Steam’s Winter sales — or Christmas sales, really — are finally coming to a close. One day. That’s all you have left to throw your money at Gabe Newell and the gargantuan corporation that is Valve.
Many people have decried the lack of flash sales (which can’t return thanks to Steam refunds) and the lack of decent discounts overall. But there have been some good pickups nevertheless, and there are still some decent offerings available now if you move fast.
As is the case, all prices below have been converted into Australian dollars but the precise currency conversion might differ at the time of purchase. Check PayPal, check your online banking, check Google if you need to.
Darkest Dungeon leaves Early Access in a couple of weeks, but even when the roguelike dungeon crawler went into Early Access at the beginning of last year it still represented one of the better uses of the development model. It was excellent value when it was available for slightly more during Steam’s Exploration sales, and that remains the case now.
I don’t have the experience or background to tell you how Project CARS stacks up next to iRacing as a sim racer, and that goes for drawing any comparisons with Assetto Corsa. But as a comparison for those who like their racers with a more serious tone — like the F1, DiRT or GRID franchises — there is plenty of fun to be had with Project CARS.
I put over 40 hours into Project CARS when it came out early last year and had an absolute blast. It’s also been responsible for a very nice memory of mine which will stay for me for quite a while, if not forever. Other friends of mine who are into sim racing also enjoyed pCARS quite a bit, and the patches and content Slightly Mad Studios have pushed out since release have only improved matters. On top of that, the game looks an utter treat in VR and it works pretty well with the Steam controller too.
Obsidian doing what they do best
It was expected that Pillars of Eternity would fall by the wayside when it came to Game of the Year/end of year discussions, and that’s more or less what happened amongst the industry. It’s a gargantuan game and, while fans tell me it’s not without it’s problems (I haven’t finished it), it still has a proud place on Obsidian’s resume.
Jason didn’t think the game met the standards of classics like the original Baldur’s Gate, but many cRPG fans still left satisfied. The 60% discount right now is especially tempting given the hour-to-dollar ratio, even if you don’t buy into the expansions.
Supergiant’s sense of style is still superb
Transistor is just as good a follow-up to Bastion as it ever was, and if you haven’t played it now’s the perfect time. Yannick eventually came around on Transistor after some initial frustrations, and it has an excellent cyberpunk turn-based strategy touch that can serve as a nice appetite ahead of February’s meatier turn-based strategy meal in the form of XCOM 2.
Australians still won’t have access to some of the anal probe sequences thanks to our erstwhile Classification Board, but The Stick of Truth still remains an excellent romp that honours the South Park series without becoming overly stale. The combat can get a bit dry towards the end, and fortunately the game moves at a reasonable enough clip to prevent things from devolving into a grind.
You’re getting better than a dollar an hour here, and to Obsidian’s credit my experience was incredibly smooth. Mind you, a South Park game isn’t going to be as broad as, say, New Vegas or Alpha Protocol.
The ETS2 beast is a strange one, although it’s one I feel I’m starting to understand more thanks to the placid, peaceful experience I’m having with Elite: Dangerous. The game’s longevity has been expanded immensely thanks to the success of the multiplayer mod as well, which has resulted in thousands of truckers journeying across Europe.
It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but there are plenty of people who enjoy the gaming equivalent of white noise — something you can play absent-mindedly, while watching a TV show, focusing on a stream or catching up on something online. ETS2 fits the bill perfectly for that, and if you’re intrigued by the wave of support it’s generated over the last few years, $6.35 is a pretty low bar for entry.
That’s just a small selection of what’s on sale until tomorrow morning. What have you bought during the Steam sales — and what games caught your eye?