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Steam charts: no funny business

Top ten bestsellers for the past week

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He was a boy.
She was a girl.
Can I make it anymore obvious?
He wrote the weekly Steam charts.
She read them.

What more can I say?

Other than that these are the ten Steam games with the most accumulated sales over the past week, obv. See ya later, boy.

10. Ark: Survival Evolved

I’ve never put much serious time into Ark, which is certainly not the case for the hundreds of thousands of people who keep buying the thing. Is there a first-half-hour-of-Jurassic-Park mod for it yet that just lets you gaze at dinos without the risk of being eaten or ganked yet? I’d like that. Alternatively: is it possible to get eaten while sitting on the bog?

9. Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven

I’m yet to play EUIV (think the last one I played was II, frighteningly), so I asked Adam to write me a line about this expansion pack. Adam being Adam (i.e. ever-enthusiastic about historical grand strategy games), he wrote a few hundred words instead. Thadam.

“Expansions for Paradox grand strategy games fall into two broad categories, though there’s a lot of overlap between those categories. The first type of expansion actually expands the game world, either by actually adding to the map or timescale and bringing in features to fit the new areas/ages. The other digs into what already exists and looks for ways to improve it. Mandate of Heaven is the latter type, but feels a lot like the former. There are new rules and mechanics for the Ming dynasty, Manchu warlords and Japanese Daimyos and the Shogun. There are improvements across the rest of the world as well, including new objectives to provide some guidance through the ages, and UI tweaks.

“Most importantly though, this is a bit like dropping an entire other Eastern-focused game into EU IV, and a chance for Paradox to revisit the dangerous politics of Sengoku. Even my big strategy brain finds EU IV slightly overwhelming at times, but Mandate might smartly add more while also reducing the scope for players who want to focus on the East, at least in the early stages of the game. Judging by the sales, looks like a lot of people wanted to do precisely that.”

8. NieR: Automata

I’m still waiting for that precious, impossible run of evenings that would enable me to play this, which by all accounts is the increasingly-not-so-sleeper hit of the year. I’m not wild about this whole ‘the real game doesn’t begin until you’ve completed it once’ guff I keep hearing about though. Surely those of us who can’t put quite that much time aside won’t have an entirely wasted experience?

7. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Given that Counter-Strike was a game I played every lunchtime for a couple of years, it’s strange how distant CSGO feels to me now. I mean, it’s not like the community wasn’t wildly obnoxious in the noughties either, but the combination of all that weapon skin money-making and a heightened focus on esports takes it into territory that doesn’t personally appeal. I must be wary of doing a Kids Today. Instead, I shall soberly observe that it is truly impressive how effectively CS has moved with the times – by contrast, former multiplayer FPS leaders Unreal and Quake can only worship at its feet these days.

6. Dark Souls III Deluxe Edition

Returned to the sanctity of these charts thanks to a rare half-price discount. It’s been one of those games that keeps on selling itself so doesn’t require sales to the same degree as other games do, but clearly the combo of recent late-in-the-day DLC and a price cut is a smart way to put a little more fire into its veins. The deluxe edition includes the various DLC, eff why aye.

5. H1Z1: King of the Kill

Look, I’m trying to be earnest and non-dismissive this week, but this one might just be a challenge I can’t surmount. Let’s try this: how strange to think that, technically, this is a Planetside stablemate. I know that Planetside 2 is on the wane these days, but let’s hope that Daybreak can shovel some of the money-mountain its various H1Z1s have made into a third go at massively multiplayer open world shooters with soaring science-fictional ambitions.

4. Dishonored 2

I’m making an educated guess here, but it rather seems to me that Dishonored 2 hasn’t knocked it out of the park, sales-wise – at least, not compared to its predecessor or, perhaps more relevantly, to its most recent stablemate, Doom. That was a game which did so well, both critically and commercially, that Bethesda felt compelled to publicly announce that they’d no longer be sending out pre-release review code, so sure were they that everything would go spectacularly. I wonder if that stance has changed at all if it is indeed the case that Dishonored 2 wasn’t quite the smash hit they’d hoped for? Being discounted to half-price only a few months on from its release might support my theory – though, without concrete numbers (Steamspy guesses at 580k on PC) it is merely a theory.

I suspect that, for a lot of people, it’s a case of being well aware of D2 and very much wanting to play it, but being overwhelmed by games (both time-wise and financially) so filing it away for a rainy day. £20/$30 surely is that rainy day. Blink to its store page rapidly if that appeals, as the discount ends in six hours.

3. Dark Souls III

I already told you the reason this is back, jeez, what the hell do you want from me, you goddamned vampires? Sale’s over now, by the way.

This does remind me, however: I should circle back to DS3. I played a few hours of it, and it was the game that finally gave me a way into a series I’d previously struggled to click with. Once I got it, I dropped DS3 and went back to the first game then my personal favourite, Bloodborne – time to square the circle, I think.

2. Stellaris: Utopia

It’s a good week for Paradox, innit? Their sci-fi 4X is another one of those games I’ve not revisited since launch, and as I understand it the various updates and DLC have made it significantly less sterile than it was. Dear God, give me a free weekend. Is four years old too early to send my kid to boarding school?

1. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

I’ll be entirely honest with you: I have about as much interest in this battle royale game as I do going on holiday to Milton Keynes. However, it is entirely worth knowing where it came from, how it differs from ostensibly very similar games and how it ended up being as wildly successful as it has been. One way to do that is this here Eurogamer recap of the story so far. Given its origins, I can’t exactly begrude Battlegrounds its success – I’m just hoping we don’t have too many years of these charts being dominated by battle royale games. Something will come next, of course – it always does.

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