Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Game of the Year Edition
The sequel to Shadow of Mordor, Shadow of War, might be on the horizon, but with the original game hitting the Steam Summer Sale there is no excuse to skip out on this excellent hack and slash game from the Lord of the Rings universe if you haven’t played it before. Shadow of Mordor’s main selling point, besides the fluid combat, is the incredibly crafted nemesis system. The nemesis system was groundbreaking when the game first released in 2014 but since no game has really tried to imitate it, Shadow of Mordor remains a wholly unique experience.
The nemesis system is built on the idea that each playthrough of the game is special to the individual player. Every time an orc kills you it will grow in power. The orcs will remember their past encounters with the player and maybe even develop new ways to combat them. The nemesis system allows for multiple subplots going on in the game that have nothing to do with the main revenge-driven story.There are countless hours of fun to be had in just crafting special rivalries with certain orcs. Your nemesis will be a far more interesting and personal enemy than the game’s Big Bad of Sauron.
There is even more content offered in the Summer Sale as all of the game’s DLCs, each of which exist as a standalone campaign with their own maps, are bundled with the main game. At just 3.99 for the whole package any Lord of the Rings fan needs dive into the original before the sequel hits in October.
This post was originally authored by Derek Stauffer.
Since Portal comes from Valve it is not that rare to find the game on sale on Steam. Yet with the Steam Summer Sale Portal is almost being offered for free. The tremendous puzzle platformer is discounted at 90% off so Portal 2 can be picked for the exact same number of dollars that are in the title. Portal 2 is worth any price but at 1.99 it is an absolute steal.
It is not necessary to play the first Portal to jump into Portal 2 (though the original game is also discounted for just 99 cents). The only thing that is truly required for Portal 2 is to put your gamer thinking cap on and immerse yourself in a strange, but hilarious, world of physics-based puzzles. Each challenge in Portal 2 builds on the previous obstacle allowing the player to feel like an absolute super genius by the end, even if they are just sitting in front a computer screen with a mouse.
Portal 2 manages to take all the charm that is found in the original game and up the ante. GLaDOS is still involved but she is joined by the somehow equally fascinating robot of Wheatley as they both take silent protagonist Chell on one very memorable adventure. Portal 2 is everything a sequel should be and an almost perfect video game experience blending story and gameplay seamlessly.
South Park: Stick of Truth
Stick of Truth is another game with a sequel coming soon, but since The Fractured But Whole won’t be a direct continuation of Stick of Truth it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that Stick of Truth is far more than just a video game made for South Park fans and South Park fans alone. While the Stick of Truth does fit the tone of and humor of the average (or great) South Park episode, it is also a legitimately solid RPG.
Stick of Truth manages to both be a loving tribute to turn based fantasy RPGs and a skewering of everything they represent. The game casts you in the role of the “new kid” who moves to South Park when a (pretend) battle quickly breaks out revolving around the eponymous stick. While the game starts out purely as a fantasy epic parody it balloons out to include Nazi zombies, aliens, gnomes, and lots of fart/poop jokes.
South Park: Stick of Truth is a game that truly defies explanation and must be played to truly understand. Since the Steam Summer Sale is offering the game for just 7.49 it is needs to be picked up by both South Park and RPG fans alike.
Civilization V might not be the shiniest Civ on the market on anymore but it is still well worth the time of any strategy game fan. Civilization is easily one of the best values for a gamer’s buck on this year’s Steam Summer Sale. A single round of the game can last dozens of hours. Each turn is an exercise in addiction as there is always something to do or plan in building the best civilization the world has ever seen. The game can claim hundreds of hours with disturbing ease from the average gamer’s life.
Civilization involves players picking one country (embodying one historical leader from it) and taking that country from the start of history to the far flung space age. There are multiple ways to win including a military victory, a science victory, or just a diplomatic victory, the hardest of them all. The biggest challenge in the game is trying to keep Ghandi from nuking everyone in the world, seriously. Yet no matter the obstacle the game remains fun.
The base game is on sale for 7.49 at a whopping 75% off the usual price. The two expansions, Brave New World and Gods and Kings, are also discounted for 7.49. Each expansion adds complicated new layers of strategy and several civilizations to play with and against so there is a lot to do with not much investment.
Tales from the Borderlands
Telltale is a big participant in this year’s Steam Summer Sale with most of their games getting heavy discounts. One of the most impressive sales from the company, though, is Tales from the Borderlands. Tales From the Borderlands takes place after the second game in the FPS series but it does manage to have its own identity. Using Telltale’s approach to storytelling and a dash of Borderlands’ raunchy humor, Tales is colorful, hilarious, and surprisingly heartwarming. The game forgoes Telltalle’s usual promise that all choices will matter and instead the choices merely craft the tone of the story rather than the events.
Tales from the Borderlands is a wonderful visual novel of a video game. Since the Steam Summer Sale has it discounted for just 6.24 it is much cheaper than the average movie ticket. Yet the game offers a better story while retaining all the pizzazz of the average blockbuster.
Hitman: The Complete First Season
It was easy to raise a skeptical eyebrow at the Hitman series’ decision to go episodic. Yet as the game rolled out last year it became clear that however it was released the latest Hitman is one of the series’ best entries in quite some time. Every assassination mission in the newest Hitman comes with its own expansive map filled with tons of secrets and numerous morbid but extraordinary ways to take down Agent 47’s targets.
In addition to the seven missions that come as part of the first season, there were additional missions added for free and the game is constantly being updated with new content. There is also a feature that allows for players to craft their own unique contracts and scenarios which makes the amount of content in the game limitless.
If the prospect of buying an “incomplete” game was worrying when the first season was rolling out, Steam Summer Sale has you covered. The complete first season is on offer for 23.73. At that price it is time for any gamer to start stepping up their murder game.
The Stanley Parable
The Stanley Parable is one of the most delightfully strange games out there, and with the Steam Summer Sale it is now also one of the cheapest. It is less a game and more of a visual interactive storytelling experience, but no matter what you label Stanley Parable, it needs to be experienced. The Stanley Parable puts players in control of the eponymous Stanley as a perfectly dry narrator describes (and reacts to) the player’s choices.
The Stanley Parable is a hilarious but thoughtful exploration of the idea of choice and consequences in gaming. It is bizarre but an utter delight for those who are willing to give themselves over to its distinct style. It might not last long, but considering how different the game is depending on player choices the game demands multiple playthroughs.
Since it is on sale for just 3.74 it is worth a shot, even if it turns out to not be your cup of tea.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
One of the best Star Wars games ever made is one of the best values during the Steam Summer Sale. It may not be canon, or even come from the minds that created the cinematic universe, but it’s one of the most memorable stories in the Star Wars universe and is being offered for a steal.
Knights of the Old Republic is one of BioWare’s best gaming efforts and it includes all the company’s usual mechanics. There is an incredible story for players to experience, choices to make that will shape that story, and companions to collect and connect with for unforgettable moments. To add on all of that there are lightsabers, a weapon that should be included in every video game made.
Knights of the Old Republic casts gamers in the role of a customized hero who, like many previous RPG heroes and heroines, has just a little bit of a memory problem. Yet the tale that unfolds from the action packed opening is one that well stick with everyone. Knights of the Old Republic allows Star Wars fans to live out their fantasies of being a Jedi, a Sith, or someone in between. The Steam Summer Sale is the best time to live out that dream as the game is up for grabs for just 2.49.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
The reboot of Deus Ex, Human Revolution, was great but the sequel, Mankind Divided, managed to take the new series to even more impressive heights. Mankind Divided follows the ultimate gruff detective archetype, Adam Jensen, as he continues to be drawn into complicated conspiracies even though he “didn’t ask for this.” Mankind Divided perfects the player choice and stealth (or action) gameplay that was found in the first game. The sequel truly allows players to play exactly how they want; there are no more forced action sequences to take down powerful bosses for stealth players or vice versa for those who wants to go in guns blazing.
Though it is a direct sequel, Mankind Divided works completely fine as a standalone experience. In fact, it is arguably that Mankind Divided is the real start of Adam Jensen’s story. Human Revolution, functions more like a extended prologue in retrospective.
The Steam Summer Sale allows players to catch up on Jensen’s journey with an incredible deal. The game has been deeply discounted so it can be picked for just 14.99.
The Witcher 3: Game of Year Edition
The base game of The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt is an unbelievable value that can take hundreds of hours to complete. The Game of the Year addition, which adds in the game’s two sizable expansion, is an even more daunting, but tempting, adventure. The Witcher 3: Game of the Year Edition hitting the Steam Summer Sale is an insane deal offering so much for so very little.
If you have not played The Witcher 3 yet it allows you to play one of gaming’s best and most bad-ass heroes, Geralt of Rivia. Though The Wild Hunt is the third entry in the series, it does stand well on its own and actually connects more back to the books on which the series is based than any previous game. It is a rollicking fantasy adventure and it has one of the most breathtaking and imaginative worlds in gaming.
The Witcher 3: Game of The Year Edition is on sale for 24.99. It is best to jump on the sale price as soon as possible so you’ll have even more time to actually invest in the game.
The appearance of the cute, vaguely bunny-looking protagonist shouldn’t fool anyone. Hollow Knight is a brutal but fantastic game. The side-scrolling Hollow Knight combines the best elements of the Dark Souls series and Metroidvania mechanics for one very wild, must play package. Hollow Knight is a beautiful game with an amazing level of detail and atmosphere included in every environment. It takes old conventions and makes them feel fresh and exciting to the point where simple gaming things like just receiving a map are rewarding and fulfilling experience.
Hollow Knight, a relatively recent release, was already quite a steal at 14.99. The Steam Summer Sale has offered a sizable discount to that price though and lowered it below the 10 dollars threshold. Hollow Knight is on sale for 9.89 and should be on the radar of anyone looking to scratch a Dark Souls or Metroidvania itch.
Interest is renewed in the XCOM series with the expansion hitting at the end of summer. Capitalizing on that revitalization XCOM 2 is being offered for a healthy discount to entice new players to try out the acclaimed series.
XCOM 2 takes everything that it two predecessors did previously and adds a nice level of polish to it all. XCOM 2 has players inhabit the role of a commander who leads their high-tech troops against a force of aliens who have invaded Earth. Challenges arise in the form of permadeath, which forces you to take care of your soldiers at the risk of losing them and and all the time you’ve placed into them, multiple strategies, and unique enemies. These elements also lend themselves quite well to XCOM 2’s replayability, making each experience feel new.
XCom 2 is a must have for sci-fi or strategy game fans. The Steam Summer Sale is offering the game with all its previous DLC for 24.74 which is an easy hundred hours of content for an sensational price.
Final Fantasy VI
Final Fantasy VI is a fan-favorite entry in the role-playing series but it does tend to get overlooked as FFVII, IX, and others hog the spotlight. This could be because VI is one of the harder entries to get a hold in the modern day gaming era where the more 3D Final Fantasies are being constantly re-released. Luckily, the Steam Summer Sale is here to allow players to dive into arguably the strongest entry in the Final Fantasy series
FFVI might not have the most impressive visuals thanks to its old-school sprites, but it is still manages to tell one of the most complex and entertaining stories in the series. It’s a turn-based RPG done to perfection and a wonderful nostalgia trip even if it is a brand-new experience for some players. You can’t help but feel how classic it is from the opening screens to the tight, challenging combat, to the gripping story.
While a large chunk of Final Fantasy games are discounted with this year’s Steam Summer Sale, FFVI should be on everyone’s shopping list. Gamers can pick it up for just 7.99, which knocks 50% off its usual price. It is a deal well worth taking and a game well worth playing.