The J-List:My Picks For This Halloween’s Steam Sale

So the Steam Sale is here! It’s more of a wind-up to the traditional holiday sale that lands late November or mid December and Steam sale veterans are,by and large, just waiting until then before they make their big purchases hoping to get some relatively new or newly released triple A titles for absurd prices. You might be itching for a game or two to tide you over till then and now is a great time to pick up something a little new, a little out of your comfort zone to sink your fingers into while you wait for those bigger sales. So without further ado here are my picks.

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines (2004)

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines is quite an interesting vampire-themed RPG game based upon the Vampire: The Masquerade tabletop game. It was released at the worst possible time and in an unfinished state. It’s fortunate really that it went largely unnoticed or it may not have gained the cult-classic status it has today. Activision mismanaged this game horribly and rushed it out to try and compete with games like Half-life 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3:Snake Eater that holiday season. It isn’t a surprise that when faced with such strong competition that few gamers placed it in their shopping carts. Maybe Activision just had too much faith in their game, some would call it hubris. Regardless of the reason for the rush the game flopped hard and sadly the studio behind V:TM- Bloodlines went bankrupt and went under shortly after. Despite that the developers continued to release patches and the community that formed around this game still releases patches and fixes that re-add cut content back to the game.

At 75% off and costing just $5.00 USD this game is absolutely worth the buy. It’s a truly unique RPG that, though it is afflicted with poor pacing and exceptionally poor combat mechanics, certainly merits at least one or two playthroughs. This one should be in the Steam library of any RPG fan. Pro-Tip: I recommend your second play through be as Malkavian or Nosferatu and don’t forget to download and install the community patch with plus content. You can download the patch here.

Darksiders Franchise Pack (2010/2012)

Darksiders is a unique IP from Vigil Games that allows you to play as 2 of the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse — War in the first game and Death in the second. Both games reside in that nebulous genre of action adventure, some have said its similar to God of War meets Legend Of Zelda. I personally don’t how I’d describe it. If you like action combat with some platforming thrown in, light puzzles, and a decent storyline Darksiders is worth a look. The big draw back unfortunately is that its unclear if the series will ever be completed.  Since THQ went under and the IP was sold off its unclear just what the franchise’s fate will be. Still at 85% off and costing you just $9 USD for two games it’s certainly worth a purchase and a play through before the next Steam sale.

The Wolf Among Us (2013)

Another game from Telltale based upon a comic book (Fables by Bill Willingham – published by Vertigo DC) though this time it is centered around an urban fantasy world where creatures from fairy tales live in a section of New York City. It is similar to China Town but for Fables. The story focuses on Bigby the Big Bad Wolf and his role as the sheriff, whose job it is to keep the Fables in line and to not reveal themselves to every day mortals. I can’t really go into much more detail without spoiling some of the story. If you didn’t like previous Telltale games (I didn’t) give this one a try as it is substantially different from The Walking Dead series and has an entirely different feel. Bigby is a fantastic character who I can really get in playing, something I could never do with the Walking Dead. I will say that if you dislike Quick Time Events with a passion you may not enjoy the game. The QTEs in The Wolf Among Us don’t typically have a “failure state”. Missing a QTE typically just impacts the story in various ways, some subtle and some not so much, rather than dumping you to a “Game Over” screen. Now at only 50% off you may be tempted to wait until its on sale for a lower price, but if you really want a story driven game you shouldn’t feel guilty for buying now. This is a steal at  $12.50 USD for 5 episodes and it’s a fantastic deal for a game of this quality.

Amnesia:The Dark Descent (2010)

Amenesia: The Dark Descent from Frictional Studios (Penumbra Oveture) is a master in making true horror games. Amnesia relies less on jump scares and more on building atmosphere and tension than its competitors (Dead Space, and later Outlast). The developers at Frictional games have managed to make a game that still, to this day, I haven’t been able to complete. I still pull it out every year around Halloween and try to power through it but I’ve never made it. Maybe this year will be my year. If you’re weak of bladder of faint of heart I can’t, in good conscience, recommend this game. If, however, being scared out of your mind or possibly buying a game that is so scary you won’t be able to even finish it sounds like a good deal to you then by all means pick up Amnesia: The Dark Descent . It is 75% off this Steam Sale! This is a truly frightening deal for just $5.00 USD.

Plague Inc: Evolved (early access)

This is the one game on the list I’m a little hesitant to suggest, its still in early access and is only 15% off ($12.75 USD). That said I think this game is worth picking up if you have any interest or concern in the current Ebola outbreak. I wouldn’t call this game educational per se but it will help you understand how a pandemic gets rolling and how hard it is to breakout. The player creates and evolves their own custom plague and your ultimate goal is the extinction of humanity on Earth. This game is so far along in its early access that is it very much playable and fairly stable for most people. If you don’t want to buy early access but the concept still intrigues you may just follow the game and pick it up at release.

Those are my  big picks for this Halloween sale. If one’s wallet is a little light right now don’t be afraid to wait until the holiday sale come December or even the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale in November as many of these deals will return. If you’re just itching for something to play pick one of these up and give it a whirl and be sure to let me know in the comments below what you’ll be picking up. I do need something to play this Halloween myself.

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Jeremy Effinger
Written by
I am 26, a bibliophile, an amateur chef, and a gamer. I've gamed on the NES, SNES, PS1 and PS2 platforms, before switching to PC as my primary gaming platform. These days I tend to fill my gaming time playing Dota 2, and various RPGs of the WRPG or CRPG variety. I also enjoy the occasional shooter, open world game, 4x strategy games, stealth, and turn based games. I'm also an avid table top gamer and have been playing the same campaign weekly for the last four years.

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