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Steam Charts: Alan's Wake

Somebody needs to explain Dragon Balls to me

Featured post Oh my Grodd

The Mac Dad will make you jump jump, for, as always, these are the ten games with the most accumulated sales on Steam over the past week. It’s an odd old chart this week: the mainstays continue to stay, but random discounts remix things quite a bit.

10. Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2

With some chagrin, I must admit that the only previous occasion we’ve written about Namco’s anime battlin’ game is the last time it was in these charts, on the eve of its original release. Perhaps our lapse in this respect is because absolutely none of the description on its store page explains what kind of game it is, and instead every word of it is written for people intimately familiar with the games to date. I can have no clear idea of what this thing actually is without playing it first-hand.

Still, something with so closed an ecosystem managing to score a chart placement – temporary 50% price cut or no – is no small achievement.

9. H1Z1: King of the Kill

I guess every week in which PUBG remains number one, and every week in which KOTK very slowly slides downwards, is a week in which someone regrets putting ‘king’ in the title. Look upon my inconsistent hit detection, ye mighty, and despair.

8. Alan Wake Bundle (Summer 2012)

Remedy’s cracked author torch’em-up takes a final bow, re-entering these charts for presumably the last time as a result of a firesale to, er, celebrate its forthcoming withdrawal from release. I don’t think Alan Wake’s execution even began to live up to the potential of its reality-questioning concepts (or to the comedy of its ridiculous title), but getting evaporated because of Roy Orbison-related red tape (or cling film, perhaps) is a sad fate for any game. Let’s hope Alan finds a way to return to us, and not merely in dreams.

7. Grand Theft Auto V

Whatever one might think about GTA V itself (personally, I felt like I was locked in an airless room with the writers of Loaded magazine, circa 1996), it’s a brilliant testbed for a thousand third-party ideas. Watching an initially hapless AI named ‘Charles’ gradually learn to drive in the mean streets of Liberty is a fascinating and frequently hilarious only-in-videogames experiment, for instance.

6. Cities: Skylines – Mass Transit

Speaking of testbeds, the game that made Paradox into a giant of PC gaming clearly remains a rich platform for more city-fiddlin’ yet. I’ve not tried the Mass Transit expansion yet, but the frequently baffling traffic and trainline systems were my least-loved elements of a game I otherwise dug the heck out of – but even then, the act of laying down a road was consistently delightful. Of course, this adds new vehicular functionality such as monorails and canals too, plus all kinds of new policies and logic, which hopefully means there’s an enterprising modder planning an Escalator To Nowhere add-on even as we speak. Which would surely combine spectacularly with an apocalyptic tropical storm.

5. Prey

I’ve somehow racked up 30 hours in Arkane’s excellent Shocklike now (please, please let there be more games like this), the vast majority of which has been spent recycling everything that isn’t bolted down in order to craft insane quantities of weapon upgrade kits, Neuromods and shotgun ammo. Still having a wonderful time, but being effectively a walking god has removed a chunk of the tension.

Also POSSIBLE SPOILERS POSSIBLE SPOILERS POSSIBLE SPOILERS:

Encountering increasing numbers of living human characters, all of which have an unfortunate tendency to talk at me simultaneously, has undermined the atmosphere somewhat too. Whatever plot hints or emotional resonance their conversations might contain have been lost to a bewildering cacophony of misfiring dialogue triggers.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS END POSSIBLE SPOILERS END POSSIBLE SPOILERS END

Fortunately, I am in this for neither plot or emotional resonance, but instead for endlessly converting bags of crisps and bottles of prosecco into raw materials.

4. The Surge

Another new entry! From afar, I was convinced this would be another battle royale game, but turns out it’s a robo-battler into which you robo-slice-off and then robo-install your enemies’ arms and guns and swords and gun-arms and sword-arms, and almost certainly gun-swords too. I will admit to colossal disappointment when I realised that the player character is human rather than roboid, however, and once again when it transpired that the removed limbs are recycled into new, smaller forms rather than giant mecha-weapons.

Pitch: a game in which giant robots pull off lots of humans’ arms then staple them together to form gigantic slappy-hands to fight other robots with. I’ll take $2m, please, Indie Game Fund.

3. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

To divert to a different old-shool shooter reborn, I had a brief bunny-hop around the Quake Champions beta last week. Though solid, Ian Bethesda seems to have accidentally spilled quite a lot of Unreal Tournament all over his latest id-derived shooter. More gimmicky weapons and pick-ups, blasts of translucent colour everywhere rather than gothicky starkness… I never had a dog in the UT/Q3A race, as I dug ’em both, but I enjoyed their differences and the personality that came from them, so this apparent merging of two warring houses makes me feel a mite uncomfortable.

Or maybe that’s just because I was absolutely spanked when I played it, but still labour under an almost certainly deluded belief that I’d be Quite Good if I played true-blue Quake III again, despite having not touched it for the best part of a decade.

2. Dead Cells

Dead Cells is RPS’s current critical darling, with its deft and brutal blend of Souls, vania and roguelikery, not to mention wringing gloomy beauty out of superficially familiar side-on pixel-art. Sometimes, just sometimes, the good will out, so it’s genuinely lovely to see an out-of-nowhere name doing so well for itself. Still in early access too, so hopefully the best is yet to come.

1. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

How should we pronounced PUBG? Pub-guh? Pew-beegee? Pee-you-bee-gee? Pub with a silent g? Are any of those any quicker to say than PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds? And, anyway, isn’t this thing now popular enough that you can casually call it simply ‘battlegrounds’ and not have to worry that people will think you’re talking about World of Warcraft?

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