The summer is a traditionally slow time for videogames, publishers are readying their big releases for the lucrative fall holiday season. But the growing digital market has afforded developers and publishers the opportunity to take advantage of the lull in releases and push out some truly great titles.
Steam was up first this year, and while Valve wasn't the direct publisher or developer in this situation, their platform pushed out dozens of quality titles for very little coin. What made Valve's offerings more enticing, besides the obvious ability to beef up your PC gaming collection for little dollar, was a tie in with many independent games for exclusive unlockable items.
While it's not clear just how successful sales like these are for publishers and developers, they do a great job of bringing interest to many games and help fill a void for big releases. I find it a great way to catch up on some of the bigger titles you may have missed from earlier in the year.
Microsoft's Summer of Arcade promotion has been around a few years now, and instead of a focus on cheap sales it's a focus on quality titles. Previous years have produced titles like Shadow Complex, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, and Monday Night Combat. And while each game might not have a discount price, Microsoft usually throws you a bone if you purchase every game in the promotion. This year you'll get a free copy of the co-op game Crimson Alliance.
Date Title Price (MS Points) July 20 Bastion 1200 July 27 From Dust 1200 August 3 Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet 1200 August 10 Fruit Ninja Kinect 800 August 17 Toy Soldiers: Cold War 1200
The PlayStation Network is getting in on the Summer action this year as well, with discounts on tons of games. While not to the scale of the Steam sales, there's was still a lot of quality titles available for cheap. Sadly the promotion was fairly short so it was tough to take advantage of everything.
NEW IN DOWNLOADS AND DLC
Not too much going on for the DLC front.
Ms. Splosion Man received it's first free content update, something available from right inside the title - no need to actually DOWNLOAD something. The game's soundtrack is also available for free.
Beat Hazard received a piece of DLC which enables an online co-op mode in the game. We gave it a quick try and were really impressed with how well it integrates into the core game. In any game mode a ticker will pop up and tell you that there are other players looking to start a new multiplayer game. Slick!
Free For You
League of Legends on the PC recently boasted 15 million subscribers. The game supports co-op lobbies and modes of play in a Defense of the Ancients style strategy game. It's completely free, though there is premium content - we still suggest giving it a try.
You can check it out over at www.leagueoflegends.com.