The Steam Summer Sale 2021 is a hot one with many great games sitting in the discount bin, but there are so many that it can be difficult to find the real gems. So, as a team, we have come together to tell you what you should buy. These are our opinions, but since we are on the internet, they are also correct. Read on and tell us what you pick up, or suggest some other titles for readers in the comments below.
The links in each subheading will take you to the store page for each game.
Summer Sale Picks
Chris Gravelle – Hades ($17.49) and Middle Earth Franchise ($4.99 – $7.49)
I won’t lie and say I have a ton of experience with Hades since I just picked it up as part of this sale. That’s being said, buy the game. If you liked Bastion or Transistor even a little or have a passing interest in rogue-likes, this will become your go-to game. I’ve played around 4 hours so far, and the game has not just impressed me; it has taken over my thoughts. It has a fantastic combat system with endlessly unique areas to explore. The main hub is constantly changing with many upgrades, both utilitarian and cosmetic, to earn through the game. On top of that, the writing and voice acting are top-notch. Zagreus, the protagonist, and your weapon swinging hero, has delivery similar Westly from The Princess Bride, which sold me as soon as the game started. Check it out.
Second up, check out the Middle Earth Franchise. Both titles are fantastic, and the story from the first leads into the second. There isn’t a lot that needs to be said about the game. It has incredible combat and engaging enemies due to the nemesis system. This system makes the AI feel much more like real-life entities that are building grudges. And when you do take down that big guy that has plagued you for hours, it is as rewarding a feeling as you can get from gaming.
Mazen Haggag – Katana Zero ($8.99)
Katana Zero is a game unlike anything I’ve ever played before or since. Masquerading as a samurai power fantasy, Katana Zero slowly becomes something much more. As you keep playing as a samurai assassin with the ability to slow time, you begin to unearth a fascinating character study about purpose, addiction, and redemption. That’s not to say the gameplay is compromised as levels see you slice through countless gangsters at a blistering pace, deflecting bullets and throwing whatever you can find at enemies with a tough one-hit kill system that applies to yourself and the enemies.
The other side of Katana Zero’s gameplay comes in its cutscenes, as you decide what your character says, which can drastically affect the moment-to-moment story, even if the ending stays the same. All of this is complemented by the gorgeously detailed cyberpunk pixel art that brings the streets and sights of New Mecca to dirty, hopeless life alongside a synth-heavy techno soundtrack. This captures the game’s mood by moving anywhere between sullen and frantic as the story unravels. With unlockable weapons, a harder difficulty, and even a secret final boss, not to mention the upcoming near sequel-sized free expansion, Katana Zero, while short, gives the perfect amount of replayability for what it is. At 40% off, you’re getting one of the greatest stories ever told in a video game for next to nothing. Check our review here.
Cory Phillips – Inside ($4.99) and Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid ($12.99)
My two recommendations for Steam’s Summer Sale are Inside and Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid. Inside is a brilliant puzzle-platformer created by the talented development studio PlayDead. Telling a dark and twisted story without the assistance of dialogue, Inside keeps players engaged without adding any distractions. It’s the perfect title even for those new to gaming. This was the first game my girlfriend ever beat, and she even completed it twice.
I highly suggest checking out Battle for the Grid for those seeking a new fighting game to dive into. Developed and published by nWay, this game’s combat is designed by Daniel Maniago, a well-known Marvel Vs. Capcom player known by the handle “Clockw0rk”. Not only that but the game is also balanced by the legendary Marvel Vs. Capcom/Street Fighter player Justin Wong. While it might’ve had a rough launch, Battle for the Grid continued to fight through the trenches. Utilizing cross-play and the best netcode I’ve ever experienced. It easily hangs with other titles in the genre. You can pick up Inside and Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid during this Summer’s Steam Sale for $4.99 and $12.99, respectively.
Scott Markwell – Divine Divinity ($0.59)
My recommendation for this year’s Steam Summer Sale is Larian’s Divine Divinity. Apart from the nonsensical name Divine Divinity is a masterpiece in every way. Despite originally being envisioned as a Diablo 2 clone Divine Divinity stands strongly on its own two feet with a beautifully detailed world to explore, an interesting and twisting story, and dynamic freedom-based combat. That’s not even mentioning the exquisite soundtrack by the late Kirill Pokrovsky that makes every moment feel hauntingly beautiful. If you’ve played the Original Sin games, then with a 90% discount, this is the perfect time to jump back to where it all started. Seriously it’s £0.47 for like a hundred hours of awesome content.
Filip Matušek – Batman Arkham Collection ($11.99)
My suggestion for the Steam Summer Sale is the whole Batman Arkham Collection. A solid-based series of games brings some of the most famous DC Comic heroes and villains to the gaming world. A brilliant mix of kick-ass action, sneaky stealth, and of course, great detective work will be your daily routine in the games. There is no shortage of riddles, crime scenes to solve, and other activities and challenges with which you can spend your time. You can play as a Batman and as a Catwoman, Robin, and other protagonists of the same world. Your task will be hunting iconic characters like Joker, Two-Face, Penguin, and other well-known villains from the universe of DC. On top of that, a great, enjoyable story that actors like Mark Hamill lead, more known as Luke Skywalker, who gave his voice to the already mentioned Joker. Batman Arkham Collection is a great purchase. For only 11,99€, you will get Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, and Arkham Knight + season pass. Overall, it is twelve bucks for hundreds of hours in three AAA games, an absolute bargain.
Logan Brent – No Man’s Sky ($29.99)
Allison Wheeler – Horizon: Zero Dawn Complete Edition ($29.99)
If you haven’t already checked out Guerrilla Games’ open-world masterpiece Horizon: Zero Dawn, this Steam Summer Sale is the time to do it. This unforgettable post-apocalyptic RPG takes you through Aloy’s journey of self-discovery in a land riddled with corrupted robotic beasts and tales of her destiny. Whether sneakily taking down Striders or scaling up a seemingly insurmountable Tallneck, the robotic wildlife make the world of Horizon feel incredibly noteworthy. This game is also no stranger to tackling subversive themes like grief, abandonment, purpose, and even faith. Aloy presents as a powerful female protagonist driven by her unknown past and desire to explore a world she barely knows. This discovery, along with many subsequent missions and stumbling blocks along the way, propels you along your journey through this fascinating dystopian sandbox.
Even with all these incredible achievements, the game can still fall a bit flat at times. All the wonder and thrill of discovering a new mechanical beast comes with repetitive, dull dialogue from human NPCs. The combat mechanics can also feel dry with limited stealth options and weapons, especially as you progress further into the story. Despite its shortcomings, this game is still a monumental achievement for Guerrilla Games. With Horizon: Forbidden West still set to release sometime this year, there’s no better time to hop on Steam and snag this deal for 40%.