The Steam Summer Sale is over, friends. The glorious 11 day event that every PC gamer holds out for, looking for some insane deal on old favourites. We here are Nerdophiles are no exception, so we’d like to share with you some of the games we took a look at this past week and touch upon our favourites.
Title: Shadowrun Returns (+ Dragonfall)
Shadowrun was on sale at a great price. The base game was only $4 down from $15, and the Dragonfall DLC campaign was going for the same price. All in all it was a steal. Shadowrun is an immersive turn-based tactical RPG set in a dirty, shady, cyberpunk universe. The writing of the series is immense, filled with layered side characters and campaigns that take crazy turns. The RNG that comes with the genre and the occasional typo can be distracting, but not deal breakers for me. Dragonfall definitely improves upon the original campaign and expands the world further, drawing upon a more open-world, exploration based approach to story telling. Another draw of Shadowrun is its built-in campaign toolset and the potential to download entirely original campaigns right off the workshop or craft your own. All in all Shadowrun is a great entry into the tactical RPG genre, backed by a solid universe and nostalgic, narrative game design. It reminds me of a compact Fallout.
Title: Final Fantasy XIV
I have never seen Final Fantasy XIV on sale before, and this week it was on for 50% off! It’s important to note that XIV uses a subscription model, and buying the game gives you a month of game time. Subs cost $15 per month, so clearly this was a good deal. I have wanted to try out XIV since its original (disaster) launch, and this sale gave me the opportunity to do just that. As expected, the visuals are lovely and character creation is a good time. The actual gameplay is very typical for the genre. So far XIV hasn’t swept me off my feet, but I only had time to get to level 8 so far. We’ll see what happens when my month’s sub is done. I have hope for the game, but it would not have been worth it to buy it at full price.
Title: Gone Home
Getting a whole game for $3 is such a rush. Gone Home is a critically acclaimed “narrative adventure”. The idea is that the player takes the role of Katie coming home from a year abroad. Her family just moved, and nobody is there when she gets home. What happened? You uncover the answer to that question by exploring every nook and cranny of this creepy old manor, stumbling upon your family’s story in the objects they leave behind. It’s fascinating just how much we learn about these people by snooping through their things, and it makes you wonder what kind of story your belongings tell about you. The game is on the short side, I finished it in 2 hours, but it’s a lovely experience. At full price it is $20, so I would recommend waiting for a sale because for $20 you could buy a AAA title with 20 hours of gameplay instead. That’s not to detract from the quality of Gone Home, but simply a reminder that you should always think about your cost to enjoyment ratio. Also keep in mind that while critics loved this game, a good percentage of users did not find it entertaining. It is meant to be slow, nostalgic, and focuses on real life themes- it’s an experiment. It’s not a typical video game.
Title: The Wolf Among Us
I showed an incredible amount of restraint in the Steam Summer Sale. Even when presented with the Tomb Raider reboot for $5, I only managed to get The Wolf Among Us and save that extra $5 for other things. Maybe next time if there is one.
Still, I’m definitely not unhappy with my only purchase. I’ve been reading through Fables lately and accidentally fell head over heels with it somewhere around The Mean Seasons arc. I’m going to have a whole post about it once I get caught up as much as I can, but of course when presented with the ability to play as Bigby Wolf and to occasionally punch Jack Horner in the face, I’m going to start playing before I finish the comics.
The great thing about The Wolf Among Us is that it is a prequel to Fables. It certainly does help give a greater appreciation for the game if you have read some of the comics (as well as relieving some of the shipper tension you may experience), but you don’t have to know anything about the series before you start playing. I still have to play Episode 4, but between the beautiful graphics and the endless possibilities the game presents you with, I can see myself re-playing as Bigby in this grand murder mystery again and again. I can only hope that Telltale will follow it up with a game about Cinderella on a spy mission sometime in the future.