Steam sale 19th July: the best games, the best deals

robot

Apologies that this is a bit late, but here’s our picks for today’s best deals on Steam. Before you dive in, remember to read our Steam Sale Survival Guide.

Today’s best deal is…Fallout: New Vegas (-75% £3.74)

TE: I’ve spent a long, long time in New Vegas, and I adore it. I love the skewed perspective of the game; it’s the Apocalypse, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time. I love the characters – it’s a Western but with radiation. And I love that you can nearly break the game with the right character choices: you can bring a nuke to a fistfight. So, yeah, for this price, you should buy it.

Don’t get the DLC though. It’ll spam you with extra stuff to do the first time you start the game.

SH: Currently playing through this. The differences between New Vegas and Fallout 3 are remarkable: it’s more fun, more intelligent, more creative and imaginative. There’s just a bafflingly dense amount of content to be played with. There’s actually a string of deals on the Fallout games today too: the Ultimate Edition of New Vegas includes the four add-on missions and costs £7.49. Each one of those add-ons normally costs £7.49 alone. Steam!

Amnesia: The Dark Descent (-75% £3.24)

TE: I simply and absolutely refuse to play this, after a good friend explained the terror he felt. I’m sure it’s very good though and I hope you enjoy it. Buy.

SH: Amnesia is scary, yes, but if you run right up to the first actual creature you see and start jumping on it, waving the mouse around and laughing you can rob this game of its power.

Sniper Elite (-50% £14.99)

SH: This is Sniper Elite V2, in which you can graphically shoot the testicles off a Nazi in super slow-mo. It’s gorily cinematic but its tedious level design, which often forces you into the unsniperish Rambo mould, will start to grate. Worth considering at this price point, but certainly not recommended for all.

Alan Wake (-75% £5.74)

TE: This was one of the great gaming disappointments of this generation. Alan Wake started life as a free-roaming horror-em-up with some truly startling tech. There was a demo at an Intel event that saw a hurricane ripping apart a town. It was insane, brilliant, and beautiful and actually seemed to exist: I remember an incredible demo at an Intel conference where a hurricane hit the cute American town the game is set in. Then the game flopped out after a period of Xbox exclusivity and, frankly, it’s just a bit disappointing.

It is interesting: the game is split into episodes that are narrated by a Stephen King-esque writer fellow, and the action is meaty and smart to begin with. But the gimmick – that you have to use light to defeat zombie things – wears thin pretty fast. It’s a game I wish was much better, but if you’ve got lowered expectations, you’ll probably enjoy it a bit. .

SH: That said, for another two quid you’re also getting the standalone American Nightmare expansion bundled with it alongside a developer commentary, an “illustrated PDF book” and a soundtrack. Having never played Alan Wake, and with the understanding that American Nightmare is the better of the two, I think I’ll give this a punt.

Plants vs Zombies (-75% £1.74)

SH: If ever there was a game that desperately needed cloud saving, it’s Plants vs Zombies. I think I’ve played it on everything from a PC to a phone to a toaster, starting from scratch and enduring those slow tutorial levels each time. That’s testament to how good Plants vs Zombies is, but I don’t think I can stand to see the thing any more. And I never liked that song at the end.

TE: You’re absolutely right about the cloud saving. I’ve completed this about seven times on various platforms and all I’m trying to do is unlock the zen garden.

Gratuitous Tank Battles (-66% £5.09)

TE: I haven’t played this yet, but I thought the prequel, Gratuitous Space Battles was kind of brilliant. It’s a strategy game in which you build a spaceship and then plan a battle. But when it comes to the actual fighting, it’s entirely hands off. It’s the kind of PC game I absolutely love. But again, I haven’t played it. So don’t take my word for anything.

Krater (-50% £5.99)

TE: It’s a strategy/hack and slash-em-up game set.. in post-apocalyptic Sweden. I haven’t had a chance to play it, but the reviews are middling to fair.

SH: Post-apocalyptic, squad-based action-RPG from Sweden that, I’m ashamed to say, has passed me by. I’ve heard bellowing praise for Krater though, and at six quid I’d be happy to take the risk. It looks beautiful too, one of the most colourful post-apocalypses this side of Borderlands.

The Witcher 2: Assassin’s of Kings (-60% £11.99)

TE: With the Witcher 2, I think CDProjekt can lay claim to be the one of the best computer RPG developers working in the world today. It’s got a great setting, a great story (you are a Witcher, a monster hunter for hire) and is relentlessly entertaining. There are two problems worth bearing in mind: the combat is a bit under-developed – it’s more hack-and-slash action-y – I’d prefer something more akin to Dragon Age: Origins – and the ending is a bit of a joke. But, it is a very good game and you should play it.

Indie Bundle VII (-75% £6.99) including Demolition Inc., Hoard, SOL: Exodus, Swords and Soldiers HD, Wings of Prey

TE: Wings of Prey patently isn’t an indie, but it is brilliant – it’s a DAGADAGADAGA World War 2 Flight Sim that (I think – so don’t quote me on this) uses the engine from the very latest IL-2 games. One thing to note, if you fancy it – it has limited activation DRM that might screw you over.

SH: It’s also got loads of bloom and ambient occlusion, which makes it look like you’re flying through a cloud’s imagination or something. The rest of these games look like they belong on the iTunes store.

TE: Hoard is a strategy game in which you play as a dragon trying to earn treasure – it’s cute but a bit simplistic. I haven’t played the other three games, I’m afraid.