I know, I know, but I’ve had to recover from EGX! Hope you have all been enjoying the content we gathered. There’s more to come too, don’t worry. It was an amazing weekend, in which I got to try Sonic Mania, Final Fantasy XV and South Park: The Fractured But Whole, plus listen to developers from IO Interactive talk us through Hitman, and chat to indie devs about their pride and joy. I also got to chat to my favourite YouTubers and watch a live show from them, but that’s just for me, I guess.
Anyway, have a look at some of my picks from this week’s Steam sale items.
Firstly, Call of Duty: Black Ops II and III are on offer. You can get the BLOPS II bundle and BLOPS III for 50% off, while the BLOPS III bundle has 25% off. That’s confusing, right? Just have a look for yourself and see what you think the best option will be. For me, it would be BLOPS II, as it is the far superior game, albeit not as enthralling as its CoD predecessors, but still high-action and fun.
The Black Ops franchise has been met with negativity from players, as well as praise. Players were unsure about the seemingly sci-fi setting. War has changed, and technology has provided the change. It kind of reminded me of MGS4, but – unlike Solid Snake – you were in the middle of it at all times – you were one of the ground soldiers. I’m not sure if it represents a future we will be faced with, that’s a deep conversation for a night in Wetherspoons (like a Hooters without the sexism), but it certainly felt rather real to me.
On a lighter note – but still only for the grown ups – is Deadpool, which is a sexy half the usual price. This was an instant cult classic hit when it came out, way before his movie was finally confirmed. Deadpool has always been a cult icon, amusing people in the comics, confusing people in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and elating people in his own game. The title didn’t sell too well on release, but those who were fortunate enough to see it for what it was were anything but let down.
It’s third-person hack ‘n’ slash/shooter action, with constant banter and – as Steam has categorised – memes. Nolan North provides the voice of Deadpool, and it was at the height of his career (you know, Assassin’s Creed, Uncharted and all that). It’s clear he knows the character well, and he’s perfect for the role. He has that laid back, drawly voice, which can then become dramatic and full of emotion at just the right time. The gameplay can be clunky and a little repetitive, but the story makes up for it. There is a tonne of fan service, hidden easter eggs and nods to the Deadpool franchise – good and bad, which is exactly what the game should have.
The game surged again in popularity when the movie had been announced, and it was put back onto the Steam store after the whole Activision/Marvel contract debacle. I suggest picking it up if you’re a lifelong fan, or if you became a fan thanks to the wonderful movie, I think you’d appreciate it just as much.
The Star Trek: 25th Anniversary title has 50% off too. You like retro? This is retro. The original was released for computer systems in 1992, to mark the 25th anniversary of the classic TV show. It’s an action adventure with point-and-click elements. Of course, it’s of its time, but for its time it was praised for having fantastic graphics and sound. It uses original music from the show, plus character likenesses, original actor’s voices and a unique story.
The game plays in ‘Episodes’, with seven in total. Each episode is started by a message from Starfleet Command, and with the help of Chief Engineer Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu and navigator Ensign Pavel Andreievich Chekov, involves beaming to other environments with Captain James T. Kirk, Mr Spock, Dr Leonard “Bones” McCoy and an unnamed ‘Red Shirt’…. let’s see where the adventure takes them.
The beautiful Never Alone is down by a massive 80%, if it’s one you’ve been meaning to pick up. I know I have, so I’m looking forward to giving it a go. Never Alone is a 2D platformer with an art style to kill for, frankly. The animations are smooth, and great skill has gone into the creation of the world.
The game received high praise from anywhere and everywhere, and for all aspects. The story is haunting and poignant, the music and sound is appropriate and beautiful, and the setting is like nothing else. The story is based on traditional legends from the Iñupiat, an Alaskan native people, and the developers worked closely with them to get it as right as they could. They even managed to get the game “all narrated by a master storyteller in the spoken Iñupiaq language.” Which is epic. I’ve mentioned before about my love of traditional stories and legends, and I know next to nothing about the Iñupiat culture, so I can’t wait to find out.
Finally Hyper Light Drifter is this week’s mid-week madness favourite. It’s described by reviewers as “Legend of Zelda meets Dark Souls”. Sound up your alley? Me too. I’m going to be honest and say that the colours and environments in the trailer are quite similar to No Man’s Sky, but when you are in a 2D pixel graphics game, it looks so much better. The purple and green actually look like purple and green, rather than those times you would mix colours together with your fingers in primary school/kindergarten.
In all honesty, it looks epic and like it can be really tricky to master; but with so many platformers and hack ‘n’ slash indie titles being way too short or easy, I think it’s a good thing. The graphics look amazing and never get boring. But not as though it’s going to give you a headache either. Then there’s the soundtrack. It’s a chiptune/EDM masterpiece, clearly taking influence from similar artists and industrial metal. An untrained ear might not get that, but trust me, I know my industrial music.
What Steam deals have you embraced this week? Do you agree with my choices? Let me know, I’d love to have a chat with you. In the meantime, I hope you have a great week. The rest of mine will be trying to find paid work. Awesome.