Need some games to keep you busy in the Fall? There are some on sale at GOG that you might want to check out.
Summer is coming to an end; with it, the glorious summer sales for platforms like GOG and Steam. With less than 24 hours to go before The GOG Sale ends, you’re on the final countdown without the Spongebob performance.
Gamescom 2022 showed off some exciting titles coming in the future, but for those looking for great games to play now, GOG has you covered. With markdowns of as much as 90%, you don’t want to miss out on these deals.
I’d be here forever if I were to recommend every game I think is worth a buy, so I’ve narrowed it down to 10 selections that I believe are worth your time.
Marvel’s: Spider-Man and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales are all the superhero rage in video games these days. But once upon a time, the Batman Arkham series of games ruled gaming as the undisputed best superhero games on the market.
The much-anticipated Gotham Knights will be coming out in about six weeks, and what better way to get ready for the next game in the Batman Mythos than to pay respect to the Arkham series?
Arkham Asylum, City, and Origins are currently five bucks, and Arkham Knight is going for 10. Arkham Knight has a shaky reputation among the fanbase, but I think the series is worth playing in its entirety.
Three post-apocalyptic franchises stand out from the rest: Fallout, Metro, and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. In some ways, you can look at S.T.A.L.K.E.R. as being the best of both worlds between Metro and Fallout.
While dated now, the first-person shooter elements of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series easily surpassed those of Fallout 3 and New Vegas. If you appreciate the survival mechanics of New Vegas or Fallout 4, you’ll love that element of S.T.A.L.K.E.R., as it dials up by 10. And for those disappointed in modern Fallout possessing fewer RPG elements, not more, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. has you covered there too.
We are finally getting a new installment in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise in the form of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl, but a delay has pushed the release to sometime in 2023. If you have yet to play Shadow of Chornobyl, Clear Sky, or Call of Pripyat, there’s no time better than the present.
Shadow of Chornobyl and Call of Pripyat are going for $5.99, and Clear Sky is only $2.99.
8. Tomb Raider
One of the biggest pieces of gaming industry news this year is the acquisition of Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montréal, and Square Enix Montréal by the Embracer Group. Those acquisitions gave Embracer Group access to numerous IPs. One of those IPs is Tomb Raider.
We’ve reached a point where many younger gamers today don’t know what the original Tomb Raider games were like. Regardless of whether you like the modern Tomb Raider games, I am sure we can all agree that they’re nothing like classic Tomb Raider. Modern Tomb Raider is more or less Uncharted-lite with better stealth mechanics and Lara Croft instead of Nathan Drake. The originals were more about, well, raiding tombs. Puzzles and platforming are the names of the games here.
All the classic Tomb Raider games are between 0.97 cents and $1.98 right now. Talk about a steal. And if you want to give the modern Tomb Raider a shot, the first installment of the reboot trilogy, Tomb Raider, the Game of the Year Edition, is $3.99.
While we’re on the subject of Tomb Raider, be sure to get a copy of Shadow of the Tomb Raider for free on the Epic Games store. You have until September 8 to do so. A next-gen Tomb Raider is already in the works, so best get to playing catchup as soon as possible.
Oh, and while I do recommend the classic Tomb Raider titles, you can just go ahead and skip Angel of Darkness. Trust me; you won’t be missing out on much.
There aren’t too many gaming franchises out there that really dive deep into the art of stealth and stick to it for the entirety of the game. One franchise that does this extraordinarily well is the Thief series.
Thief places you in the boots of master thief Garrett and boasts fantastic in-game interactivity. You have a lot of ways to keep yourself concealed, distract or knock out guards, and acquire sweet, sweet loot.
One of the things about Thief that I always appreciated was how the series approached organic difficulty scaling. Many games take the easy way out when designing higher difficulty modes and make enemies deal way more damage, you far less damage, and give you the durability of wet toilet paper. Thief doesn’t go down that route. Thief will make you think outside the box if you turn the difficulty up a notch. The mission objectives will become trickier and environments harder to navigate.
You can buy the three classic Thief games for 0.97-0.98 cents each. But whatever you do, give the quote-unquote Definitive Edition of Thief a pass. Many Definitive Edition games miss their mark, and that’s the case here. If you want the definitive Thief experience, go with the old games.
That is, at least until Embracer Group gives us an actually great modern Thief (Yes, Embracer Group got their hands on this franchise too).
6. Jade Empire
I always felt like Jade Empire was a good game released at a bad time.
Developed by Bioware and originally an Xbox exclusive, Jade Empire came out in 2005 during a time when the only Bioware RPG people cared about was Knights of the Old Republic. And while Obsidian was the developer that took charge of KOTOR 2, that didn’t matter. Jade Empire came and left without making too much noise.
Jade Empire is a fascinating game. You’ll fight everything from ghosts and demons to assassins and coastal peasants. There are various martial, weapon, magic, and transformation styles at your disposal. The game’s Open Palm/Closed Fist system plays a significant role in how the story plays out and what styles you will be able to use.
It has a fair share of flaws, but it’s still a great game. At just $2.99, it’s a steal. Developers seem to love rebooting/remastering/remaking old titles these days, and if someone were to remaster Jade Empire, I wouldn’t complain. Until then, the original will have to do.
5. Saints Row
The rebooted Saints Row is out, and the reviews are not good. In more ways than one, the Saints Row reboot feels the least like a Saints Row game. Longtime fans of the series will likely be disappointed, and newcomers are doing themselves a disservice by experiencing a watered-down Saints Row title. And that’s not even touching on the various technical issues in the reboot.
Instead of touching that dud (At least wait for it to go on sale), why not go back into the vault and play some vintage Saints Row? I think every gamer owes it to themselves to experience the glory that is Johnny Gat.
Saints Row 2 and 3 usually sit at the top of the Best Saints Row list, but I recommend starting with the first game. Reception to Saints Row started to get pretty mixed with Saints Row 4, but that’s the kind of game you need to play for yourself. Some think Saints Row 4 is the worst in the main series, while others find it to be their favorite.
Agents of Mayhem isn’t on GOG, but that’s really for the best.
4. Deus Ex
Remember those Embracer Group acquisitions I talked about earlier? Another IP Embracer Group acquired was the legendary Deus Ex franchise.
Many consider the original Deus Ex one of, if not the best, game ever made. The writing is fantastic, and the game world oozes immersion. In many ways, it was ahead of its time.
The series stumbled a bit with the sequel Invisible War. While not nearly as bad as some say it is, as a Deus Ex experience, I agree it was one step forward, two steps back. Regardless, for story reasons alone, you should give it a try. And for less than a dollar, what do you have to lose?
The series got back on track when Eidos-Montréal took over and developed Human Revolution. It was a fantastic modern-day take of Deus Ex and successfully revived the franchise. Mankind Divided, unfortunately, followed in the footsteps of Invisible War in that it was one step forward and two steps back. Does that mean it’s not worth playing? Absolutely not. But it definitely could’ve been better.
According to various reports, Eidos-Montréal is very much interested in bringing back Deus Ex in a big way, but there’s no telling when that will happen. But that’s not too much of an issue. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be revisiting the past Deus Ex titles time and time again.
3. Legacy of Kain
I promise I won’t mention Embracer Group in this article again after this.
When news broke out on what IPs Embracer Group now owns, speculation of remasters, remakes, reboots, and revivals inevitably began. And out of all of them, I think no possible series comeback is more exciting than Legacy of Kain.
The Legacy of Kain series is so dead that the Night King could’ve revived it if he wanted to. It certainly would’ve made season 8 of Game of Thrones better. November 2023 will mark the 20th anniversary of the Legacy of Kain drought. A sad state of affairs indeed, as the action-adventure franchise was one of the best of the late 90s/early 2000s.
Fans of the dormant action-adventure franchise have good reason to have hope now. Embracer Group has expressed great interest in reviving many of its newly-acquired IPs. And the icing on the cake? Embracer Group specifically mentioned Legacy of Kain.
You know what that means, ladies and gentlemen. If you’ve already played them before, take a trip down nostalgia lane, so the mythos is fresh in your mind. And if you’ve never played them before, do yourself a huge favor and rectify that mistake.
Unfortunately, Square Enix has temporarily removed the ability to purchase Soul Reaver. You won’t be able to play it just yet, but you can still purchase Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Soul Reaver 2, Blood Omen 2, and Defiance.
2. Sleeping Dogs
For better or worse, if you’re an open-world, city-based crime game, there’s a 99% chance you’ll get comparisons to Grand Theft Auto. After its release in 2012, I lost count of how many people dismissed Sleeping Dogs as just being Asian GTA. And this is despite it having more in common with games like Yakuza and Shenmue than it does Grand Theft Auto.
In truth, Sleeping Dogs is a spiritual successor to the dead True Crime series and initially started out as True Crime: Hong Kong. But with the unfair Asian GTA dismissals and the release of juggernaut Grand Theft Auto 5 the following year, Sleeping Dogs went under the radar for many years. It became one of the most criminally-underrated games of the 2010s.
Things have been much better in the years since. More people are giving it a shot and realizing it’s much more than just Asian GTA. Sleeping Dogs has players take on the role of Wei Shen, an American-transferred Hong Kong police officer who goes undercover with the most powerful triad organization in Hong Kong. Wei simultaneously takes on cop and triad missions, each with different objectives that change how you have to approach them.
Guns are far less common in Sleeping Dogs, and most of the combat will be brutal hand-to-hand or melee weapon encounters. The environmental finishers, in particular, never get old. There are plenty of collectibles to find, and minigames to play.
Oh, and you can get Emma Stone as a girlfriend. That counts for something.
You can experience one of the best modern open-world games for just $2.99. The saying let sleeping dogs lie doesn’t apply to this gem of a video game.
1. Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura
Some Fallout fans find the classic Interplay Games era titles to be the definitive version of Fallout. Others think the modern Fallout games are more enjoyable. If the classic Fallout games are your cup of tea, then Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magicks Obscura will be your jam.
Arcanum is a classic isometric RPG developed by the folks who created the classic Fallout games. It utilizes the underappreciated steampunk aesthetic to deliver a fantastic blend of fantasy and technological reality.
You can go from using magic to blast apart some bandits before shooting them in the face with a revolver or blowing them up with dynamite. The Magic/Technology Aptitude system is one of the most interesting elements of Arcanum. The more proficient you are with one, the more incompatible you become with the other.
And this doesn’t just affect you; it applies to anyone in your party. Let’s say you go all out in mastering firearms but have a mage healer in your party. His healing spells will get weaker and weaker. Eventually, they won’t work on you at all. That means you’ll need to be more self-reliant in keeping yourself from dying.
Arcanum has all the hallmarks of a great RPG. The writing is fantastic and mixes a perfect blend of seriousness and humor. Many quests have multiple solution paths, and your actions have lasting effects/consequences in this game. And the music. My god, the music.
Character creation/development is extensive. Players can select between a handful of races and dozens of backgrounds. Think of these like traits from Fallout. Each applies bonuses and or negative effects to your character. Next, you can decide on your initial stat spread between the eight in-game attributes and begin investing points into the many skills available.
I spent an hour creating my character the first time around. And then, after playing for 45 minutes, I started over. The amount of replayability on offer here is huge. If you enjoy low intelligence runs of Fallout 1, 2, or New Vegas, you’ll be happy to know that a low intelligence run of Arcanum offers a similar one-of-a-kind experience.
Arcanum had already fallen into niche territory by the time it came out, and with Troika Games shutting down soon after, a lot of people missed this one. If you enjoy RPGs, you owe it to yourself to play this. And even if you’re on the fence about RPGs, especially old-school RPGs, give it a chance. You might be surprised.
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