Back after a day's reprieve the PCGamesN price squad have assembled to under the cover of darkness to tussle and debate the latest reductions in the Steam sale. Here are our findings:
Dishonored - 50%
Rob: This is a very nice deal on a terrific stealth action game. Comparisons to Thief and Deus Ex are as inevitable as they overdone. Dishonored finds its own path, blurring the lines between stealth and action much as it blurs the moral lines around violence and being “nonlethal” in such a debased world.
Batman: Arkham City -75%
Rob: I didn’t care of Arkham City. It’s worth playing at this price, I suppose, but overall it’s too big, too nonsensical, and too dumb. It’s a spectacular and beautiful waste, as Batman meanders through a sprawling but ultimately needless section of Gotham that has been converted into a giant prison complex. Every possible character and storyline is crammed into this overfilled game, and it never stops harassing you about side quests.
Civilization V -75%
Rob: Civ V broke with series tradition in several significant ways, alienating many longtime fans. Its poor launch condition didn’t help matters any, and so Civ V is burdened by an unfairly mixed reputation. The truth it, it’s an excellent strategy game the demands more careful planning than ever before, and while I might miss the freedom of previous Civilization games, I do enjoy learning how to gameplan for each faction. Do yourself a favor, however, and spend an extra $7.50 to get the Gods and Kings expansion. It makes an awful lot of improvements.
Torchlight 2 -50%
Jules: I played (and loved) the original Torchlight. Where Diablo was po-faced and mechanical Torchlight was light, colourful, and enjoyable. It’s one to be played in co-op though because as with all ARPG’s the longer you go into them the more its like walking into treacle, you start questioning your use of time.
I’ve not played the second (just bought it this sale) but from what I hear it improved on the first game in all respects and worked as a perfect foil to Diablo 3.
Sonic Generations -75%
Orcs Must Die 2 -75%
Jules: The first Orcs Must Die shifted the tower defense perspective from on high down to ground level, putting you in the boots of an apprentice wizard charged with defending the kingdom from streams of greenskins. It further messed with the set-in-stone formula of the genre by having most the towers replaced with traps, floor panels that spring orcs back down the corridor they came from, wind traps that blow enemies off walkways into the lava below, the idea and reported joy of the game was stringing traps together to make a Rube Goldberg killing machine. The second does much the same, released within a year of the first game it brought new maps, new traps, and new enemies.
The problem I had with the first was that I gravitated to using the same traps and weapons from level to level, not needing to experiment. I’ve heard nothing to suggest this wouldn’t happen in the sequel either.
Atom Zombie Smasher -50%
Jules: Charged with controlling a team of marines as they attempt to rescue survivors from cities overrun with zombies, you view the world from a top down view from which you can direct your men, call in artillery strikes, and pray. Presenting the zombie horde as dots on a map does little to allay the panic of Atom Zombie Smashers. It puts you into missions under-equipped and ill-prepared, in seconds of any map starting waves of the undead will be flooding the city from every direction and you have to begin prioritising which groups of survivors you can reach and evacuate in the time available.
For this price, it’s one of the best zombie games on the PC.
Rob: Worth it for the soundtrack alone, Atom Zombie Smasher is a concentrated dose of cool. A single game might only take an hour or less, but I still ended up playing for over twenty.
Tiny & Big -50%
Jules: None of us have played this one. Though reviews I read at release suggested that it was a game with an excellent destruction system, perfect for an open world game, but it never let you off the leash to play with it.
The Basement Collection -50%
Jules: Ed McMillen’s become a household name (in very specific, indie game loving houses) as the creator of Super Meat Boy and The Binding of Isaac. The Basement Collection is a package of games that he and his various teammates prototyped over the years. It’s like a short story collection of his work. If you’ve liked his previous games you will find something in here to enjoy. If, however, you’ve not heard of him before, you may want to stay clear if poo and tears make you squeamish.
Toki Tori -90%
Jules: Don’t be put off by its colourful visuals and children’s book-like art style, Toki Tori is a devious little puzzle game that will stretch your brain out till it looks like a grey carpet (I hear this is what they use at science conferences for notable scientists to enter on instead of the traditional red). Each level presents you with a set of eggs to gather a collection of single use powers with which to get them. It rapidly becomes a game where you need to sit and calculate your plan because it’s easy to run out of powers leaving yourself stuck and needing to restart.
Gemini Wars -40%
Bunch of Heroes -75%
Jules: Bunch of Heroes has you fight off waves of marauding aliens/undead/baddies with others online, using standard-thru to-bizarre weapons. I played this briefly when it appeared in one of Valve’s achievement races, and, while fun enough, there was nothing to hook me into playing for more than 30 minutes.
Paul: What I like about Home isn’t just the surprising amount of atmosphere that’s packed into a modest game that has only relatively simple mechanics, but also how bleak many of its choices are. Should you rifle through a drawer to see what you can find inside? Sure, why not? Then the game tells you you’ve left your fingerprints over everything. Then you find a splatter of blood across the wall. Oh, lovely. Lovely.
Bit. Trip. Beat. -60%
Jules: The Bit. Trip. series scratches a very musical itch perfectly. At its core, Bit. Trip. Beat. is a rhythm game infused version of pong. You must bat back oncoming pixel balls with your paddle, though each time you hit a ball a beat is played, the beat ties in with the background music, and the more balls you bat the better the beat and the background music becomes. It takes no time at all to be pulled into the rhythm of the game. Bright colours, splashes of particle effects, and the visual clarity all mould to make it a satisfying experience.
AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome -33%