As longtime users of every PC gaming storefront imaginable, we have opinions about the good, the bad, and the ugly of Epic Games Store. High on our list of “good” is its frequent offers of free and heavily discounted games, and this week’s new Mega Sale, going until June 11, is its biggest yet. (It’s been met by a giveaway of Grand Theft Auto V, valid until May 21.)
Epic also announced plans this week to roll out a comprehensive, platform-agnostic toolset for game makers, complete with useful developer resources like cross-platform matchmaking tools and achievement systems—which will even work on PC ecosystems like Steam. While we’re still waiting to see that whole system bear fruit—particularly in terms of achievements and friend lists, which still lag behind Steam’s comparable services—we’re hopeful that EGS might finally stand toe-to-toe with Steam in the near future, in terms of average features offered in a given game.
With that in mind, I’ve taken a moment to pluck out the most interesting discounts in this week’s aggressive Mega Sale, along with notes about whether the EGS difference is worth the savings. Each entry includes a guess about if/when each game might eventually land on Steam, which is never guaranteed. EGS exclusivity agreements with game publishers typically expire after a year.
One important note: these prices all assume you’re playing nicely with EGS’s coupon promotion. All EGS users can claim a coupon with no strings attached, and this knocks $ 10 off the price of anything $ 14.99 or more. EGS will also dole out a new $ 10 coupon during the Mega Sale promotional period whenever a single game costs $ 14.99 or more pre-tax and pre-coupon. (Meaning, if you use a coupon to buy something, and its promotional pre-tax price is below $ 14.99, you do not get another $ 10 coupon to stack on your next purchase. Any “coupon dead-end” scenarios in this list are labeled accordingly.) That price complication is one reason I went to the trouble of compiling this list, because this is EGS’s first coupon-based sale to include DLC.
This article has been updated to correct pricing errors about “coupon dead-ends.” The promotion is more generous than previously understood, and we apologize for the error.
Control is one of our favorite action-adventure games of the past few years, and a weird fake-out by Xbox chief Phil Spencer led a lot of us to believe it’d become an Xbox Game Pass offer earlier this year. That never came to pass, so if you’re looking for an affordable path to playing the game, EGS’s latest offer is as good as we’ve yet seen on PC—especially if you’re itching to keep the game going after you resolve its primary plot. (Plus, the PC version is particularly handsome, whether you turn on ray tracing or not.)
We won’t lie: the first half of the expansion pack, which launched in March, is “more of the same” as opposed to a must-have addition. But the Alan Wake fanboys at Ars were delighted to learn this week that the expansion pack’s upcoming second half digs specifically into Remedy’s classic series. We don’t blame anybody for taking a 40 percent discount and biting on the expansion pack as a whole this week.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: $ 9.79 (marked down from $ 60)
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey + expansion pass: $ 23 (marked down from $ 100)
Standalone expansion pass: $ 10 (marked down from $ 40)
Steam status: Available now
The promise of 2017’s AC Origins was paid off with more depth and breadth, and our own Samuel Axon waxed poetically about why it’s one of his all-time favorite games in an Ars feature. Quite frankly, you don’t need the expansion pass to get a ton of mileage out of this game, but if you start playing Odyssey this week and find yourself hungry for more content before June 11, the piecemeal price is actually lower than the combined bundle.
Tetris Effect: $ 18 (marked down from $ 40)
Steam status: Unknown, one-year expires July 23, 2020
At $ 18, Tetris Effect is easy to recommend as a delightful single-player twist on the classic series, especially for anyone who enjoys Enhance, Inc.’s other music-obsessed classic games Lumines and Rez. That recommendation goes through the roof if you have a compatible PC-VR system, as its subtle VR tweaks deliver some of the craziest synesthesia ever found in a puzzle game. Hilariously, even though the game launched as a timed EGS exclusive, its VR mode requires loading the SteamVR software suite. Oh, Epic.
When I reviewed this in early 2019, I called it an inventive, tough-as-nails twist on tired open-world concepts—and I focused on that in my review, as opposed to the game’s highly visible jump from Steam to EGS. I still feel that way, and its $ 10 promotional price is a great one for anyone who appreciated prior Metro games but was ready for the series to spread its wings. I have no such urge to recommend its expansion content, but $ 20 for the whole shebang isn’t bad, especially if you want to keep coupon-hopping.
Are you the kind of adventure gamer who bought Witcher 3 for your first time on Nintendo Switch and would now like to use its PC cross-save feature to play the home version with better graphics? This insanely low price for you. The Witcher 3 has been deeply discounted on PC over the years, but never as low as $ 5. (Rumor has it that Witcher 3 will become an EGS freebie later this year, so if you’re patient, sit on this option for at least a week; the sale doesn’t end until June 11.)
Rainbow Six Siege continues to be a popular option in the tactical-combat niche, but its purchase options remain confusing. Which version do I get? Which expansion pack do I need? If you’re interested in joining friends who love the game and are sure you want to invest in its ecosystem, Ubisoft doesn’t offer you a piecemeal way to try it cheaply and then buy the whole shebang at a low cost. This $ 40ish option is your best “kitchen sink” SKU, or you can get most of the DLC with the “gold” edition, marked down during the sale to $ 20. (Full disclosure: I haven’t played this game since launch and have zero advice to offer about its suite of characters and season passes, but I still enjoy watching it in an esports capacity.)
I’ve gone on the record saying I prefer Remnant: From the Ashes as a modern co-op looter-shooter, but if you’ve waited this long to try Borderlands 3 and have a friend to play it with, EGS is now offering the game’s deepest discounts yet. In great news, its matchmaking system was updated in March so that Steam and EGS players can join each other’s sessions.
The rest: Cheap, recommended games that still offer coupons
Every game in the below list is priced if you use one of the temporary EGS Mega Sale coupons. What’s more, all of their pre-coupon prices are above $ 14.99, so their purchases will still keep you in the coupon-accumulating frenzy. If you’re looking to fill out your library with recommended, dirt-cheap games that you may have missed, these are high on our list.
Superliminal, $ 5.19: Clever spatial puzzles in 3D, for anyone who loved Portal or The Talos Principle.
John Wick Hex, $ 6: If you love tactical combat but have grown bored of comers to XCOM‘s throne, this is for you.
Kine, $ 5: A jazzy, brain-busting puzzler that refines and builds upon the weirdness of Steven’s Sausage Roll.
Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, $ 8: This was harder to recommend when its final level was pretty much impossible. A recent patch bumped this momentum-based platformer to thumbs-up status. (Also on Steam.)