Steam Summer Sale: 10 discounted PC games to buy now

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CNET 25 June, 2021 - 12:00am 31 views

How long does the Steam summer sale last?

How long do Steam sales last? The Summer and Winter sales are the big ones. They tend to last two weeks (ish). Other sales like the Lunar New Year sale and Black Friday sale last about one week. PC GamerSteam sale dates: When is the next Steam sale?

Those deals are for some of the most well-known titles in the sale, but there are many, many other games you can pick up on the cheap from Steam right now. As always, it's worth looking around to see if there are better deals elsewhere. But for many PC gamers, their backlogs are about to get much longer.

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The Steam Summer Sale has begun

Rock Paper Shotgun 25 June, 2021 - 07:02am

This year's big event includes deep discounts, new stuff in the Points Shop, and 14 'micro-adventures' to solve.

There's also something new this year: The chance to "Forge Your Fate" through a series of 14 themed micro-adventures scattered throughout the sale—sort of like a "Choose Your Own Adventure" embedded within a Steam sale. Each one you complete will get you an animated sticker, and if you collect 'em all you'll also score a new badge that will let you spiff up your user profile, earn Steam XP, and maybe—if you really stick to it—make a challenge for the "world's most expensive Steam profile." (Probably not, though.)

It's a tradition for Steam sales, especially the big ones like the summer spectacular, to get off to a rocky start as masses of people crash the gates to get a look at the deals. Once that initial tumult has passed, we'll share some recommendations on where you might like to sink your money, and maybe offer a tip or two on those exciting adventures. (No promises on that front, though.)

The 2021 Steam Summer Sale is live now and runs until July 8.

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The best deals in the Steam Summer Sale

PC Gamer 25 June, 2021 - 07:02am

Sales on our favorite games of 2021 and deals on some of our favorite games at their lowest prices.

We've been digging through the Steam Summer Sale and picking out some of the best deals it has on offer. Below, you'll find some of the best deals on games released this year, games under $25, games under $10, and games under $5. You'll see plenty of stuff you already have, but we've included a few underdogs or easily missed games that we recommend too. Hopefully you find something new to play, or to at least pile on to the backlog. Y'know, just in case. 

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Steam’s summer sale has discounts on Halo, Sekiro, Hades, and other titles

The Verge 25 June, 2021 - 07:02am

In exchange for deeply discounted games, of course

Which ones? Glad you asked. Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Sea of Thieves, Supergiant’s beloved roguelike Hades, From Software’s punishing ninja game Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, recently PC-ported Horizon Zero Dawn, Mortal Kombat 11, and open-world coffee-drinking simulator Red Dead Redemption 2 are all at least 30 percent off. Battlefield V is less than $13. Unsettling cinematic platformer Inside is only $4.99.

This sale also features a micro text adventure called Forge Your Fate (and by micro, I truly mean micro — each subsection has only two choices) that will net you some free digital stickers, if you’re into that sort of thing. The cosmetics continue with new profile bundles of backgrounds, avatars, and the like, purchasable with Steam Points.

Did I mention Disco Elysium is 35 percent off? Because it is. Just wanted to make sure you knew.

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Best Steam Summer Sale Deals 2021: Half-Life Alyx, Sekiro, Horizon Zero Dawn, And More

GameSpot 25 June, 2021 - 07:02am

New Borderlands 3 Update Adds Cross-Play And Increases Level Cap

Adjusting Apex Legends' Maps Based On Fan Feedback Has Been A "Benefit For Us," Says Design Director

The Steam Summer Sale is in full swing from now until July 8, giving you two weeks to browse the avalanche of PC game deals. As one of the biggest annual Steam sales, the Summer Sale presents a great opportunity to fill out your Steam library with games you've been eyeing. Considering there are thousands of deals up for grabs, GameSpot staff decided to put together a list of some standout games that are up for grabs for less.

From 2021 gems like It Takes Two and Little Nightmares II to some of the best games from the past few years (Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Control, Outer Wilds, and more), the Steam Summer Sale is absolutely loaded with awesome deals. And for those not looking to drop too much money this year, check out our separate guide to the best Steam Summer Sale deals under $10.

Like all Steam sales, the Summer Sale has a theme: Forge Your Fate. It's designed like a "Choose Your Own Adventure" story and helps you navigate the sale, offering game suggestions based on your decisions and netting you stickers in the process.

Remedy Entertainment's Control is a mind-bending action game that stands out thanks to its immersive atmosphere and combat that gives you plenty of freedom. You play as Jesse Faden, the new head of a secret US agency that investigates paranormal phenomena. Throughout the adventure, you explore the agency's headquarters, which is set up in a way that makes it feel like a metroidvania. Control plays with reality in some really interesting ways, and its story will stick with you for a while. While the narrative is arguably the best part about Control, the combat is fascinating as well thanks to cool psychokinetic powers and great gunplay. The Ultimate edition also comes with Control's pair of fun expansions. — Steven Petite, associate editor

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The Dark Souls series is infamous for its challenging gameplay and bleak atmosphere. The franchise's final installment somehow managed to raise the bar on every facet of what makes FromSoftware's action RPG so well-loved. Like its predecessors, Dark Souls III offers many tense encounters in perilous dungeons and against daunting boss battles that can push your skills in a fight to the test. Dark Souls III's stunning finale offers a haunting yet still satisfying sense of finality to the overarching story of the trilogy, which has cemented itself as among the greatest games of the 2010s. While the Souls-like sub-genre has seen many games in recent years, Dark Souls III still stands as a fantastic action RPG, and now that it's on sale, you can dive into the finale--and its expansions--for cheap. — Alessandro Fillari, editor

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Since its release in 2019, Death Stranding is well regarded as an oddity within the genre of open-world action games. But in the time following its debut, Hideo Kojima's weird yet creative take on an open-world game has garnered a passionate following, who found a powerful sense of peace in delivering packages in a strange, post-apocalyptic setting where the lines between life and death have become blurred. As one of GameSpot's best games of 2019, Death Stranding's take on exploring a harsh world, along with its strange story that managed to hit some surprising emotional highs, was an inventive and radical approach to a AAA game. It's also a game that emphasized survival while also maintaining a passive approach, giving way to some humorous and inventive ways to overcome your enemies.

With the PC version on sale, you can play the best version of the game that's out right now. This release also includes some special Valve-themed items, such as the Gravity Glove from Half-Life: Alyx, along with a side quest that includes a small cameo from another Valve game that I won't spoil here. Death Stranding and its sensibilities may not be for everyone, but it is still a stunning and equally bold open-world game that's a must-play. — Alessandro Fillari, editor

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Devil May Cry 5 released back in 2019 after more than a decade away from the main series, and Capcom managed to steamroll our expectations with a game that was vastly more ambitious, engaging, and fun than its predecessor. Starring the series' mainstay Dante alongside Devil May Cry 4's Nero and newcomer V, Devil May Cry 5 leans into the action, turning up the goofiness to 11 while modernizing the stylish combat of its predecessors with a much better camera and tons of move variety. Fantastic music--fantastic in the cheesy-on-purpose way--and breathtaking visuals via the RE Engine make it one of the most breathtaking games of the last few years.

What might be most impressive about Devil May Cry 5, however, is how it manages to make us actually like playing as someone other than Dante. Sure, you played as Nero for a whole bunch of Devil May Cry 4, but he's arguably the lead protagonist of Devil May Cry 5, and his new Devil Breaker arms and late-game powers help to make him a true star, and one who could feasibly take the driver's seat completely for future games. — Gabe Gurwin, associate SEO editor

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Supergiant Games has a knack for storytelling dating back to Bastion, and it has continued to hone its talents with games like Transistor and Pyre. However, it was 2020's Hades that cemented it as one of the greatest modern indie developers, as the rogue-lite game managed to somehow tell a better story within the confines of a very restrictive genre than most games do in more traditional, linear games.

Escaping the underworld is different on every attempt, not only in the layout and order of each area, but also with how characters react to you. From taunting you to vowing revenge for getting killed before, they feel like they exist in the world merely than just appear when you are ready to fight. It doesn't hurt that those fights are so satisfying, either, with a wide range of weapons and upgrades to try out as you craft the perfect loadout to take down the titular baddie. But even that isn't the end, as Hades continues to evolve long after you "beat" it the first time. — Gabe Gurwin, associate SEO editor

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Half-Life: Alyx is one of the most impressive virtual reality games to date. The triumphant return of the iconic Valve franchise places you in the role of Alyx Vance on her quest to stop an evil alien race called the Combine. Set between the first two games in the series, Half-Life: Alyx tells a genuinely gripping story that fits perfectly inside the world that has captivated players for more than two decades. Half-Life: Alyx's VR gameplay is the star of the show here, though. Solving puzzles and engaging in combat with the Gravity Gloves truly demonstrates the distinct advantages VR can have when it comes to game design. The environments, both from a visual and audio perspective, immerse you in Alyx's world in a way that simply isn't possible without a VR headset strapped to your head. Of course, you do need a pricey VR headset to play Alyx (HTC Vive, Valve Index, or Oculus Rift), but it's definitely one of those games that will make you a believer in the tech. — Steven Petite, associate editor

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection for PC is a bargain at full price, which makes it a steal at 50% off. The Master Chief Collection contains a whopping six games: Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo 4, and Halo Reach. Considering the Halo franchise features some of the best first-person shooter campaigns ever, it's worth picking up even if you have no interest in playing online multiplayer. That said, the multiplayer definitely gives the collection serious legs thanks to the wide variety of maps and modes to choose from. Though mostly known for being an Xbox series, Halo really does feel at home on PC, too. — Steven Petite, associate editor

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With a sequel on the way for PS5, there's no better time to dive into Horizon Zero Dawn, an incredible open-world RPG set in a post-apocalyptic world overrun with dinosaur-like machines. You play as Aloy, a tribal outcast who sets off on a search to discover the secrets of her ancestors and the world before machines took over. The Complete Edition is the one to get if you've never played Horizon, as you'll get the Frozen Wilds DLC as well--this is a fantastic expansion that opens up a stunning but brutal frozen tundra area to the north. Frozen Wilds offers a continuation of the main story, plenty of side quests, and even more deadly machines to fight. Horizon Zero Dawn was previously a PlayStation exclusive that made its way to Steam last August, and though its initial PC port was riddled with performance issues, developer Guerrilla Games has released multiple patches to address the complaints. — Jenae Sitzes, commerce editor

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It Takes Two is one of the best games of the year so far. Hazelight Studios' follow-up to A Way Out is another gripping adventure that's specifically designed for co-op. With her parents' marriage potentially ending, Rose consults a book about relationships while shedding tears on a pair of dolls that resemble her mom and dad. The magical book transforms Cody and May into those very dolls, sending them on a strange adventure to save their marriage. It Takes Two forces two players to work together to solve its clever platforming sequences and puzzles. Stellar gameplay is accompanied by a well-written story that goes places you wouldn't expect. It Takes Two can be played split-screen or online with a friend. Only one person needs a copy of the game to play together online thanks to the free Friend's Pass. — Steven Petite, associate editor

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Taking a page from the Souls-like genre, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order gives you all the ridiculous power of the Jedi but balances it with tough enemies and huge battles. The result is a Star Wars game where being a Jedi makes you feel powerful, but not unstoppable--and suggests a Star Wars universe that might actually be pretty dangerous. Jedi: Fallen Order does a great job of giving you huge worlds to explore and lots of secrets to find along the way, as well as some significant combat challenges against huge machines and creatures. The best part, though, might be how the game explores Star Wars lore and characters. It takes ideas from the series like Order 66 and the fall of the Jedi and digs into them through the experiences and feelings of characters who were there. It's a game that makes these Star Wars events feel real thanks to the way they impact the people in the game, which helps make the galaxy far, far away seem a little more human and well-realized. — Phil Hornshaw, editor

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Little Nightmares was already a great, atmospheric platformer when it released in 2017, but Little Nightmares II elevated the series to a new level by introducing AI co-op gameplay and a broadening of the story that not only connects it to the first game, but also offers new implications for it as well. Released earlier this year, Little Nightmares II introduces a new playable character, Mono, who works together with the first game's protagonist Six to solve puzzles, evade monsters, and discover the secrets of a mysterious Tower emitting a transmission distorting the world around them. On sale for $24 during the Steam Summer Sale, Little Nightmares II is a thrilling puzzle-platformer with a haunting setting that's even creepier than the first game. And speaking of the first game, Little Nightmares: Complete Edition is also super cheap right now, bundling the base game and all DLC for just $7.49. — Jenae Sitzes, commerce editor

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The original Mass Effect trilogy is one of the greatest role-playing series of all time. Whether you're diving in for the first time or revisiting the space opera after some time away, Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is the best way to experience it. Remastered with updated textures, models, and visuals as well as the ability to play in 4K, the Legendary Edition makes the somewhat dated series look thoroughly modern. BioWare made significant improvements to the first game, improving the combat to make it fall more in line with the latter two entries. With well over 100 hours of content, including 40 pieces of DLC, Mass Effect: Legendary Edition will keep you busy for quite some time. — Steven Petite, associate editor

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Outer Wilds is one of those games that you really do have to experience for yourself to truly appreciate, and it would hurt your experience if you knew too much before diving in. So, here's what you need to know about this captivating adventure: You're an amateur astronaut stuck in a 22-minute time loop, and you're also the only person who is cognizant of this big problem. That means the game can be completed in 22 minutes, but it's designed for you to fail over and over again until you piece together the central mystery. The world is filled with lovable and eccentric characters, and the writing is utterly compelling. Outer Wilds is a masterclass in world-building. — Steven Petite, associate editor

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When it released back in April, Outriders came off like a looter-shooter live game, but it's really more of a loot-based, story-heavy shooter RPG. The giant, post-apocalyptic battle for the world of Enoch is expansive and twisting, and your dark, strange path through it will pit you against warring factions, huge creatures, and superpowered mutant humans. Luckily, you have quite a few options for destruction as well, thanks to the strange powers granted you by an alien storm called the Anomaly. Outriders uses your superpowers and some intense cover-based gunplay to create a mix of tactical shooting and all-out power. It's a fun and interesting mix, and coupled with Outriders' story, it'll keep you busy for a while. And once you finish it out, if you want some loot-focused cooperative play, you can push on into a replayable endgame to keep you on Enoch a little longer. — Phil Hornshaw, editor

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Persona 5 Strikers is a spin-off that's worthy of its name. Fast-paced Dynasty Warriors action combat collides with Persona 5's world and characters to create an experience that feels markedly different from the mainline games while retaining the heart fans love. Strikers handles real-time action combat quite well by injecting the strategy and nuance of Persona into the systems. Sert after the events of Persona 5, Strikers once again brings the Phantom Thieves to the Metaverse for another wild adventure of investigating evil activity that's corrupting Japan. Though Strikers doesn't reach the heights of Persona 5 Royal, it's a thoroughly enjoyable action-RPG that should be played by all Persona fans. — Steven Petite, associate editor

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Over the last three years, Rare's multiplayer high-seas adventure game has really come into its own. The most recent expansion, A Pirate's Life, is a massive shot of content that you can snag for free, making this a great time to get into the game and crew up with some pirate pals. A Pirate's Life is a Pirates of the Caribbean tie-in for Sea of Thieves, but it's more than just Disney skins and Jack Sparrow running around. The expansion adds five new Tall Tale stories, which offer a lot to do and are approachable for both new players and pirates who want some manageable solo content.

Beyond the new stuff, though, Sea of Thieves remains one of the coolest multiplayer experiences around. Jumping on a ship with some friends and taking to the waves almost always leads to unpredictable, ridiculous moments--whether it's chasing down and sinking other players' ships or adventuring around the seas, solving riddles, and discovering treasure. Rare has added a huge amount of content to Sea of Thieves over the years, including the new expansion, so get some friends and commission a galleon. — Phil Hornshaw, editor

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After five different games that primarily involved rolling away from enemies' attacks and chipping away at their health in endurance-style fights, From Software tried something radically different with Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice while still managing to retain its own essence. The feudal Japan-set action-adventure game still feels like a Souls game with its heavy emphasis on bosses, opening up shortcuts, and harsh death penalties, but combat is more focused on aggressiveness and keeping your enemy from resting than just trying to pick the perfect opportunity to swing your sword a few times. In normal battles, that means deflecting a few strikes before going on the offensive and delivering a killing blow in stylishly bloody fashion.

Of course, it's the boss fights that make a From Software game, and Sekiro is no exception. Featuring some of the most difficult bosses in video game history, it tests your abilities in a way that makes sure you have mastered the game's many mechanics by the time the credits roll. The good thing is that on PC, you can install mods, letting you make things a little easier if you have particular trouble with a late-game section and just can't git gud enough. — Gabe Gurwin, associate SEO editor

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In many ways, Obsidian Entertainment's The Outer Worlds is an ode to the beloved Fallout franchise. It has comedic writing reminiscent of Fallout: New Vegas, a similar open-world quest structure and setup, and an atmosphere that simply feels like a Bethesda open-world game. The Outer Worlds' alternate future is dire, but the writing and world-building create welcome levity that makes exploring its star system a joy. Even though The Outer Worlds takes cues from Fallout, it still finds its own identity. Well-written characters and combat that rewards experimentation make The Outer Worlds a great adventure for fans of open-world shooters with a role-playing bent. — Steven Petite, associate editor

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Eventually (at some point, maybe, I hope), we'll finally see the release of Hollow Knight: Silksong, the DLC-turned-sequel follow-up to the original Hollow Knight, one of my favorite games of all time. You should join me in my single-minded need to play Silksong by seeing what all the fuss is about and buying Hollow Knight. This 2D hand-drawn metroidvania asks the question, "But what if bugs were sad?" and then runs with that to deliver a deeply compelling lore-filled adventure about self-worth, identity, religious worship, and societal disparity. Plus the soundtrack is one of the best I've heard in any game.

Hollow Knight goes to some dark places in its campaign, but there are snippets of joy and hilarity as well. In terms of combat, it can be a gruelingly difficult experience to finish, especially if you want to see everything the game has to offer and tackle the free Grimm Troupe and Godmaster expansions. But it's a deeply satisfying journey--the realization that the game is purposely designed to make you feel lost and confused for the first 10 hours in order to set you up for some really cool reveals about the world in the final 30 hours is a magical moment. I'd give anything to feel that for the first time again. — Jordan Ramée, associate editor

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Steam Summer Sale 2021 Start Date: June 24, 2021

ClutchPoints 25 June, 2021 - 07:02am

The Steam Summer Sale 2021 is back and Gaben’s about to take everybody’s wallets once again!

Valve sent out an email to partners announcing the @Steam Summer Sale 2021 dates, confidentially of course.

Since the partners already leaked it, the sale will run from June 24th until July 8th.

https://t.co/FINTCW7BV2

— Steam Database (@SteamDB) April 27, 2021

Although Steam has not yet officially recognized it (as Valve likes surprising us with the start of their Sales anyway), we already know when the Steam Summer Sale 2021 will start. As tweeted by SteamDB, Valve has sent out a memo to developers and partners that the Steam Summer Sale is coming this Thursday, June 24. It was supposed to be confidential, but leaks happen. This year’s Steam Summer Sale will be from June 24, 2021, to July 8, 2021, at 10 AM PT. As always, you have a lot of time to think about which games from your wishlist should be taken out permanently. Get some gifted games to your friends while you’re at it and share the joy of playing video games.

In any case, the arrival of the Steam Summer Sale comes at the tail of Steam’s cracking down on regional purchases. Previously, people can buy games for a cheaper price based on regional pricing through the use of VPNs, changing of declared country, and other methods. However, recent efforts by Valve have made this harder to do. So, at least for this year’s summer sale, you’ll have to stick to your local prices.

The start of the Steam Summer Sale also coincides with the arrival of Dota 2‘s Nemestice Summer Event. With this and Steam Summer Sale 2021, the summer vibe is already in full swing at Valve’s offices. We’re all going to make Gaben’s wallets fatter (as well as developers’ and publishers’), and we’re going to love every bit of it.

Copyright © ClutchPoints. Partner of iOne Digital / Cassius Network.

Ahead of the Steam Summer Sale, Valve Limits Steam Account Region Switching

PCMag 25 June, 2021 - 07:02am

You can now only change the region associated with your Steam account once every three months.

Summer has just begun, and that means the Steam Summer Sale is going to happen imminently. But before it does, Valve has quietly clamped down on the ability for Steam users to switch regions in an attempt to pay less for games, or access restricted content.

As Gamasutra reports, the change was first spotted by SteamDB. Valve has now added a limit on how often a Steam account region can be changed, with the new limit being once every three months. This change is in addition to the rule introduced last year that restricted game purchases to using a payment method from the country your Steam account region was set to.

Valve needed to implement such restrictions because some Steam users had started using virtual private networks (VPN) to get around region restrictions and pay lower prices for their games. Some content on Steam isn't available in some regions, and pricing can vary per region due mainly to different tax rules. Disguising your real location is against Steam's Terms of Service, but that didn't stop individuals doing it anyway, so Valve has been forced to react.

Be restricting region changes to once every three months, it still allows someone who has genuinely moved countries to update their settings. At the same time, it stops Steam users jumping from region-to-region grabbing content cheaper than their real locations demands they pay.

We don't know when the Steam Summer Sale is expected to start, but it could be as early as today according to Gamesradar. It will then run until July 8 and has a murder mystery theme this year if the rumors are to be believed.

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Matthew is PCMag's UK-based editor and news reporter. Prior to joining the team, he spent 14 years writing and editing content on our sister site Geek.com and has covered most areas of technology, but is especially passionate about games tech. Alongside PCMag, he's a freelance video game designer. Matthew holds a BSc degree in Computer Science from Birmingham University and a Masters in Computer Games Development from Abertay University.

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