Five Recommendations for the Steam Winter Sale 2023

Don't know what to buy on this Steam Winter Sale? Follow any of our leads, or maybe pick them all up!

Five Recommendations for the Steam Winter Sale 2023

A Steam Sale is a great opportunity to pad your library with games that may look interesting, but haven't been able to pick up for one reason or other. It still can be a daunting prospect for many. Perhaps you, like me, don't want to just add any game that will collect dust on your ever-growing backlog. Maybe you haven't taken the personal time to keep a detailed wishlist. Or maybe those games that you were interested in, are still too new and expensive for your budget. Here we will give a quick review on 5 games that we consider too good to pass on this particular sale.

I'll start with the controversial and maybe also too-obvious pick: Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is at 75% discount.

In-game screenshot of Disco Elysium β€” The Final Cut.
Save 75% on Disco Elysium - The Final Cut on Steam
Disco Elysium - The Final Cut is a groundbreaking role playing game. You’re a detective with a unique skill system at your disposal and a whole city to carve your path across. Interrogate unforgettable characters, crack murders or take bribes. Become a hero or an absolute disaster of a human being.

I played and bought this game at a sale on the GOG store a couple of years ago. This was before the rather ugly drama about the "hostile takeover" that ousted the original creators from the studio company. I've seen rather extreme opinions on the Steam reviews that say this is a game that should be pirated instead of bought, and I find those opinions very unfair to the people still working at that company. You might think you're punishing the ghoulish capitalists that took over the IP, but I'm not here to admonish your moral compass. What I can say for sure, is that if you've been on the fence about buying this game, a 75% discount on an already low price, is probably the best deal you'll get before the company releases the announced sequel.

It is an uncommon game for sure. Heavily text based, even now that it's fully voice-acted, it is definitely best suited for people that are into story-heavy and rich-character games. The main protagonist is indeed a fixed persona, but there's still a huge flexibility in the way the player can approach this almost combat-less RPG. The world is as artistically crafted as the rich hand-painted graphics. Despite being a small, literal island in it, the world building is a master-class in exposition. Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is a worthy and unmissable buy on this sale if you haven't played it already. If it makes it more palatable, you can pick it up on a bundle with Control, the hit game from Remedy Entertainment, which is also a great deal.

In-game screenshot of COCOON.
Save 20% on COCOON on Steam
From Jeppe Carlsen, the lead gameplay designer of LIMBO and INSIDE β€” COCOON takes you on an adventure across worlds within worlds. Master world-leaping mechanics and solve intricate puzzles to unravel a cosmic mystery.

Another recommendation for this sale would be COCOON. Probably in the opposite end of a game as story-heavy as Disco Elysium, but as much as an art-piece, COCOON is another spectacularly designed world. Annapurna Interactive has already made a name for publishing art-house pieces such as Outer Wilds or Journey, and COCOON is no different. Made by the new studio of the main gameplay designer of indie hits LIMBO and INSIDE, you would think that for a game that many consider "short", it has a bit of a steep price. But the painstakingly intricate construction of its puzzle universe is by itself worthy of the full price tag, and a 20% discount on this sale gives you one of the best games of the year hands down. Don't be fooled by its lack of narration or hand-holding text, even as short as it is, COCOON is anything but shallow.

In-game screenshot of Severed Steel.
Save 75% on Severed Steel on Steam
An intense single-player FPS featuring a stylish movement system, completely destructible levels, and an acclaimed OST.

Severed Steel is another game I played first on another platform. As a matter of fact, I got it for free on the Epic Games Store, and I liked it so much I bought it full price on Steam. Plainly put, it's a stylish, adrenaline-pumped single-player adventure into a cyberpunk-flavored neon world. There you have the fluidity of movement of Titan Fall or Mirror's Edge, the time-stopping ability of FEAR, and an environment as destructible as... well... as not many games today. Seriously, what happened to the tech promise of destructible terrains everywhere? Anyways, Severed Link is a severely (Heh, get it?😜) underrated action FPS that also has great community support with regular content updates and an included level editor. Actually, they recently released an Akimbo update to add dual-gun wielding. Honestly, if you skip it this sale you wouldn't make a mistake paying full price for it, as I consciously did.

In-Game screenshot of Tyranny.
Save 75% on Tyranny on Steam
Experience a story-driven RPG where your choices mean all the difference in the world.

With the genre revitalization that Baldur's Gate 3 brought to CRPG's, many are wondering if there are "hidden gems" around that may have been overlooked. And if there's one game like that, it is Obsidian's Tyranny, their greatest game that never was. Released one year after Pillars of Eternity, a game that's still rightfully praised, Tyranny is their exploration into a deliberate dark-path narrative, the likes of which are still sadly uncommon. There may be games where you are tasked to do evil (or at least morally-ambiguous) deeds, but usually they're handled with tongue-in-cheek humor. In Tyranny the choices are very serious to the richly described world, as is the weight of the consequences. It is unlikely that Obsidian Entertainment revisits that IP, because despite the acclaim from critics and players, it wasn't considered a success. It remains as their least talked-about game, in a genre that it once was considered their mastered domain.

In-game screenshot of Prey (2017)
Save 90% on Prey on Steam
In Prey, you awaken aboard Talos I, a space station orbiting the moon in the year 2032. You are the key subject of an experiment meant to alter humanity forever – but things have gone terribly wrong. The space station has been overrun by hostile aliens and you are now being hunted.

Jumping at the opportunity for cashing-in on gamer nostalgia might have backfired for Arkane Studios more than anyone thinks. The truth is that a lot of players of the original 2006 game were very disappointed that none of the themes and gameplay concepts of the original were further developed in the 2017 version. More than a reboot or remaster, it was a completely new game in the tried and true Arkane-immersive-sim style, that just got slapped the name Prey on top of it. Unjustly judged because of it, it was abandoned without fanfare by that fan base. It was also left without any interested party, on a weird demonstration about fantasy and sci-fi fan bases not mixing very well, despite the previous triumph of the Dishonored franchise. The base Prey game of 2017 is now at a shocking 90% discount, that for a 6-year-old game of that level of polish and caliber sounds obscenely low, but yet here we are.

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