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Steam’s 2017 Winter Sale Brings Some Incredible Savings

Steam‘s seasonal sales have become the stuff of legend – even with their changes over the years. Shifts from hourly and voter-based deep discounts to a longer set sale price were met with controversy, but are a godsend for anyone with a job and/or family to take care of. In a way, the earlier massive Steam sales felt like more of a wild west period whereas now, Steam is far more mainstream. While there are a wide variety of deals to be had, it can be tough to sift through everything since thousands of games are on sale across a wide variety of genres and franchises. For those seeking either an errant Fallout game or the whole series, checking out its franchise sale is a must. The original Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics can be yours for $2.49 – or you can pick up the three of them for $4.99 in a bundle to save a bit more money. Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas are $2.49 for the base games, or you can spend $9.99 and get the DLC included for either game, while Fallout 4 can be yours for $14.99 with the Game of the Year Edition setting you back $29.99.

The monstrous Call of Duty series is also on sale, with a varying degree of major savings available. The latest entry in the series, as expected, receives a paltry 17% discount bringing it to $49.79. While this isn’t a huge deal, it’s not all that bad compared to Black Ops III and its $44.99 price tag. The highly controversial Infinite Warfare is $38.99, while the outstanding Advanced Warfare’s gold edition is also $38.99 and is a far better use of funds. It’s a faster-paced game with a better story and feels like the most truly modern shooter in the series since it takes cues from other games – like Titanfall instead of just trying to take CoD back to its glory days with remasters or nerfed traversal. The sub-par Ghosts is also $38.99, as is the far superior Black Ops III. The first two Modern Warfare experiences can be yours for $12.99, while the third entry sees a bump to $25.99. Older entries like the first two entries are also $12.99 and offer up very little value now given how much the series has evolved since them – but may be worth picking up for fans looking to complete their collection.

Those seeking to go on time-bending adventures can do so with Quantum Break for $9.99. Conversely, you can also make use of the Assassin’s Creed franchise sale, which is pretty all-encompassing. Origins receives a healthy 30% drop to $41.99 while a bundle of four games can be yours for $43.16 – a 61% savings and a solid value for anyone who wants either Syndicate, Rogue, Unity, or Black Flag. Unity itself is $11.99 while Syndicate is $19.99. Rogue, Black Flag, Liberation HD, Assassin’s Creed II, III, and Revelations are all $7.99 as well. If you’re looking to just get into the series, doing so with any of the $7.99 entries is a good way to do it – with III probably being the best overall experience there. The lesser-known side-scrolling stealth-action Chronicles sub-series also has a healthy discount. Each entry in the three-game series is $3.99 – offering up some Mark of the Ninja-style thrills for a pittance. You can even grab Mark of the Ninja if you so desire for some ninja/stealth action for $3.74.

Anyone wanting a chance to experience a one-of-a-kind series about not only going through time, but also photography and the importance of every single person in a life should check out Life is Strange. It’s easily the best episodic gaming experience ever released – and you can get the entire original series for $4.99. The first episode is free and only takes a couple of hours to get through – so if you haven’t tried it out yet, give it a shot and then see for yourself if it’s worth the money. If you have an appreciation for layered storytelling, you’ll more than likely find it worth many times its meager $5 asking price. The sheer amount of memories it creates and emotions is makes you feel are unmatched by any other series on the market today.

The Life is Strange series is a tough one to start with because while the first game was the one that began the franchise, the prequel series does make the events of the first game more clear – with far more character depth being explored. You can’t go wrong playing it either in chronilogical or release order. Before the Storm has a solid 30% discount taking it to $11.89 for the base episodes. However, spending a bit over $17 total gets you the deluxe edition with the bonus Farewell episode that takes place between Before the Storm and Life is Strange. This is definitely a series to devote some time to and every major action you do has a consequence in the world around you. It’s a fascinating game and one that will make you appreciate the little things in life more after you experience it.

While half of the Mass Effect series is missing on Steam, the first two games can be yours for $4.99 each – which isn’t a bad price at all. Those seeking racing thrills may want to check out the DiRT franchise sale as well. Unfortunately, only DiRT 4 and DiRT Rally are available digitally anymore – but you can get both games for $32.38. This is an outstanding deal for two games that retailed at $60, and just DiRT 4 is $23.99 – so the more serious Rally game is a bargain here. Those seeking more intense thrills from racing may want to get Redout – it’s a futuristic racer heavily-influenced by Wipeout, but with far more precise control and dazzling graphics. The basic game is $13.99 while the deluxe edition with extra content is $15.96, making it the best overall value. Redout has a free demo so you can see if you enjoy its brand of racing thrills.

There are a ton of indie games and assorted hidden gems to look for as well. The outstanding sendup of RPGs Evoland is only $3.39, whle its sequel is $6.79 and a bundle with both saves you a bit more at $9.41 for both games with an OST. The frantic side-scrolling action game BUTCHER has been compared to the Doom series thanks to its dark setting and fast soundtrack, and is only$3.99. The side-scrolling action game Heroine Anthem Zero gets a hefty drop to $4.93, while the Phantasy Star-influenced Cosmic Star Heroine offers up an exciting cyberpunk RPG for only $7.49. Fans of roguelite games may enjoy 20XX – a Mega Man-infused take on the genre for $9.89. Dead Cells is a blend of roguelite and Metroidvania, and can be yours for $12.74. At that price, it’s already an outstanding game and should only get better with time.

No matter what kind of games you enjoy playing, there is something you’ll like in this sale. My recommendation to take a chance on something and genuinely give it a shot. It’s so easy to stockpile a pile of shame thanks to sales like this. However, it’s so much more rewarding to spend a small amount of money on something in this sale and get countless hours of enjoyment out of it. Games like 20XX can eat up 20 minutes of your time in a session, or several hours. The Life is Strange games are designed to be played in such a way where a single episode can be “beaten” in a couple of hours – but contain enough replay value to make each successive playthrough different in a somewhat significant way. Whatever you buy, make to actually play it and make an effort to enjoy it. You might get some duds in there, but Steam’s refund policy exists for a reason and may just entice you to try out games a bit faster since this sale does end on January 4.

Jeremy Peeples :I've been using PCs since the late '80s and love seeing the rise of consumer-level computer building. The industry has grown exponentially in the last decade and being able to see new technology make life easier never gets old.