HOSTLIGHT is releasing today! The game is available for purchase on Steam and to celebrate the launch it’s currently 20% off, coming in at £9.11 (price may vary based on your region).
The puzzle game has you exploring a mysterious tower and completing the puzzles contained within using light & shadow. Mix & match colors, use mirrors to direct light beams and topple columns to create a chain reaction.
You won’t be alone on your journey, as robot companion The Guide will help you out as well as fill you in on some story (who are The Builders?). At this point I reckon “puzzle game + robot narrator” is pretty much a genre in and of itself, so this could be a hit for fans of Portal who’ve been craving a game with a similar feel.
The game was developed by ESDIP_GAMES (an art school in Madrid!) and published by SelectaPlay.
Will you be playing HOSTLIGHT? Let us know in the comments below!
No, that’s not a typo in the title. While the celebration may have passed, nothing’s stopping you from keeping the party alive in the virtual world!
These aren’t games made by an US companies (in fact, most of them aren’t), but they’re games that will make you shout “‘MERICA!” for one reason or another. So put on your headphones, turn them to the max to drown out the fireworks, and let’s see what Steam has to offer!
Metal Wolf Chaos XD
From Software is a company that needs no introduction. Their games created their own genre, and are known for their grand boss fights, somber atmosphere, and environmental storytelling, all set in a grim-dark fantasy setting where tragedy can be found at every corner.
Metal Wolf Chaos is NOTHING like that! Released in 2004 (6 years before Demon Souls) for the original Xbox, you play as Michael Wilson, the 47th president of the United States (2023 elections are looking spicy). After Vice President Richard Hawk takes over the country, Michael must take it back the only way he knows how: with a giant mech!
Gameplay-wise, the game is a stage-based third-person shooter. You control the mech through destructible environments, destroying enemies and saving civilians. The game has over 100 weapons you can use, but you can only have up to 8 equipped at a time.
The XD version, which is the one we’re talking about, was released in 2019 by Devolver Digital. It offers modern quality of life improvements, like support for modern controllers and 4k, 16:9 resolutions.
Keeping the streak of insane, over-the-top games, we have an homage to 80s and 90s action movies. In Broforce, you play as a collection of characters that were… uhm… inspired by heroes of decades gone by, like Rambro, B. A. Broracus, Brominator, Double Bro 7, Indiana Brones, Mr. Anderbro, and a lot more.
The game is a side-scrolling shooter with completely destructible environments. Each Bro dies in one hit, at which point you respawn at the last checkpoint as another random bro. You gain lives and unlock new characters by saving captured Bros, who then replace your current Bro. The levels see you going in nondescript countries full of terrorists, landmasses infested with Aliens(the 1986 movie), and Hell itself.
The game also features up to 4-players co-op. If you want to get a taste how this game plays, you can download Expendabros, a short game where you play as characters from The Expendables movies, that can be seen as a demo for Broforce.
Spec Ops: The Line
Changing gear to a more serious tone, Spec Ops: The Line is a third person squad shooter. You play as Martin Walker, a Captain in the US Army, who goes to a sandstorm-ravaged Dubai to look for a an army evacuation team. The gameplay is pretty basic, with you controlling Walker as he shoots stuff and hides behind walls, while also giving orders to your two squad mates.
Where The Line really shines is the story. Can’t reveal too much here, as that would spoil the game. What we can say is that what seems like a typical military shooter where you headshot the bad guy and save the day gets a lot darker and a lot more real very quickly. Go into this one as blind as possible.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Assassin’s Creed III would probably be a better fit for this list. You play as a Native American character, during the events of the American Revolution, and you meet with some of the greatest people in US history, like George Washington or Benjamin Franklin. But Black Flag is just more fun. Also cheaper.
In Assassin’s Creed IV, you play as Edward Kenway, a pirate in the early 1700s. After killing a member of the Assassin Brotherhood, you’re dragged into their ranks and start helping their cause. The assassination gameplay in IV takes a bit of a back seat to naval combat, which was introduced in III but is expanded upon greatly in this game. Still, the game is swashbuckling fun, and still a good time even today.
Far Cry 5
Just noticed that the 4th and 5th entries on this list are AC4 and FC5. Cool! Anyway, we round up our list with Far Cry 5, an open-world FPS set in Hope County, Montana. You play as a junior deputy sheriff who tries to stop Joseph Seed and his cult, Eden’s Gate.
The Far Cry games after 3 have a pretty well established formula. You roam an open-world while liberating bases, driving vehicles, and climbing towers, all while shooting anyone that gets in your way. The best part of most Far Cry games, however, is the villain, and Joseph Seed does not disappoint. Though you’ll find there’s something very… familial about him.
We’ve back with yet another installment in our 2022 Steam Summer Sale showcase, this time taking a look at discounted casual games! No need to grind entire warehouses of wood here folks, these are games that let you hang back and relax on a chill Sunday.
As usual, we’ll have links to the games’ pages as well as current prices at the bottom of the post. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
Now, Among Us is usually cheap, so a discount doesn’t mean much, but if you haven’t given the pandemic favorite a try yet, perhaps now would be a good time to see what all that impostor nonsense is about.
The game is simple: One match has anywhere from 3 to 15 players, of which one or more are Impostors. The Impostors’ goal is to kill enough innocents until their number is equal to the number or remaining Impostors.
Innocents (civilians, scientists, medics) need to survive long enough to complete all their tasks (repairing circuits, downloading/uploading files, cleaning gutters and so much more) or vote out all the Impostors to win. That’s basically it, but the experience can be quite engaging and fun, especially if played with friends.
Long ago, in the 2000s there used to be a whole gaming market based on giving you free one-hour demos. Studios such as PopCap Games, BigFishGames and others had all sorts of awesome lil’ games coming out: Feeding Frenzy, Mystery Case Files, Zuma and… Insaniquarium. You can actually still play a demo for this one on Steam if you’re undecided on the purchase.
Anyway! The game’s got you taking care of an aquarium, but wait, this ain’t no regular aquarium! While you’re feeding your fish, harvesting their poop (which is literally dollar coins), you’ll trigger certain “dollar milestones” that’ll spawn an alien who intends to kill your fish. Whatever will you do? Well, you’ll use your laser weapons to deal with it.
Aside from the complete insanity it takes to get rich off some fish, you’ve got several other helpful things to gain, making your journey easier: Buddies, such as a snail that helps you collect coins, or upgrades to the food you feed your fish or the weapons you defend them with. This game is honestly better than a lot of more modern, more expensive games. Give it a shot.
Yet another one of PopCap’s successes, Zuma’s Revenge! is the awesome sequel to Zuma Deluxe, an equally awesome game. I only chose the sequel for its better graphics and improved game design, but both are on sale and I’d suggest to catch’em all!
Zuma, at its core, is a match 3 (or more) game, but not like Bejeweled (which was also developed by PopCap and is the purest version of a match 3 game, made before the entire genre was sullied by behavioral psychologist-designed versions like Candy Crush). You control a cute frog and fight against an almost-endless line of balls that move towards a skull’s mouth. Let the balls get to the mouth and you lose the game!
Your frog shoots different-colored balls, so you need to insert these into the “bad” line of balls. Getting three or more of the same color together will pop them. If the balls on both ends of the now-ruptured line are of the same color, the “forward” part of the line will be drawn backward, pushing the whole line back and giving you more time to reach the score required for the line to stop spawning. Then, you’ve only got to “finish off” the remaining balls to win.
The game’s got basically infinite replayability, with several different hard modes to keep you busy.
Tetris Effect: Connected
If you thought there’s nothing new Tetris as a genre can come up with, think again. Aside from being able to run this in VR (hol-up), Tetris Effect received an update in 2020 that added support for co-op multiplayer, both local and online.
This game’s got several crazy game modes that each add their own unique spin on the original. Since we’re talking about casual games, though, there is of course a Zen mode, where you can just place blocks and delete lines without worrying about the speed suddenly increasing from 1 to 9 (which is a common occurrence in the campaign).
Even if you’re not a fan of Tetris, you should give this game a shot. It’s rare to see an audio-visual experience so well designed using reactive audio concepts. The music is entirely non-linear, meaning you’ll hear a loop of the same “portion” of a song while the match runs at, say, speed 2, but when you hit a points threshold and the speed shifts to 4, the music will change with it, increasing in speed, adding a beat, creating additional harmonies and more. It is an awesome experience and pairs very well with the absolutely gorgeous visuals, which also react to what you do on the board, like destroying lines or speeding up the placement of pieces.
I cannot describe this game. Go into it blind. It’s widely regarded as one of the best games of all time, has won an endless amount of awards and is overall a can’t-miss experience. I’ve linked the trailer below if you’re not convinced!
Out Steam Summer Sale coverage continues with a look at 5 great metroidvanias. Those are games focused on exploring a large, interconnected map, with numerous abilities you unlock along the way.
Castlevania Advance Collection
Starting things off with the “Vania” half of Metroidvania. Oddly enough, there’s no way to get Symphony of the Night on Steam, despite the fact that it’s the Castlevania game that influenced the genre the most. Still, this collection is nothing to scoff at.
The Advance Collection, as the name implies, contains the 3 Gameboy Advance Castlevania games: Circle of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance, and Aria of Sorrow. All 3 of these are considered cult classics and are praised by fans. This Collection also includes Dracula X, which is a remake of Rondo of Blood and far more linear.
If you want to scratch that Castlevania itch, the Anniversary Collection is also on sale for 80% off. It contains 8 Castlevania games that, while not metroidvanias, are still classic and totally worth your time.
Keeping with the gothic theme, Blasphemous is set in a dark medieval world named Cvstodia. The game’s aesthetic takes heavy inspirations from the Catholic Church and the Spanish inquisition to build a very brutal and gruesome world for the player to explore.
As the name implies, Blasphemous is heavy with themes of religion and faith, as well as imagery that’s not appropriate for all ages. It is also a very difficult game, with enemies that can kill you in just a few hits and bottomless pits that will return you to the last save spot instantly.
The only game on this list to lean towards the Metroid half of the genre in terms of combat (in other words, the only one with a gun). You play as Trace, a scientist who, after a freak lab accident, wakes up in a very strange world. You must find a way back home while a mysterious voice guides your actions. However, things are clearly not what they seem.
The world of Axiom Verge is very non-linear, with no real indication of where you want to go next. It’s pretty easy to get lost, but if that’s what you’re looking for, the game won’t disappoint. Gameplay-wise, you have access to several different weapons and upgrades that help traverse the world. The aesthetic of the game is quite eerie, with environments and characters that would do H. R. Geiger proud.
Probably one of the most popular games in the genre in recent memory. You play as the titular Knight, a small bug wielding an even smaller nail, descending into the land of Hallownest to cleanse it of the corruption that grips it.
One of the main draws of Hollow Knight is the map system. Instead of just uncovering it by exploring, you need to sit down on a bench to transcribe it. You can’t even see where your character is without a special item. The combat of the game is difficult, but fair, and the story is told through the environment you explore and characters you meet.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
Let’s end this list the way we started it: with a game from Koji Igarashi. Created as a spiritual successor to Symphony of the Night, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a metroidvania with a heavy emphasis on RPG elements, and a dark, gothic aesthetic. You play as Miriam, an orphan who must kill a demon lord in order to save herself from succumbing to a crystalizing curse.
Aside from Ritual of the Night, there are also two spin-off titles on sale, both 50% off. Curse of the Moon, a prequel to the main game that was later branched into its own continuity where you control up to 4 characters and plays more like the Castlevanias of old, and Curse of the Moon 2, a sequel to the spin-off that’s similar gameplay-wise, except now with a corgi piloting a steam-punk mech.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is also currently available for users on the PS Plus Extra plan.
We continue our coverage of the 2022 Steam Summer Sale with a look at the best deals for JRPGs! These are ideal if you want to get lost in story-rich worlds and have your anime character undergo the long level grind they deserve!
Octopath is the game that pioneered Square Enix’s HD-2D artstyle, and we have to say: They nailed it pretty well for their first attempt. While reminiscent of the SNES era of JRPGs, HD-2D takes the Pixel-look and updates it to make the world come alive. It’s goes a long way to feel the impact of your flashy attacks destroying the enemy’s guard. Even on the overworld, the lighting effects and for the various regions do a good job setting the right mood.
One defining feature of Octopath is the multitude of characters. As the title suggests, you’ll get to learn the tale of eight in total, all traveling the lands for a different reason. They’ve all got unique ways to interact with their surroundings; like a Scholar making investigations and a Swordsman challenging people to a duel. The gameplay starts off simple, but ramps up in the later parts when you’ll be able to switch classes and unlock new and more powerful ones.
One part that got the short end with the eight-travelers-from-all-over idea is the storytelling. It’s like segmented main pieces that never got the connecting parts to fill out. Since the game can be started in eight different locations it’s no easy task to make the narration work as well as a linearly structured title could. There are some noteworthy moments when the cast has some interactions that flesh them, as a group, out. Beyond that, they just take turns on who gets to be the main character while the others watch on from the sidelines until a battle starts.
Did we mention how good the battle music is? This game has a fantastic soundtrack.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
The seventh entry in the Yakuza series has turn-based combat and thus departs from its traditional action pace. Whether or not you can vibe with that decision, it doesn’t take away from the absolute lunacy going on with the story. Wanna beat up men wearing diapers in a Nursery? Encourage people by feeding ungodly spicy food? The depths the Yakuza games go to provide entertaining side-quests and minigames is respectable to say the least.
At its core, the game is still about… well, the Yakuza. That is to say you fight against them with your party of misfits you assemble throughout the story. However, the real gift of the setting is the city you get to explore. Inspired by Yokohama, this entry in the series notably takes place in a newly designed open world. That makes it a great starting point for newcomers while giving veterans a fresh look at a diverse Japanese metropolis.
Tales of Arise
Another long-running JRPG series is the “Tales of” franchise. Tales of Arise, like its predecessors, is a more grounded approach to the genre.
Unlike the first two games we discussed, this one offers the whole action combat package with dodge rolls and air juggle combos. Instead of making calculated decisions turn by turn, you can feel the enjoyment of landing fast melee strikes or casting a series of powerful spells.
The story makes up a sizable chunk of the game, either in the way of long cutscenes and texts providing detailed worldbuilding or personal moments with your party members. Even if not every moment is a fully animated immersive experience, the game doesn’t need that to get across its meaningful topics and likable characters.
Zanki Zero: Last Beginning
This one’s for the people that prefer extra weird JRPGs. Playing in a post-apocalyptic setting, 8 people are left to explore the island they are stranded on. Well, not exactly the island itself, but the dungeons that sprawl underneath. That’s right! It’s a dungeon crawler, a first-person one at that. So it doubles down on the slow and strategic gameplay by making tile-based movement a part of your turns.
In terms of the story, the characters all age rapidly as you play. This effects what their fighting capabilities are and goes on until they’re too old, at which point a clone (reincarnation?) is created. That way you can play as a child and go from there. What this unconventional worldbuilding exactly entails is up to you to discover, but don’t expect world peace and happy ever after from the creators of the Danganronpa games.
Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition
Cyber Sleuth is a hard sell for people that never had any connection to Digimon in the past. Imagine Pokémon, but instead of a cute electric mouse you’ve got the yellow poop emoji and DJ-monkey with sunglasses and a gold chain. Long story short, it’s worth a look if you’ve been aching for a Pokémon game that goes more in-depth with the monster training and offers more rewarding challenges to overcome.
At the end of the day, it’s a decent game for anyone that wants to re-experience the fond memories of watching the anime. Fortunately, the story is not just a retelling but still captures the same kind of charm. As is tradition, the stakes escalate equally fast towards the later parts, when the poop emoji and DJ monkey triple-ultra-digi-volve and threaten world domination! This is only slightly exaggerated.
We continue our coverage of the 2022 Steam Summer Sale with a look at the best deals for city & settlement games! If you’re looking for a new city to micromanage, I hope this list suits you well!
As usual, we’ll have links to the games’ pages as well as current prices at the bottom of the post. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
Why wait for Elon Musk to take us to Mars when real-life crafting tasks take so long? Get to Mars now with Surviving Mars, an atmospheric settlement building game that I’ve got nothing but praise for.
You start the game by landing your drones someone on the surface of Mars and, aside from your starting resources, you’re own your own until you’ve got a stable enough colony to buy more shipments of minerals, robots or humans from Earth.
The progression system is the real star in this game. As you accumulate resources, you unlock better ways of harvesting them, which in turn allows you to upscale your production to the point you can build things like an artificial sun.
All your hard work could easily be derailed, however, when you enter the endgame phase. At a seemingly random point in time, you’ll receive a prompt: Your scouts have found something, or a consequence of your actions begins to manifest. There’s several scenarios (you can pick which one you get on game setup) and they’re all quite riveting. If you’re into sci-fi plots that ask the hard questions, you should definitely play this game.
A game that needs no introduction, Civilization VI (or the franchise as a whole) is a game everyone should try at least once. While the pace may seem glacial at times (even on the fastest speed setting), rest assured the gameplay will keep you hooked for just ‘one more turn’.
As a city & settlement game so closely tied to history, it is hard to think of a worthy rival to Civilization. I’m not much of a history buff, but this game (and previous entries in the franchise) is engaging enough that I end up passively absorbing history facts with each playthrough. That’s right, this game makes you smarter and you don’t even have to study.
In terms of gameplay, most of you time will be spent expanding your empire, improving tiles with facilities such as lumber mills, exploring, negotiating, battling Gandhi, conducting research and spreading your religion to other nations. You don’t need to do this all at once, of course – there’s several ways to win the game. You could grind away at your enemies until none stand in your path, or you could use the power of science and win the space race. All five victory types are equally valid, but take note you should focus your efforts on one, perhaps at most two in order to actually reach the finish line.
Oh, quick fact: Sean Bean narrates this game, and he doesn’t prematurely die in this one.
On a more somber note, pick up Frostpunk if you’re looking to send Victorian children to work in factories for the greater good.
Frostpunk has you taking care of a small settlement of survivors that have fled to the North after a volcanic winter has made most of the globe uninhabitable. Huddling around a generator built by the British Empire and the United States “just in case”, you’ve got to keep people warm long enough to make it past ‘the big cold’ by farming egregious amounts of coal and researching advanced insulation techniques before your Victorian children get frostbitten or starve to death. It’s probably a good time to mention there’s also adults; you’re not in charge of a colony that’s just children.
The game is a masterclass in how to craft that “hope in a hopeless place” vibe. While the moment-to-moment gameplay can become frustrating at times (due to the panic of things not working when the temperature is too low), that hope of pulling through one more night, so your scouts can return with more resources and avert famine or death, makes for an excellent experience.
Tired of living in a city that’s so badly designed it’s one of the top 10 most congested ones worldwide? Well, perhaps you can do a better job in Cities: Skylines!
Of course, managing a real city all by yourself would be a herculean task, but that’s why video games exist, to allow us to achieve the impossible. Achieving success in Skylines is a balancing act between all the various components that make a city function: Water, electricity, education, public services, traffic control, economics and so much more. You might not be thrilled having to deal with some of these aspects, but no one said running a city is always fun! Just you wait until night comes and everything works differently.
Cities: Skylines also has mod support, which means you can both share your cities as well as see what other players have created. Or, you can download a mod that adds Honda cars to your streets. You do you.
For a more animated experience, Northgard’s got you covered with its fast-paced combat – at least, compared to other games on this list.
Take control of a small Viking colony and expand your lands in time to be prepared for the harsh winter. The game starts out as you’d expect some other familiar titles to: You’ve got a town hall and some villagers (read: peasants). Until you expand your colony by claiming more regions, you won’t be able to build more than a few buildings on your small patch of land.
Claiming regions comes at a cost of food, which increases exponentially, making it harder to expand as the game continues. Kobolds, giants and other Viking tribes are [generally] out to get you as well, so you’d do best to not overextend unless you’re prepared to deal with bad neighbors.
We continue our coverage of the 2022 Steam Summer Sale with a look at the best deals for action / adventure games! There’s quite a few big-ticket items on this list, so buckle up for an adrenaline-filled play session!
As usual, we’ll have links to the games’ pages as well as current prices at the bottom of the post. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
We’re starting off with the most action-pumped game on the list. After being trapped for years in development hell as ‘Doom 4’, DOOM launched in 2016 as a soft reboot to the franchise and, having played through it, it’s the perfect power-trip experience.
It’s no secret the DOOM games are light on story. Most of it is “go here, go there, do this, do that” and basically serves as a vehicle for why you’re going places, to kill things. With how fast-paced the game is, there’s really no place for five-minute exposition drops. You’ll be rushing from one set piece to another, churning through demons and bullets in a frenzy.
If that wasn’t enough, the game also boasts a massive archive of custom, player-made maps alongside its multiplayer. I don’t think the multiplayer itself is too populated these days, considering DOOM Eternal leeched most of its population when it launched in 2020 as well as the fact that Quake Champions exists and is very similar to DOOM’s multiplayer.
Regardless, this title is a must-play for anyone looking to mindlessly plow through hordes of enemies.
Control Ultimate Edition
For those of you looking for a more story-focused experience, Control is here to sate your appetite. It’s hard to describe Control: It’s an excellent game, don’t get me wrong, but it’s also weird, in that it’s unlike any game I’ve ever played before.
You take on the role of Jesse Faden, a woman with a mission. She’s looking for her long-lost brother, taken by the Federal Bureau of Control (FBC) years ago after the two triggered a paranormal event, as children often do.
Without spoiling too much, this game is a must-have for those of you who enjoy reading about all the crazy paranormal conspiracies surrounding the CIA, Area 51 or the SCP series. Things keep getting weirder the deeper you go into the game, with mind-bending set pieces, room connections that make no sense, random objects running about killing people and a healthy dose of amusing inner monologue.
In terms of gameplay, expect to spend most of your time shooting things, telekinesis-ing other things, reading documents and watching bizarre videos captured with real actors. This game is a delight to play and if you become truly immersed in its lore, you’ll find yourself going on endless rabbit holes, googling things like ‘panpsychism’ and ‘synchronicity’.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
The Master Chief collection is a steal, even when it’s not on sale. It contains six Halo titles (all but Halo 5: Guardians and the recently-released Halo Infinite), all bundled up in one install. You can go through Master Chief’s entire saga from Halo 1 to Halo 4, or see what else the franchise has to offer with critically-acclaimed spin-off Halo: Reach and Halo: ODST.
The content offered in this collection of games is massive. Aside from six campaigns, including remastered versions of Halo 1 and 2 which let you toggle between the old and the new mid-game, there’s also the multiplayer. You can queue to play a combination of dozens of game modes, spread across all titles and team compositions, offering an infinitely-replayable experience which is probably a good thing, since there’s 700 achievements for you to hunt down.
While the game has recently moved from its ‘seasons’ content cadence (due to Halo Infinite taking up that burden), the 800 cosmetics are still available to unlock by doing weekly quests. Recent updates include custom map support for some of the games, with more planned to be included in a future patch this summer.
Red Dead Redemption 2
It’s not too often that you see a sequel to a game perform as well as Red Dead Redemption 2 has. The game is a prequel to RDR1 and is set in 1899, following the story of Arthur Morgan, a member of the infamous Van der Linde gang. RDR2 features young versions of several characters from RDR1, so if you’ve played the first installment you’re in for some surprises.
The game is open-world and includes exactly what you’d expect from a Western: Shooting, hunting, heisting, riding horses, getting bounties if you’re being bad and swimming (you couldn’t swim in the previous game!)
RDR2 made $725 million in sales in its opening weekend and exceeded the previous game’s lifetime sales in just two weeks. It has won a metric ton of awards and sits at a cozy score of 93 on Metacritic.
God of War
God of War, the eighth installment in the series and sequel to God of War III (but missing the ‘IV’, of course, because it gets hard to keep count after a while) is an excellent game, especially if you’re looking to role-play as a dad that has a hard time connecting with his naïve young son.
The game received universal praise for its… well, for everything. It received numerous Game of the Year awards, sold 19.5 million copies as of August 2021 and becoming the best-selling Playstation 4 game ever.
Now, obviously, this is a Steam Summer Sale post, so rest assured we’re talking about the PC version here. The game is not only stunning, well-written, musically gorgeous, wonderfully designed and overall perfect, it’s also epic. Few games manage to achieve this feeling of being part of something epic, but God of War is one of them.
I’d like to make sure everyone knows who composed the amazing soundtrack to this game: Bear McCreary. You may know his work from watching The Walking Dead, the modern Battlestar Galactica, Outlander and of course, games such as Assassin’s Creed Syndicate: Jack the Ripper, Call of Duty: Vanguard and League of Legends.
We continue our coverage of the 2022 Steam Summer Sale with a look at the best deals for horror games! There’s a lot of classic titles on sale, and this list is by no means exhaustive, but we’ve picked what we think are absolute must-plays.
As usual, we’ll have links to the games’ pages as well as current prices at the bottom of the post. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
With a remaster in development, what better time to give Alan Wake a shot than when it’s on sale? The game takes place in Bright Falls and you take control of the titular character, a best-selling writer whose wife disappeared on their vacation. Things take a turn when he finds pages from a thriller novel he doesn’t remember writing? Spooky, eh?
The game excels at building an eerie atmosphere and the story is very well presented (this game comes from the studio that made Control, so you know what to expect if you’ve played that game). Compared to other iconic titles such as Amnesia: The Dark Descent, there is combat in Alan Wake, so if you prefer your horror games to let you fight back, this game’s got you covered.
On the other end of the spectrum we have a game where you have no way of fighting your fears, but you don’t even need to! Phasmophobia is a co-op multiplayer horror game that took the gaming world by storm when it released in Early Access back in 2020 and became a ‘pandemic lockdown staple’.
The game pits you and your friends against a mysterious haunting. You’re paranormal investigators tasked with figuring out what kind of ghost is haunting a location. Each round, you are sent to a map and have to use all sorts of gadgets to figure out if the place is haunted by a Banshee, Demon, Jinn, Moroi or any of the 24 ghosts that can spawn. Each ghost has certain strengths and weaknesses and react differently to your equipment. A Wraith, for example, will become more active if it steps in salt? What’s that mean?
Well, you need to figure out what kind of ghost you’re dealing with before the ghost kills everyone. When a ghost becomes active, the doors to the building close and it’s every man for himself – find a place to hide, turn off your flashlight and hope you don’t get teleported to the afterlife.
Phasmophobia also employs a realistic voice chat system. Other players can only hear you speak when you’re near each other. For long-distance communication, you can use your walkie-talkie, but the voice quality is pretty bad. When an active ghost situation is taking place, refrain from making any sounds – even if there’s no players near you – because the ghost can still hear you speak!
Resident Evil Village
Everyone’s heard of Resident Evil Village at one point or another. It generated a lot of buzz, winning several awards including the 2021 Steam Game of the Year Award, so you know there’s something good about it!
The game puts you in Ethan Winters’ skin, who first appeared in Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and got promoted to main character for this installment. The game takes place somewhere in the Carpathian mountains in Eastern Europe, though I’d say we can safely assume it’s in Transylvania, a region of Romania.
The main villain you’ll be up against is an almost 3 meter tall lady who is basically a vampire in everything but name. You’ve probably heard her name uttered everywhere on the internet back in 2021. I’ll keep the rest of the story under wraps for you to discover on your playthrough.
Resident Evil Village is, as all Evil Residents, a survival horror shooter. You’ll be fighting all sorts of messed-up creatures that, contrary to their appearance, are great runners, but do make sure to just pause every now and then to take in the view. The game is gorgeous. If it wasn’t for all the horror, this village would make for a pretty cool vacation spot, if you’re into crumbling buildings and a diet high in pork.
You ever wonder what it’s like to be stuck with an alien on a spaceship? If you’ve watched Alien, you probably asked your self that very question. Alien: Isolation puts you in Amanda’s (Ellen Ripley’s daughter) shoes as she tries to find the truth behind her mother’s disappearance while dealing with a very hungry Alien.
While the game includes all the heart-racing components of hiding in a locker or hiding under a table to avoid the Alien, in contrast to the aforementioned Amnesia, Isolation’s got weapons too! This is in addition to systems such as crafting and hacking which work together to create a more interactive experience on the badly-lit spaceship.
Did I mention the bad people? I’ll leave that one to you to discover.
Dead Space (Entire Franchise)
The first Dead Space is being remade. What better time to immerse yourself into that world than right now, when the entire franchise is on sale? Let’s go through these one by one
Dead Space 1
This first installment dropped in 2008 and revitalized the entire survival horror genre. Its finely-crafted atmosphere, paired with its engaging gameplay and uniquely-designed puzzles cemented its legacy as one of the best Horror games of the 2000s.
I remember picking this game up when I was 13 and it was so immersive that I got too spooked to go on. I left Isaac in a dark hallway somewhere in Chapter 2 for three months before I picked it up again, and boy am I glad I did. It was such a great experience that I ended up playing it four times.
In terms of moment-to-moment gameplay (and this applies for subsequent entries) the game is basically a shooter – but you’re playing an Engineer, so you’re not innately prepared to dismember hordes upon hordes of monsters. You move slowly, the aiming takes a while to get used to and you can go from being in control of a situation to being overwhelmed in no time.
It’s fair to say this first installment is probably as horror as it gets for the franchise, in no small part due to it being your first foray into the world. As the game progresses you’ll start to fear things such as vents (which produce monsters) and upon entering a new room, look around and see where all the possible monster entry points are. Knowledge such as this serves to better prepare you for future encounters (thus reducing your general fear factor), but rest assured that Dead Space still has quite a few aces up its sleeve to both surprise you and terrify you.
Dead Space 2
Dead Space 2 continues the story set by its predecessor and without getting into spoilers, the two games are fairly similar. The second installment builds upon the aspects that made the first one great, even if the moment-to-moment gameplay is largely the same. There’s some more weapons, nastier monsters, maintenance tunnels for you to walk through (am I the monster?) and more zero-G set pieces, but this time your air control is much better!
Dead Space 3
It’s no secret Dead Space 3 kind of flopped, selling so little that is basically killed the franchise (which is now being revived with a safe remaster to gauge interest for more installments) and part of that is due to the change in tone.
Dead Space 3 is not really scary. The story is more of a romance action blockbuster, trading the previous games’ isolation for an ensemble cast of characters written like they’re part of a CW show. The ‘forced co-op’ aspect (some side-content only being doable in co-op) and the terrible weapon crafting system (forced upon the game as a way to monetize it post-launch) didn’t do it any favors either.
The game is still good and can be an enjoyable experience, but it’s more of a mystery-solving adventure than a horror game. If you’re unsure about buying the entire franchise, I’d suggest at least trying out the first game, and then deciding if you want to buy the rest. The sale lasts until July 7th, which gives you plenty of time to finish the first game and form your own opinion.
The Steam Summer Sale is live, and we’re here to show you some of the best deals available! It’s no secret Sandbox games are hugely popular, with Valheim selling 10 million copies and Minecraft… well, we all know Minecraft.
We’ve prepared five games for you. You can find links, as well as price details, at the bottom of this post.
No Man’s Sky
No Man’s Sky launched back in 2016 and boy were people pissed. It had fallen into the age-old trap of overhyping itself, promising an infinite procedurally-generated universe, but what you could do in it was infinitely same-y.
The game has come a long way since then. It has received over 20 updates (all of them included in the base version) and the game is now filled to the brim with features and activities: 32-player multiplayer, aquatic biomes, extra story content, more base customization, the ability to domesticate alien creatures and so much more. Imagine the most mod-filled Minecraft modpack you’ve played, and No Man’s Sky is probably even bigger.
I’d suggest playing this game without looking into it too much. There’s lots of surprises that are best experienced… surprisingly. Check our this 5th anniversary trailer, which cuts from one scene to the next very fast and ensures you won’t remember half of what you saw when you play it!
Stardew Valley is your go-to 2D pixel-art sandbox game for doing all sorts of things that are work in real life, but fun on the screen: gardening, fishing, cooking, mining, marry and have children, and completing quests.
The game has sold over 20 million copies. That’s huge for a game developed by a single person. The game was inspired by Harvest Moon, a Japanese franchise that has released and re-released 29 games across several consoles since 1996.
The game design is lauded for allowing players a varied enough array of activities to not fall into a cycle of repetitiveness. If you’ve played and enjoyed Core Keeper, Stardew Valley won’t disappoint.
If you’ve played ARK, Rust is sort of like ARK but the dinosaurs are deer and people. You find yourself on an island and everything wants to kill you (including other players, since the game is solely multiplayer). Harvest resources, craft a base, tame horses, ride cars, fly helicopters, farm (it really is much more fun than doing it in real life), raid freighters and try not to die.
Let’s look into that last part. During the game, you essentially have to keep three stats up: Hunger, thirst and health. That’s pretty standard for most survival games. Eat things (like those legumes you’re farming!), drink water and try not to get mauled by a bear or take a rocket to the face by another player. When you die, you respawn with the usual starting equipment (a rock and a torch). To increase your odds of surviving, it is imperative to form a clan with other players – strength in numbers!
If you’re into fantasizing about “what would happen if I woke up, butt-naked, on an island full of strangers and had to figure out a way to survive?” when you’re in bed at night and trying to fall asleep, Rust might be the answer.
If you’ve got thalassophobia, you should probably skip this one. If you’ve got thalassophobia but also an unnatural curiosity to know what lies at the bottom of the ocean, give it a shot!
Subnautica is another lovely sandbox game that takes you all across the alien-filled ocean (wait, what?) to craft, explore and kill sea life before the oil spills get them. The story takes you deep into the vast underwater world you’ll come to love, trying to find answers as to what is infected the sea life, or who built all the eerie structures found on the sea floor.
There’s also the night. Stay indoors, as that’s when predators start roaming everywhere. This is a mechanic I’ve seen in many survival games that limits the amount of time you can explore and sets you on a rhythm of exploring, crafting, exploring, crafting, rinse & repeat.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (which is totally fine), there’s no way you haven’t heard of Valheim at least once since it blew up last year. The Viking sandbox survival game has claimed many a player’s soul. You may have heard it’s a game where you spend too much time harvesting resources, but the rest of the experience is so good that people are willing to put up with punching trees for hours!
The game pits 1-10 players against a procedurally-generated world rife with things that want to kill you. Craft weapons, build a house, brew some mead and fight big, juicy bosses. In contrast to Rust, you can’t starve in this one – food merely gives you buffs. Tired of your island? Build a boat and sail somewhere else! Be wary though, the sea isn’t safe either.
The game has been receiving regular updates since its Early Access launch (all included in the base game) and more are planned, including expanding on unfinished biomes and new things to build, craft and cook.