It’s Christmas for PC users, when we can all sign onto Steam and spend $100 or so on games that will sit in our library for eons, reminding us at all times that we could play them, if we wanted to. But the Steam Summer Sale is nearly over, and you’ve only got one more day to grab those sweet deals if you’re looking for something new to try out on your rig. As usual, there are plenty of games in the sale that you should feel fine passing over. But also as usual, there are some genuine gems in there. Here are 6 deals to snag before the sale ends.
Divinity Original Sin 2, $27: If you didn’t understand why people were quite so excited about the announcement for Larian’s Baldur’s Gate 3, it might be because you didn’t play Divinity Original Sin 2. We are having a mini-renaissance of old school RPGs, and that game proved that Larian is a peerless developer even in a very competitive field. Divinity Original Sin 2 is an intense, involved isometric RPG that doesn’t just feel like those beloved games of old, it feels better. It’s the kind of game that can steal a 10-hour play session from you without blinking.
Hollow Knight, $9: This feels like a good pair for Divinity Original Sin 2. Hollow Knight is another love letter to an older genre having a major renaissance, and like Larian’s game, it manages to exceed much of its source material in spectacular form. Of all the Metroidvanias currently on the market, this is the one to play: a side-scrolling exploration-based game with tight, rewarding combat and a swirling, weighty story that feels like the only title yet to quite capture that shrouded drama that made Dark Souls so fascinating. I’d recommend it on Switch, but PC will do the trick.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, $30: With the exception of Black Flag, I’d say this is my favorite Assassin’s Creed game. It continues the RPG direction the series took with Origins but executes it with a better story, improved flow and a dense world so stacked with interesting things to do that you could easily sink 60 hours into it and not really mind. And if you sink those 60 hours and still want more, there are some excellent expansions to work with.
Prey, $15: Prey didn’t perform all that well when it came out, which is good news for the bargain hunters of the world because this is an excellent game. It’s an immersive sim set on an abandoned space station–I know, we’ve seen that one before–but it manages to move beyond its obvious references to make something wholly its own. It’s a fascinating world to explore paired with a kind of character development that’s much deeper than “new skills give new powers”. The combat has moments where it doesn’t live up to the rest of the game, but it’s still one of the best immersive sims on the market.
Civilization VI, $15: I’ll be real, only get this game if you know what you’re getting into. The Civilization series has a way of stealing lives away, and VI is more than capable of doing the same. I know that there are plenty of folks out there who still prefer V, but this game is still one of the best strategy games on the market and one of the best ways to exercise the grandest power fantasy games has to offer. Lead a civilization from the stone age to the nuclear age and crush your enemies through force or charm.
Xcom 2. $15: Another strategy game to round us out. Xcom will also steal your life, but it operates on a smaller scale. Like Civilization, however, it excels when you get the chance to see a plan go right: when your squad is set up in the perfect position and you make the aliens look silly through superior tactical thinking. And like Civilization, it also excels when your plans go wrong and you have to adapt.