "The Walking Dead" in its comic book or TV iteration — or if you just like a good zombie apocalypse story — there's no excuse for missing out on the video game from Telltale. It's a traditional point-and-click adventure game told in five episodes, where your decisions carry over from one event to the next. You'll solve a few simple puzzles and get to shoot a few zombies, but the real meat of the game is in shaping your relationships with other survivors to determine who lives and how the story plays out. The game is usually $25, but it's dipped as low as $6.25 during the sale.
Far Cry 3
The "Far Cry" series has been a staple as far as open-world first-person shooters go, but its third installment is arguably its best. In stark contrast to the dreary gray-brown environments of many modern shooters, "Far Cry 3" takes place on a lush South Pacific island. It weaves a surprisingly poignant narrative about savagery and how the act of killing can gradually strip away an individual's humanity. Siccing tigers on unsuspecting mercenaries is a thrill, as is experimenting with the game's varied weapons and vehicles. Usually $40, the game's price has dropped as low as $25 over the last few days.
After many years of stale gameplay and recycled storylines, the "Tomb Raider" series and its iconic heroine Lara Croft needed something drastic. What they got in 2013 was "Tomb Raider": a reboot that recasts Lara as a nascent archeologist who must rescue her friends and survive against all odds in a hostile jungle environment. Tight gunplay and a ton of useful secrets to discover make this action/adventure title fun, but its nuanced female protagonist and excellent reworking of series mythos make it unforgettable. "Tomb Raider" is usually $50, but you can have it for as little as $13.
Want more games?
If you've already played these titles or feel they're a little too mainstream for your tastes, check out Steam this week for many others. If you have a little money to spend now, you may not have to buy another game until Christmas.