It started a few days ago but the Steam Summer Sale is once again upon us. It's not as exciting as it used to be....they sort of got all my money (and I got all the games) a long time ago. Now, games worth getting are still too pricey to be "deals" and Steam's array of new content seems to waver between trash that even Gamersgate is apologetic for and an endless array of risky-business "Early Access" games that seem to be stuck in development hell --but which I feel is a variant of the Kickstarter program, which boils down to this: once you have suckered someone into buying your unfinished product, what's your incentive to complete said game? That aside, there do seem to be a fair number of early access games that look like they are making progress....tempered by those that don't.
As a rule I've been careful to avoid early access games, as I'm not a beta tester and I don't like messing with unfinished product unless I'm being paid for it (I actually did get paid for it once, when I worked for two excruciating weeks at Nintendo in Bellevue, Washington as a QA tester).
But.....I'm breaking my rule on a few hard to pass up Steam sales this time. I grabbed Nether (despite some suggestions in the forums that the game is vile, it sounds more like its a PvP game with some disgruntled buyers who didn't realize that), as well as StarForged (loading, will let you know what I think). There may be a couple more. Project Zomboid came and went on its sale, but I'm sure it will be back and I may take the plunge. If the price is right, I'll risk "early access" territory for a chance to try out these sandbox survival games.
I also picked up Betrayed, which is a fascinating game and also an example of a successful escapee from the early access pit. The game is a cool, polished experience and worth the price of admission if you snag it on sale. Betrayed places you on an island, sometime in the seventeen hundreds by my guesstimation, surviving on an island of ghosts, mysteries and mad zombie spaniards. It's a very atmospheric game that utilizes black and white visuals with occasional colors (reds mostly) to create a unique experience (though a color slider lets you add color to the game if you really must). Worth checking out.
Aside from that, I picked up Insurgency and the remaining Saint's Row IV DLC content I didn't already own. My wife and I actually played some SR IV co-op last night.....it wasn't as exciting as we'd hoped, if only because the missions for co-op only were basically cat-and-mouse or pvp games, and she's been playing a lot longer than me so her character just kept mopping the floor with mine.
Not sure what else I'm going to grab this time around.....the pool is ankle deep for me now; I own too many games on Steam already and lack the time to play any of them. The few AAA titles coming out this year are all optimized for machines greater than mine so it's easier for now to pick them up for the PS4, which will give them a fairer shake than my PC can. I may need to consider upgrading sometime soon....!