Heatstroke: how we survived the Steam summer sale

Tuesday, 23rd July 2013 14:05 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Loosen your death grip on your wallet and take your credit card out of the shredder; the Steam sale is over. We are safe. How did you weather the hottest bargains of the year? The VG247 crew reports.

Every year Valve throws the lid open on its bargain bin and the damn thing turns out to be filled with treasures. You start with a $3 indie; move up to a 50% discounted new release, and before you know it you’re scrolling through an enormous list of unplayed games wondering why you do this to yourself, and more importantly, to your credit card.

“I’m not buying anything in the Steam sale this year,” you said. Me, too. So did Dave. Pat, Sam and Steph didn’t expect to buy anything, either. We’re all grown-ass adults, with bills to pay, families to feed, and in Sam’s case, lenses to buy.

Yeah, we pretty much all bought something.

Pat bought Torchlight 2.

“It was less than €5. Seemed wise,” was the EIC’s only explanation but since I have all the insider goss, I’m going to tell you that he has a bit of a thing about ye olde Diabloesques, especially when he has a deadline he’s procrastinating. I’m only amazed Torchlight 2 wasn’t in his library before now, and also that I didn’t think to gift it to him, thereby potentially sweetening my chances for promotion. Pat likes dungeon crawling so much that when I once offered to write an editorial called “More like DiaBLOWS” he listened to my arguments and then wondered aloud whether we really need an Australian news editor. When Blizzard’s servers were compromised last year, he didn’t bat an eye until he found out his level 42 Witch Doctor was at risk, at which point he threw a minor wobbly.

Torchlight 2 is, by all accounts, as fun or perhaps even more fun than Diablo 3. I expect it’s going to eat his life for at least a fortnight, during which he won’t be around to shout at us when we make egregious typos. Best €5 the company has ever spent.

Dave needs a new PC.

Dave promised not to buy anything this year because he’s saving up for a very special event. We humoured him about this because we’re a kind and supportive crew, you know? And we’re absolutely not rubbing it in that he weakened about six seconds in.

Happily for Dave’s Bank of Scotland-issue piggie bank, he’s not exactly got Deep Blue in his office at the moment. His poor wee laptop cannot run, for example, Skyrim, and so our charming UK editor says he “desperately needs a powerful new rig” – a plea which has fallen on deaf ears.

So Dave’s purchases definitely strayed to the undemanding specs side of things – McPixel, the first game ever to be released through Greenlight; DLC Quest; System Shock 2 – which everyone everywhere should have played as it is a classic of the genre, Dave – and a redacted indie multiplayer affair which is a gift for a friend with a better gaming machine.

Steph has impeccable taste.

Steph’s Steam collection is a thing of beauty because she purchases games with the utmost discretion. I bet she never wakes up after a late night beer-fuelled shopping spree and finds she’s Kickstarted three new kinds of ice cream maker. Obviously that never happens to anybody else on staff, either.

Her purchases this year include Hotline Miami, which was on sale for a criminal (gettit) less than $4, and which was recommended to her by a well-respected friend for its “perfect balance of aesthetics, atmosphere, great story telling and it has a brilliant soundtrack”. Couldn’t have said it better myself. Unless this friend wants a job, in which case, yes I could have.

Steph also nabbed Dust: An Elysian Tail, which she had forgotten even existed but has been pining after for some time; Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, since she’s a huge fan of the original and it has escaped Atari’s clutches again; and Civilization 3 Complete Edition. Like me, Steph isn’t a big strategy buff, but unlike me she is big on self-education and improvement and lashed out a whole $1.24 to help correct this.

Brenna has joined the master race.

You know what I love about Steam sales? The chance to re-buy games I have already paid for once, but for my PC. My PC doesn’t take a minute to load between each environment and friends, I have to tell you, I am only growing more impatient as I grow older. I tried to do a replay of both Dragon Age games after BioWare got rid of all the bug that had ruined my original saves and it made me want to pick up my PlayStation 3 and hurl it out the window. Bring on next-gen, but in the meantime let me put this ridiculous amount of RAM to work. To this end I picked up the complete edition of Dragon Age: Origins; I want to get the second one, too, and make a master save for import to Dragon Age: Inquisition with all my delicious choices intact.

I also got Dark Souls, because I want to install the mod that says “Thanks Obama” every time you die. That’s worth $12 to me. (In seriousness, there are some great mods for the PC version which make it look balls-out fantastic, and I love Dark Souls so much I’d probably buy a pool of vomit in a can if the logo was on the side.)

Sam didn’t buy anything.

He probably spent all his money on lenses again.

How did you make out this year? Did you stay strong? Did you nab any particularly excellent bargains?




  1. alterecho

    I bought the Just Cause 2 DLC for around $1.75 and thats it. I was not much interested in Steam this time around. Am i the only one?

    #1 1 year ago
  2. GrimRita

    Its hard to show restraint when the Summer sale arrives. I picked up FM 2013 and Borderland 2 for £7, Bastion and Hotline Miami for under £2 and erm, that was it.

    I either owned everything else or I just wasnt interested in what was on offer. Grid 2 looked tempting for £17 but I hardly play racing games

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Stephany Nunneley

    I kept waiting for Dragonborn to go on sale for less than $13.99 but it never happened or else I would have bought it as well. I already have it for the console version, but I always buy multiple copies of TES games/DLC. I am a sucker for them.

    I almost bought the alpha for Prison Architect, as it was more than half off but I procrastinated and lost out. I am depressed over it, now.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Talkar

    I didn’t buy anything, for the first summersale ever.
    I was tempted multiple times, but then i thought “When am i going to play this? Much less complete it?”

    #4 1 year ago
  5. deathm00n

    I’ve made a topic on what people bought in the forums, I’ve got: Dark Souls, Portal 2, Borderlands 2, Terraria, Max Payne 3, Fallout Collection(1, 2 and Tactics)

    #5 1 year ago
  6. bymindx

    I was really bored, so I bought Saint Rows. It was fun for a few hours or so, and then it got really annoying and gave me a headache.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Christopher Jack

    Funny how we got the Aussie writing about the summer sale, was raining for a change nearly every day here in Adelaide.

    Personally I don’t recall buying too much, got the season pass for Borderlands 2, Batman: AC, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, Fight for Light add-on for DCUO, & Assassins Creed 3 (which I got from a key site rather than Steam).

    #7 1 year ago
  8. PatrickBale

    #8 1 year ago
  9. NinjaHart

    I didn’t buy anything, first priority is to pay off all my GameStop pre-orders. But I did see a few games I wanted. :)

    #9 1 year ago
  10. powerbuoy

    Last year (my first year with a PC in ages) I bought over 40 games (through developer packages like the Rockstar and Valve Collections). This year I had some restraint and ended up with Bioshock Infinite, Just Cause 2, Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 (because it was like $3), Tomb Raider (75% off!) and Gary’s Mod for some reason :P

    #10 1 year ago
  11. OlderGamer

    Grabbed a couple of things, nothing of note really. Wanted Evoland and Rouge Legacy. Also got the new Civ V expac 33% off. And a really cool top down mini racer, forgot the name already lol. But I was pretty good this summer.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. ChunkyLover112

    Steam is still a thing?

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Alex Donaldson

    I picked up:
    - Prison Architect, as I saw it at Rezzed and was left intrigued.
    - Kerbal Space Progam, on recommendation from a friend
    - All the costumes for Super Street Fighter IV, because I’m me
    - Euro Truck Simulator 2 because the NeoGAF thread described it as “elite with a big rig” and had amazing word of mouth
    - The Civ 5 expansion. I then loved it so much I bought all the other DLC for the game in one go.

    Good year.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. Stinger2578

    @ChunkyLover112 – Steam has been ‘a thing’ for me since November 2004 when I got the Valve “Silver” game package.

    Steam sales are an excellent way to get a game or some DLC for a price that increases the overall value of the product.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. AmiralPatate

    I bought Gunpoint, got all the achievements the same night; Bioshock Infinite and already finished it; GRID 2 and Worms Revolution to play with a friend; XCOM and playing it on easy because I’m hardcore; Deus Ex Human Revolution because I borrowed it from a friend and wanted to replay it in a somewhat near future; plus an other one I can’t remember right now.
    All that for 80€. Almost bought Skyrim DLC, but I’m too busy bunny hopping in Morrowind for that after all.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. dizzygear

    Bioshock: Infinite, The Walking Dead, Dust: An Elysian Tail and Farcry Blooddragon is the damage here.

    I finished all of them. Bioshock Infinite and The Walking Dead were kinda disappointing. Dust was the best game of the bunch. that one really exceeded all expectations.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. Patrick Garratt

    Torchlight II really is fucking my week up. Best €5 ever spent. Great game.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. OwningXylophone

    @ Steph

    Dragonborn was definitely on sale at 50% off on one of the days, as I picked it up for a cool £6.50 rather than the extortionate £13 it usually cost.

    I totally lost the plot with this years sales… Picked up Dark Souls, Hotline Miami, Dishonored, Bioshock Infinite, Baulders Gate, Walking Dead, Kerbal Space Program, Dragon Lair, Retro City Rampage, Might & Magic Heroes 6, Organ Trail, Risen 2 & The Witcher 2. Now I just have to magic up the time to play these considering I picked up Gods & Kings for Civ 5 too.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. sh4dow

    As one might expect, I didn’t buy anything. I did buy three games on GOG during their sale though.
    Waking Mars (finished that one recently), The Cat Lady and Unepic.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. YoungZer0

    @18: Yep, I remember I even saw it go down twice.

    #20 1 year ago
  21. naffgeek

    I think I have a serious problem.

    I bought :-
    Deus Ex
    Mirrors Edge
    PES 2013
    NBA 2k 2013
    Ace Combat
    Just Cause 2
    Surgeon Simulator
    Dark Souls
    Thomas Was Alone
    Call of Juarez
    Roller Coaster Tycoon
    Torchlight 2
    Far Cry Blood Dragon

    at least 5 of them I already have on xbox but I bought a new video card and erm well that’s the best excuse I can come up with.

    All in all I spent about £80 which for that list is a bargain but I know full well I will never complete them all (or play some of them).

    But I like looking at them in my games list…

    Anyone got a number for Game Hoarders Anonymous? help me!

    #21 1 year ago
  22. Stephany Nunneley

    @18 & 20 On the US end? Was it a Flash sale that appeared in the wee hours when people sleep? Because I checked it at least three times a day. I saw Dawnguard on sale but not Dragonborn.

    #22 1 year ago
  23. YoungZer0

    @22: I can only speak for the german end of things. It might have been a Flash Sale, I saw it twice for the same price as Dawnguard (10 Euros). I bought it and I feel bad about it. ._.

    I betrayed my principles.

    #23 1 year ago
  24. OwningXylophone

    @ Steph

    UK here, although I assumed the sales were the same across all regions. And yes, I think I picked it up in a flash sale.

    #24 1 year ago

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