Steam Charts: war dawns

Did you know: the weekly Steam charts, in which we round-up the ten games which sold best on Steam over the previous week, are broadly the most-read articles on RPS these days?

That means I can never stop. Never. Stop.

10. NieR: Automata

My ancient enemy, we meet again. Have they patched savegame support into the hour-long first level yet? If not, then this is THE WORST GAME IN HISTORY no matter that literally every one else who’s played it says the exact opposite.

9. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands

Tom Clancy? Tom Prints Money, more like. This, The Division and Rainbow Six Siege make up a holy trinity of filthy lucre for Ubisoft, as they move away from the one-and-one traditional model used for their AssCreeds and Far Cries and into living games with seasons and a gazillion multiplayer gear options. And this, I’m sure, is exactly why Vivendi want to swallow Ubisoft whole.

8. NieR: Automata

Two NieRs this week. (Hey, if you say NieR NieR out loud it sounds like a police car!) I’ve been trying to work out why that is, and there are two possible explanations. One is that one of the entries is the recent 3C3C1D119440927 DLC (the one where you get to duff up the boss of Square Enix), but I’m pretty confident that it would be titled as such – and not terribly confident that it would sell quite enough on its own to crack the top ten.

The other is that, last week, Steam belatedly put up NieR: Automata for sale in Asian territories, and while it’s still bought with exactly the same button as it is in the rest of the world, it’s treated as a new release – and as such includes the time-limited Valve logo face decoration that was deactivated for non-Asian purchases back in March. I imagine that there are Westerners using VPN purely to get their hands on this. For how can any game possibly be enjoyable if one of its lead characters doesn’t have a small red wheel stuck to their eye socket?

7.Sniper Ghost Warrior 3

Just realised this is a completely different series to Sniper Elite. I’ve been a games journalist for 16 years now.

This one’s modern-day-set rather than dubya dubya too, and is exploring Far Cryish open-worldy stuff to boot. Steam reviews are mixed, for what it’s worth.

6. H1Z1: King of the Kill

Last week, this was going toe-to-toe with PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, but this is quite a slip. Still making wheelbarrows of cash, naturally, but it’s going to have to work hard if it wants to replace PUBG as the by-word for battle royale-’em-ups. Sounds like it’s got plans to improve stuff people have been whingeing about though, like, er, making it so that if you shoot someone they actually got shot. Sounds pretty important?

5. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

I sold my damn website and I still gotta post about this every week? Jeez. That new microwave I’m planning to buy doesn’t even begin to make up for this.

4. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III pre-purchase

DOW3 does the pre-order/release split due to being released mid-way through last week. I gotcha Gork and Mork right here. Quite possibly Relic’s latest tiny man-squasher would be number one if the two were sandwiched together.

Or maybe it wouldn’t, given that Steam reviews are mixed, which isn’t a happy state of affairs for a big new truple-ay videogame. Complaints centre mostly around a perceived lacklustre singleplayer campaign and a belief that too many MOBA values have been mixed in with the real-time strategy.

I’m too early on in DOW3 to be able to validate or dispute such grumblings, but I must admit that the two and a half levels I’ve played haven’t awoken much of a blood-thirst in me. Early days for grim darkness, though.

3. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III

I like the Waaaghs!, though.

2. Outlast 2

Tailor-made for filthy rich YouTube am-drammers to fake-scream at, and as such a near-inevitable hit. Deeming it “another necropolis’ worth of horror tropes in a splatterfest about apocalypse, antichrists and clashing cults”, our Adam was not a fan, despite admiring it from a technical perspective.

1. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

The wild success story of 2017 sprints onward, and I don’t see it slipping behind any time soon. I bet PlayerUnknown owns a lot of microwaves.

Gone from the list this week:

Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator
Halo Wars: Definitive Edition
Grand Theft Auto V
Arma 3


  1. Bobcat says:

    I feel bad for clicking on these articles every week and contributing to Alec’s slow mental decline.

    But then I do like knowing where CS:GO is this week. Will it be 4? 5? 6? Such mystery.

    • Malcolm says:

      I think I only click on these things to observe Alec’s mental decline. This should probably make me feel worse than it does. I must be a terrible human being.

    • RedViv says:

      I click it for the quick burst of relief, or the hope of it, when not seeing GTAV5Five still up there.

    • Minsc_N_Boo says:

      Alec, we ever get a week where GTAV and CSGO are *not* in the charts how will you celebrate?

      This is now my favourite feature BTW

      • Seyda Neen says:

        I swear I saw it happen once, no GTAV no CS:GO. He didn’t even mention their absence. But I’m never going to go digging through the tag to find it, so I can’t really confirm that it actually happened or if it was just in my head.

  2. Xocrates says:

    After playing the campaign and a few skirmishes against the AI, I got to say that I do like Dow III, but it is very much a game that had to grow on me, and it’s certainly one that I have a few issues with.

    But honestly, I think what is throwing people off the most is just how slow the game is, which feels really bizarre since the two previous one were pretty fast. A 1v1 skirmish will easily take twice as long as one in Dow 1.

    Ultimately, the problem is that it is a good game on a series of very good games.

    • Banks says:

      Game length is definitely the biggest problem. The game is ultra APM intensive and yet the matches can take and hour and a half, it is exhausting. There is also a lot of downtime for army recovery between fights, fights that tend to put you in more or less the same situation.

    • Throwback says:

      Dow 2 was fast? Are you sure about that?

      3 is fast anyway, at least in 1v1 when people know how to take the objectives.

  3. Ben Damage says:

    “I’ve got something to tell ya. I’ve got news for you”

    “You’re either on the bus, or off the bus”.

  4. Faldrath says:

    Goshdarnit Alec, just do what every one of us did after dying in the Nier tutorial: turn the difficulty down to Easy, blitz through that section, reach the main game, switch the difficulty back to whatever you want, enjoy the ride. What a ride it is.

    (I do admit it rankled me for a while too, but I’m really glad I persevered.)

    • Hoot says:

      Erm…I got through it fine on Normal difficulty. No deaths. It wasn’t that hard if you’ve ever played a third person brawler / platformer before.

      • Aldehyde says:

        Good for you.

      • DelrueOfDetroit says:

        Seriously. The game gives you so many healing items and auto-heals you. I assumed the opening was a no-death situation and basically stopped trying to stay alive. Wonder how close I came to yelling extremities?

        The 9S start is pretty bad though because it starts out in a flying section and as such you can’t even enter the pause menu until you land.

    • Flangie says:

      I died a few times before swithing to easy on the boss. Tbh I found it quite a funny way to start the game, which fits the off the wall style of the rest (that I’ve played so far anyway)

    • Jeremy says:

      Also, use an Xbox controller and skip the cut-scenes (Hold B on the controller)! You’ll get through it in 25 minutes!

  5. ButteringSundays says:

    “Did you know: the weekly Steam charts… are broadly the most-read articles on RPS these days?”

    If true that must be seriously depressing for the RPS staff. I still don’t really understand what the point of these articles are – for people that forget that Steam exists and don’t know it has a top sellers list?

    • skeletortoise says:

      See above comments RE: Alec’s mental health. Though on the real, I also find that very strange. As far as recurring features go, I think scrollbars, mechanic, premature, and Sunday papers are all consistently interesting/entertaining. Some might take a hit for being posted in or around the weekend, but beyond that I can’t see how the other’s could lose to this.

    • Premium User Badge

      Drib says:

      I enjoy these, but prefer Freeloaders, Premature Evaluations, Wot I Thinks, and especially the weird narrative stories like the recent Stellaris Tortals one.

      But hey, different people like different stuff I guess.

      • tigerfort says:

        I suspect “different people like different stuff” is the key – Scrollbars, Flare Path, and the like will have specific audiences. Some people will read FP every week, while others just won’t be interested. But the charts are neutral ground, at which everyone (or near enough) takes a quick peek, thus bumping them above the stuff that has far more in the way of dedicated readers.

        • DelrueOfDetroit says:

          I tried reading Flare Path once but had no idea what the article was about and slowly backed away.

          It’s about sims and war yeah? Not my bag.

    • Caiman says:

      This list would be infinitely (yes, infinitely) more interesting if it was 11-20 or – even better – 21-30. Screw the top 10, the most boring and depressing reminder of the rut-like state of so-called popular PC gaming. If there’s a new AAA game, no matter how shitty, you can guarantee it’ll pop up here along with the other 8 or 9 reskins of the same effing games that we see every damn week. Actually, you could do the top 10 periwinkle species. Now that would be something to see. The alternative top 10 each week.

      • skeletortoise says:

        I agree with the general sentiment of this comment, if not the intensity, but I’m a bit perplexed by ‘so-called popular’. Unless you have a very unusual definition of popular, popularity and sales go pretty much hand in hand. It’s not a perfect correlation, but there’s pretty much no better easily determined metric. Whether you think they should be popular is irrelevant.

    • Fnord73 says:

      Real hate attracts audience. And thats why I read these. Vengaboys, anyone?

  6. Halk says:

    “10. NieR: Automata
    My ancient enemy, we meet again. Have they patched savegame support into the hour-long first level yet?”
    No, they didn’t and it’s not necessary.
    There’s easy mode, to which you can change on the fly and within easy mode there is even an autoplay function that does all the fighting for you.

    Even on normal you’re provided with like 30 healing items which get automatically used.
    How some people keep having problems is beyond me. Did they miss that there’s an evade button? An evade so overpowered that you’re invincible as long as you spam it?

  7. tigerfort says:

    For some reason, the short comment at No. 3 left me singing “Waaagh! has never been so much fun…” and now I desparately want a “Cannon Fodder 40k” game. Presumably with orcs, though the Imperial Guard are nearly as, um, cannon-fodder-y.

  8. Darth Gangrel says:

    “If you say NieR NieR out loud it sounds like a police car” And if you say the opposite to what Nier Nier sounds like, i.e. Far Far or rather farfar, you get the Swedish word for paternal grandfather (as well as part of the intro credits of every Star Wars movie, as in “… in a galaxy far far away”).

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Swedes have different words for paternal and maternal relatives? Interesting. What’s your ma’s pa called?

      • Zmobie says:

        Morfar, literally the words for mother, ‘mor’, and father, ‘far’, stuck together. Aunts and uncles work the same way (although some letters are omitted in aunts), ‘morbror’ = mother brother, ‘faster’ = ‘far’ + ‘syster’ = father sister, etc.

        • Fnord73 says:

          In Scandinavian system, we have lots of different relational titles as well. “Gudmor” (goodmother) and “Faddere” (the witnesses at your baptism) and so on. ANd real funny names for twice removed aunts.

        • Don Reba says:

          I really like this system. We should use momdad, mommom, daddad, and dadmom in English. Mombro, and sisson would be logical extensions, as well.

          • tigerfort says:

            By extension, a “dudebro” is presumably the brother of some guy you met once? :)

          • Don Reba says:

            Six degrees of separation means everybody is everybody’s dudedudedudedudedudedude.

  9. nottorp says:

    If it makes you feel any better, it’s the first time i open a steam charts article, and it’s only because the front page says they’re the most read on the site.

    Won’t repeat this mistake again – it just reminds me that top sales doesn’t mean it’s any good.