Gaben as the messiah of discounts

The fourth day of the Steam Summer Sale has rolled on by, and already the value of those silly trading cards has gone down straight through the floor. Oh how I long for the Steam Sales of old where you actually had interesting mini-games and prizes to look forward to, rather than a pointless little badge you won't even look at until the next Summer Sale.

Slight rant aside, its time to once again dive into the cavernous depths of the Steam Store and see which games are worth grabbing on Day 4. As always, my recommendations are based on the game's quality and the depth of its discount, while the order is completely and utterly random:

The Talos Principle (-75%)

The Talos Principle - in game screenshot

The Talos Principle is a philosophical puzzle game from the developers behind Serious Sam, and yes, I'm being completely serious (heh). The team that invented the screaming bomb-headed man with two bombs instead of hands has also managed to create one of the most fascinating puzzle games in recent years, and best of all, they've managed to pack it with an intriguing story to boot.

My favorite feature of The Talos Principle, however silly this might sound, is the fact that the game allows you to cheat! I don't mean cheat in the sense that you type in a command and start flying, but rather cheat in the sense that you can creatively use the environment in order to either subvert the puzzle, or just jump over it completely. In most games this would be met with invisible walls or other obstacles, but The Talos Principle believes in its puzzles so much that it doesn't feel the need to do that, it simply leaves you to your own devices. Long story short, if you're a fan of brain-bending puzzle games, give this one a go.

Life is Strange: Episodes 1-5 (-75%)

Life is Strange in-game screenshot

When I first played through Life is Strange I really din't understand why it was so highly praised, especially since the first two episodes were on the mediocre side of things when it comes to writing. I ended up sticking with it, however, and I am incredibly glad I decided to do so because Life is Strange is one of the rare few "choose your own adventure" games that actually makes your choices matter, the somewhat silly ending notwithstanding. Its hard to explain the story without ruining it for you, but let's just say that if you're looking for a narrative driven game with powerful emotions and intriguing characters, then give Life is Strange a shot.

Resident Evil 4 (-65%)

Resident Evil 4 in-game screenshot

I never owned any console beyond the PlayStation 1, so the first time I got to try Resident Evil 4 was only a couple of years ago, and much to my surprise it holds up extremely well. The tank-like controls, the inability to shoot while walking, and "zombies" that take more than a fair few shots to die all seem like the sort of thing that would drive one insane, but with Resident Evil 4 they all work together to create one of the most immersive survival horror games out there. If you can, I would recommend playing it with the controller, simply because the superior mouse accuracy greatly reduces the tension and feeling of helplessness when you get surrounded by 20 angry Spanish people brandishing everything from torches to chainsaws. If you do go with the mouse, however, make sure to up the difficulty in order to keep the game at an adequately challenging level.

Darksiders 2: Deathinitive Edition (-80%)

Darksiders 2 in-game screenshot of combat

Darksiders 2 was unfortunately rushed out of the door and you can quite clearly see its flaws as some sections of the game have an air of the "copy paste" tool about them, but even with all of that considered its still an enjoyable hack and slash RPG. The character and world design are awesome to look at and remind me of World of Warcraft's old art style, the weapons and combat maneuvers are fun to toy around with, and the enemies are rather satisfying to beat up. As I've mentioned before, the puzzles do often get repetitive and some "bosses" reappear far too frequently, but if you're looking for an action orientated RPG where you get to smash through hordes and hordes of monsters with an over-sized scythe... well, Darksiders 2 is just that game.

The Stanley Parable (-80%)

The Stanley Parable in-game screenshot

The Stanley Parable is not something most would consider a "real game" as it relies purely on exploration, storytelling, and player choice. From the very moment you begin all you will be doing is either listening to the Narrator's instructions, or disregarding them in order to strike out and carve your own path through the world, much to his chagrin. There's plenty of humor, drama, tragedy, even a bit of horror thrown in for good measure, and all of it is wrapped up together into a self-aware meta narrative that somehow manages to remain clever despite ridiculing itself and everyone else. Its nearly impossible to explain The Stanley Parable in a single paragraph, so I'd suggest you take the €2 gamble and see what kind of story awaits your version of Stanley.

And there you have it, these are the recommendations for Day 4 of the Steam Summer Sale. As with the last few times, I encourage you to explore the Steam Store's dark corners in order to find various excellent deals that might not be heavily advertised, but are just as good as those that are. If not, you can always return back tomorrow for Day 5 and the next batch of recommendations.

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