Steam summer sale day 6: the best deals

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We’re at the halfway point. We’re on Day Six of the 2013 Steam Summer Sale. We can do this, together. There are deals, below, that really are worth spending some money on. But this is a marathon. Not a sprint. So don’t spend everything. Especially not on Crysis. 

Enjoying these round ups? Want to provide extra opinion to other PCGamesN readers? Let us know what you’re buying, or what you recommend we buy, in the comments.

Alan Wake – £2.39 / $2.99

Tim: I thought this was absolutely brilliant for the first five hours and then I stopped and never played it again.

Rob: Okay, so let me tell you why you can ignore what Tim just said. The game gets BRILLIANT after five hours or so. Yes, you could argue that Remedy get a little too hung up on meta-commentary cuteness, but I think it’s really done quite well here. Alan Wake is probably always going to be a divisive game, but it is also one that is honest about its own ambitions, struggles, and perhaps even its ultimate failure. Along the way, it is also gorgeous and incredibly atmospheric. Spoilers abound here, but I did a close-reading of the game over at The Escapist and, having played a couple more times, I still think Alan Wake is an unforgettable game about creativity and game development.

Matt: What Rob said. Just thinking of some of Alan Wake’s most unnerving sequences still gives me the heebie-jeebies. Pass on American Nightmare though, that was nuts in the worst way possible.

Tim: Anyone got a savegame they could lend me?

DMC: Devil May Cry – £14.99 / $24.99

Matt: I never played the original Devil May Cry games, so potentially what I have to say is a load of old dingoes kidneys, but I thought it was rad. It’s a brightly coloured fun-fair of demon-slicing goodness, with a hilariously cheesy script and some excellent, buttery-smooth combat. Apparently if you’re a long-time Dante purist though this is like spitting clean between the Queen’s eyes. DmC is one of today’s more expensive buys, but if you’re looking for some fast, smart action, I’d say this is the stop where you should get off.

Crysis 2: Maximum Edition – £7.49 / $8.99

Tim: Both Crysis 2 and 3 nearly drove me to despair. It’s a classic example of a game studio clutching defeat from the jaws of victory. All they had to do was make Crysis 1 again, but better. Big open spaces, lots of bad men to shoot, some vehicles to tinker with, and make it beautiful. Instead: a thin strip of New York, stupid dreadlocked aliens, and a story with actual goddamn dialogue that used the word goddamn too goddamn much.

What I’m saying is that you shouldn’t buy Crysis 2. It’s well rub.

Sleeping Dogs – £4.99 / $6.24

Matt: Sleeping Dogs got pretty decent scores at launch, but everyone I talk to about it seems to think it’s pretty awful. So I’m probably on my own here when I try to convince you that you should totally buy this. It’s basically kung-fu GTA, so if you’ve ever watched a Donnie Yen film and thought ‘Hey, I’d bloody love to play that’ then here’s that game you dreamed of. The driving is a bit Burnout-y, which wipes away the sourness of GTA4’s heavy, lumbering cars, and the radio stations are funky. The hand-to-hand combat is a bit clunky, but the bone-breaking take-downs will make you do your best ‘OOOH!’ face. It also looks uber pretty on PC, with some absolutely stunning water-on-road effects reflecting the sharp neon Hong Kong scenery.

Tim: This is totally what a next-gen Double Dragon game would be like. The drivings shonky as anything, and the fighting is a bit wayward. But you can put men’s faces into air-conditioning fans and that’s basically one of the best things about videogames.

Rising Storm – £7.49 / $9.99

Rob: I can’t say enough good things about this. I had my doubts that Rising Storm could make a great game out of the Pacific Theater, but it does. Each weapon is distinctive, and the American and Japanese sides play completely differently. Depending which team you’re on in a match, you have to employ completely different tactics. I gave it a rave review, and then it turns out that PC Gamer’s Evan Lahti and I had an hour and a half of good things to say about it. Don’t miss out on such a unique shooter. We need more like this!

The Secret World – £12.49 / $14.99

Tim: I haven’t played this because I have a very good friend who worked on it and if I played it and it was bad that would be terrifically awkward. Then he got laid off and is quite sad about the whole thing. I’m sure it’s very good. Is it good? You tell us.

Matt: I actually picked this up a few weeks ago on a Steam Daily Deal. Is it good? It seems about as good as every other MMORPG mechanically – it does feel a bit weird using hotkeys to fire machine guns at first, but you get used to that. The big thing about The Secret World that’s worth your time is the.. well.. world. It’s all kinds of secret, y’see, and uses real-world locations. You get to fight demons in the NYC Subway and talk with weird shamen dudes in the streets of London. The visual design is ace, and the scripting is what you’d expect from the dudes behind The Longest Journey. Worth playing? I’d personally prefer to read the Secret World as a graphic novel, but if you have the time to sink into an MMO, do try it. No subscription these days too, so even more bonus points.

Orcs Must Die 2 – £2.99 / $3.74

Tim: I kind of adore Orcs Must Die. It’s great. It’s a really well produced sort of tower defense thing played from a third person point of view. You get a minute or so to lay down traps, and then you’re assaulted by wave upon wave of, well, orcs. It works because it’s just so well animated. The orcs are gobby shits who jog along like podgy little boxer pups. The lead character’s basically a bit of a dick but you’ll grow to love him. And the traps look and feel exceptionally painful. Punting a group of orcs of a high walkway into a pit below rarely gets old.

Here’s the thing. I kind of adore Orcs Must Die. But Orcs Must Die 2 really left me a bit cold. Maybe it’s because the novelty wore off a little bit – I did play the game every day for about three months. But I actually think the level design is way off in the sequel. The most requested feature for the sequel was co-op play, which was included. But many of the levels feel balanced around co-op – with multiple routes that need to be defended at the same time. Playing on my own left me feeling a little bit overwhelmed.

The good news is that Orcs Must Die 1 is on sale for £1.74 today. Buy that instead. Unless you want to play co-op. Then you should buy both games and all their DLC for £6.24

Mark of the Ninja – £2.99 / $3.74

Tim: This is an exceptionally well put together stealth platform game – slightly Metroid-y, but that rewards sneaking and avoiding combat and the bad men with guns. I think it’s superb, but it’s flown under the radar a little bit, I think. Benefits immensely from a gamepad, but is pretty good with a mouse and keyboard. Do buy it.

System Shock 2 – £1.74 / $2.49

Rob: This remains one of the most gripping and terrifying games I’ve ever played. I’m hard-pressed to name a game that has surpassed it in terms of sound design. It helps that Irrational made a game where you were constantly weak, hunted, and low on resources. I’m still not sure Irrational have surpassed it.

Tim: Everyone will say very serious things about System Shock 2, about emergence and player choice and sound design and everything. However, my abiding memory of playing this was with the co-op patch. It was pure teenage comedy; leaning in and out of the toilets so it looked like you were really straining to do a poo, dancing around the monkeys so that they’d kill my friend, and, finally, repeatedly falling off the teeth that rise and fall in the game’s entirely forgotten, and entirely terrible, biological tumour level.