When it comes to buying games I have to be thrifty. If I bought every newly released game I liked the look of I’d be more broke than Bill Shatner’s girdle. So Steam’s quarterly sales are generally when I tend to fill out the bulk of my gaming library, at a price I’m more able to afford. One snag: newly released games never tend to be on sale for obvious reasons, so most of my buys tend to be titles that are at least a year old. It’s the price you pay for cheaper gaming I guess. Anyhoo, the sale is due to kick off in two weeks time on June 21st, and the Summer Sale is generally accepted as the sale with the most deals and the deepest discount deals. With that in mind, let’s build up some hype as I share with you the six titles, in ascending order of OHMYGODINEEDTHATGAME, currently sitting in my wishlist that I really really hope find their way on sale.
#6 – South Park™: The Fractured But Whole™
I know, it’s not an indie game, not by a long shot. But I’ve been a South Park fan ever since Chef was singing to the children about life and love, and as a child, was the first TV show my parents forbade me to watch. *sigh*, good times. And let’s not kid ourselves, The Stick of Truth was a jam. What was often forgotten about TSoT was the game’s intuitive turn-based combat system, alongside the outrageous weapons such as the ‘Alien Probe’, the ‘ManBearPig Claw’, and of course, the infamous ‘Vibroblade’. The RPG components weren’t overly complicated, it was a well-thought out and well-balanced game. If TFBW can bring even half the general awesomeness of its predecessor, at a price ≠ £49.99, I’d be a happy gamer.
#5 – Kentucky Route Zero
This game came out in February 2013, and has stayed in my wishlist since….March 2013. I have no idea why I haven’t bought it yet, it must’ve been on sale a dozen times in the last five years, but obviously it either slipped through the cracks or never sank low enough from it’s £18.99 standard price to compel me to pull the trigger. There’s a real air of mystique around KRZ; an atmospheric point-and-click adventure about a little-known underground highway, and the stories of the people who use it. A beautiful electronic score and wonderful use of the polygonal art-style really make me hope that this is the sale I get to take a punt on it.
#4 – Dishonored 2
Again, I know, hardly an indie game. Last triple-A game, promise. Its predecessor is the only game to date that once I’d finished, I played it a second time straight away without playing anything else in-between. Never done that before. Playing the game twice in quick succession really gave me a sense of how divergent the endings are, depending on your play style. The game adapts not only to the choices you make, but also the way in which you deal with your enemies. When Dishonored 2 released in November 2016 there was a ton of hype surrounding it, and the opportunity to continue the story not only as Corvo but the Empress Emily Kaldwin as well was almost too much to bear, but I just couldn’t bring myself to spend forty quid plus on a game. It’s currently on Steam for £29.99, but it’ll definitely need to come down significantly in order for it to find a home in my library.
#3 – The Blackwell series
I have to be honest, until recently I’d never even heard of this series. But I’ve been on a massive point-and-click adventure kick recently, and in doing a little research I happened upon the Blackwell series. There are five games in total: The Blackwell Legacy, Unbound, Convergence, Deception and Epiphany. The entire bundle can be bought for just £19.45, which for five decent-length adventure games is pretty damn good and could provide over a month’s worth of reviews, but I can’t help but wonder if that price could scrooch down just a little more. The games centre on Rosangela Blackwell, a spiritual medium, and her ghostly sidekick Joey Mallone, who work to help restless souls pass over into the next plane. Anything paranormal generally gets my attention, so if the bundle manages to find itself on sale I’ll certainly be in high spirits! (Ugh…go ahead and unfollow….)
#2 – Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
I saw the trailer to this and I knew I’d be getting it at some point. The hack-and-slash genre rarely piques my curiosity, but my God does this game feel like the exception to the rule. Developed in collaboration with neuroscientists and people who experience psychosis, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is the story of a Celtic warrior who, on losing her husband, sets off on a quest through Viking hell battling monsters and personal demons alike to save the soul of her dead lover. The trailer is haunting, depicting monsters way more twisted and life-like than anything you’d see in DOOM or Resident Evil. Released in just August last year and heralded as the most powerful and nuanced exploration of mental health in a video game, I’m desperate to get my hands on this title to see what the hubbub’s about. A price slightly lower than the asking amount of £24.99 would go a long way.
Honourable Mention – The Council
This doesn’t make the actual list for one big very reason: It’s a five-part episodic game, and the second episode only released about two months ago. As a result, the chances of it being on sale are smaller than Emperor Palpatine’s age-defying make-up budget. Still, The Council looks absolutely fascinating; a third-person RPG/narrative-driven adventure with meaningful choices and decisions to make, it contains a little of everything. Set in the late 18th century, the player takes on the role of a member of a secret society containing presidents and cardinals, in a quest to find his missing mother. It’s being billed as a new benchmark in narrative-driven adventure games, with hard-hitting and permanent choices that result in wildly divergent story arcs. I’m not holding out much hope that it’ll drop at all below it’s standard price of £25.99, but hey, stranger things have happened.
#1 – Ori and the Blind Forest
I am straight-up embarrassed that I have not played this game yet. It must be one of the most popular indie games of all time, regardless of genre. It has won a slew of awards in a multitude of different categories, and boasts an absolutely ridiculous positivity rating of 96% from over ten thousand reviews! So why I haven’t I played it yet? Honestly, I’m at a complete loss. Maybe I’ve been putting it off a little because I know it packs a powerful emotional gut-punch, and I’ve played perhaps too many games that gave me an acute case of the feels over the years. A simple platformer wouldn’t be the obvious choice to deal with such heavy themes as love and sacrifice, but the masses have most certainly spoken. I think enough is enough on this one. Regardless of whether or not it comes down slightly from £14.99, this may have to end up in my cart anyway come sale time.
So that’s my shortlist! Are there any other PC gamers out there that will be trawling the Steam store for deals come June 21st? And what titles do you have your eye on? Let me know in the comments! Until next time,