When it comes to Steam sales, I’m honestly not sure whether they do me more harm than good. Thanks to Valve (alongside the folks at the Humble Store) I’ve built up a ridiculous backlog of games that I’ll probably never play. On the other hand, I got all those games at AMAZINGLY LOW LOW PRICES. WITH BEST-SELLING TITLES AT UP TO 80% OFF, YOU WON’T BELIEVE THESE DEA- Sorry, I’ve been doing that a lot lately and I’m not sure why.
At any rate, there’s no denying that the Steam summer sale puts a lot of fun games in a lot of gamers’ hands at an INCREDIBLE VALUE! *ahem* Today, Valve kicks off the 2014 sale, and even the initial offerings are quite impressive. Some of the games on sale aren’t even out yet – the early-access builds of DayZ and Divinity: Original Sin are both discounted, and you can get A WHOPPING 25% OFF YOUR PRE-PURCHASE OF DEAD RISING 3 – again, sorry about the verbal tic.
Some of the best games of past years are also remarkably cheap. You can get Far Cry 3 and XCOM: Enemy Unknown for $7.49 apiece (with low-cost DLC and franchise bundles for each), and if you’re a fan of 4x games a mere fifty cents more will net you the excellent Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion.You can also get Democracy 3 if you’re into that sort of thing, I guess. At an even lower price range, The Witcher 2, predecessor to our favorite RPG of E3 2014, is going for JUST FOUR DOLLARS! IS VALVE CRAZY?! THEY’RE PRACTICALLY GIVING THESE GAMES AWAY! Gah! Damnit! Get ahold of yourself, Geoff.
Okay, I’m going to try to make it through the flash sales without incident. For the uninitiated, each of these sales lasts just 8 hours before being replaced by a new set of deals. The first batch of games – Dead Island Riptide, DMC: Devil May Cry, Hotline Miami, and Mirror’s Edge – has 5 and a half hours left on the clock. On top of that there are also “community choice” flash sales, the contents of which will be voted on by Steam users. Currently you can choose between the Action RPG set – featuring Torchlight II, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II, 7 Days to Die, and South Park: the Stick of Truth – or the “great soundtrack” Indie set – which includes Trine 2 Complete, Dust: an Elysian Tail, Valdis Story: Abyssal City, and FEZ. Wow, I did it. Good for me.
As in years past, all of this is tied together by Steam’s innovative badge crafting metagame, which rewards customers with trading cards that can be converted into profile flair (emoticons, backgrounds, and of course a badge) along with in-game items (mostly cosmetic) for games ranging from TF2 (of course) to Warframe to Battle Block Theatre. On top of all the personal rewards, Valve has injected an element of competition to the proceedings. You’re randomly assigned a team for the duration of the sale, and crafting the summer sale badge earns your team points. If your team has the most points at the end of the day your team is rewarded with bonus trading cards. 30 lucky members of the winning team will also get 3 free games off their wishlist. It’s certainly an clever system that Valve has devised to make a competition out of spending money, and I’d be interested to see how it pays off in terms of sales.
NOT THAT YOU NEED AN INCENTIVE WITH OFFERS THIS ASTOUNDING! Oh God… I think I need help.
Maybe buying some games will make me feel better…