A Paladin’s Winter Sale: Day Eight and Nine

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Day Seven & Eight of stealth, shadowy figures and surviving the worst that mother nature can throw at you. This, is A Paladin’s Steam Sales. This series is about recommending or cautioning you about Steam games that are on sale today. I also try to recommend other good deals on games if I notice them.

As a general reminder, you’re going to want to wait until the game is on a daily feature sale, flash sale or a community choice sale. All of which can be seen on the front page of Steam. These will be the cheapest sales you will find during this event. You should also keep an eye on HumbleBundle.com, Amazon.com and GreenManGaming.com as they will sometimes do even better sales than Steam for the same copy. I will try and make you aware of any significant ones I see. Another further note, I was made aware that Origin has a 20% off coupon for games. GMG also has a 20% off coupon for their games as well. So, if you’re looking to buy an expensive game, that’s one way to go. So, without further ado, let’s begin:

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  • Banished: It’s a city building survival strategy game, think SimCity light and Dwarf Fortress extremely light and this is the game you’ll get. I didn’t initially like it. I found that it was mostly hurry up and wait for things to happen. I didn’t like how disconnected you felt from the villagers or how there wasn’t a lot of buildings you could make. It didn’t feel all that challenging on normal or it felt overly difficult on hard. That said, Steam Workshop integration and the recent patches might be enough to bring me back and give the game another try.
  • Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons: My favorite game of last year and one of my favorite games I’ve ever played. At 90% off, there is absolutely no reason to get it. Unless you don’t have a controller. But then, what are you doing without a controller? Go get one and then pick up this game. This game tells a great story about two brothers trying to save their father through the game mechanics and controls. It’s one of the best melding of story telling and game mechanics yet. I love this game. The most you’ll get out of it is 3 hours or so but what a journey it is.
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive: co-developed with Hidden Path Entertainment of Defense Grid fame, CS:GO was released in 2012 to a lot of acclaim in the competitive twitch-shooting FPS scene. I have no interest in the more twitchy FPS genre right now but everything I’ve heard is that this is a good one for both casual and hardcore players alike. Surprisingly, CS:Go has no DLCs available for it even two years post launch but the game continues to get regular updates and support to this day. It even has Steam Workshop support.
  • Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor: If you can get past the first couple of hours of this one, the game really opens up and becomes enjoyable. While it initially looks like a lazy cash-in on the LOTR universe, the story is apparently very good and really adds flavor to the universe. That’s what I’ve commonly heard from reviewers who have played the game. I still need to tackle it but not really willing to sink that much money into yet another open world RPG when so many sit in my library unfinished. Still, I’m not aware of any reason not to get this title.
  • Kerbal Space Program: Another one of the few gems in Early Access, KSP is in BETA right now and the staggering amount of content and polish it has is insane. It just moved from alpha to beta recently. I’m barely put my toes in the water but am meaning to play more of it so I can land on the moon mun as well. For a sandbox physics simulation game where you try and get cute kerbals to space, it’s a lot of fun.
  • Theif: Not to be confused with Thief, this remake of the original game brings a classic series back into the spotlight. As far as I’ve heard from others more knowledgeable about this one, (because I just picked it up) it’s a very competent and polished FPS stealth game set in a gloomy world. Especially after the recent patches which fix a lot of the initial bugs. However, if you’re a fan of the classic Thief games, you’ll probably be disappointed with this modern retake on the series as some mechanics were changed, simplified or downgraded in comparison to the original. So, that’s something to keep in mind.
  • Company of Heroes 2: one of the very few AAA RTS releases to come out in the past few years. I have played a bit of the original CoH and wasn’t very interested. I think my issue lays in the setting. World War 2 is not a very interesting period of history for me as far as gaming is concerned. Its been beaten to death by this point and few games are really willing to deviate from expectations about this time period.
  • Grid Autosport: This series seems to be very popular among the racing simulator crowd and the developer has an established history of making several titles under the GRID name. This one has been sold under the claim that it’s the “community’s game” and there is some debate how true that is. As far as myself, I have been meaning to start picking up racing simulation-esque games for a while now but they tend to be…rare and expensive. $9.99 however isn’t too bad.
  • Football Manager 2015: Sport simulator games aren’t my thing. But I hear from those that are interested in the genre (and friends) that Football Manager is very good at what it does. Beyond that, I can’t tell you much more about this cross-platform game that was something of a smash hit when it released in November.
  • Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham: It’s a LEGO game. I have never stepped foot into the Lego series of videogames because there are a lot of them out there to play of different qualities. I know extremely little about this entry into the long-running series.
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth: I’m not a South Park watcher. I don’t have a lot of interest in the series so I haven’t personally played it. But the reviews for this game have been overwhelmingly positive from critics and gamers alike.

Warning and Caution for these Game Deals:

  • Planetary Annihilation: This is an avoid right now. While it claims to be in a finished state, PA is severely lacking in content, unit balance and simple fun. A lot of the strategies come down to either spamming T2 units or blowing each other up with planets. Some units are strangely balanced such as a missile launcher that only shoots targets within a very small radius. Which makes absolutely no sense of why you’d want to build it. Then there’s the other problem that you can make a fortress planet that is impossible to conquer. A recent update has been released which claims to break that strategy but I haven’t tested it yet. There’s still the ultimate problem that controlling space units requires an insane amount of multitasking and tends to be a spam a thon. This game is in need of serious help and I don’t believe this game is out of BETA just yet.
  • Train Fever: Everything I have heard and read about this game is mixed. A lot of people don’t feel this game really adds anything to the Transport Tycoon genre. Sure, it’s pretty, but the underlying mechanics are often steps backwards from other games in the genre. This is a pretty competitive market and I gave it a pass when I heard that the infrastructure system you could setup was limited and that it had buggy problems. It has been getting updates from the developers which is good to see, but I wonder if they can handle the long haul or not. I guess time will tell.
  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare: Its got grappling hooks, armor suits and other toys but is still ultimately Call of Duty, with Kevin Spacey. If you’re not a fan of the twitch shooting, the “ok” storyline, the annoying nonsense Activision pulls in most CoD games these days or something else related to CoD, give this game a pass. Otherwise, this is a pretty typical sale for CoD at 25% off. Activision is extremely stingy with sales so I wouldn’t expect it at 50% off until next Christmas sale.
  • Democracy 3: Do you like politics, spreadsheets, simulation and strategy all mixed into one glorious game?! Well, do I have the game for you! Because that’s what this game is: a lot of spreadsheets. Which hey, if you like that, more power to you. I don’t. The DLC adds some really interesting tricks to the already complex and in-depth political simulator so it’s probably worth picking up. Even if it isn’t on the best of sales.
  • Risen 3: Titan Lords: You know, I almost thought this was another game. There was way too many RPGs that looked like this one that were released very close to each other. This seems to be a gothic open world RPG that I mostly ignored this year. I’ve seen it around but I haven’t run into anyone who’s played it and given me their opinion. In fact, none of my friends on Steam have bought it.
  • Contagion: Recently left Early Access, or at least it feels like it did, Contagion bills itself as a zombie shooter that claims to take a more realistic approach to killing zombies. What that actually means….I don’t know. This genre is overflooded with choice so it’s hard to keep track of each and every game that comes out.
  • Anno 2070: A complete AVOID for one simple reason: the DRM being used in this game is Tages, one of the worst DRM systems as far as gamers should be concerned. Any hardware changes made to the computer will make the DRM consider it a new computer, of which you only get to install the game on three machines. After which, you have to pray to whatever god while calling Ubisoft support to get them to reset the limit. Yeah, it’s a really hideous DRM system. Ubisoft’s uPlay is also apparently in this game as well though I don’t have confirmation of that outside of steam reviews.

Note: I’m going to try my hardest to get these posts out within the first couple of hours after the new deals are released. However, I am working irregular hours so it’s likely a few posts will get published late at night. The consolation is that these deals go for 48 hours so you have time to wait. So, check the previous day’s post if you want to know my opinion for those.

Check back tomorrow for more steam sales commentary! Thanks for reading and supporting this series!

-KingIsaacLinksr

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