Steam Charts: Alan’s Wake

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?

28 Comments

  1. barelyhomosapien says:

    “Pubguh” is how I refer to it in the little gaming community I’m part of in discord, where it’s unfortunately taken hold. It’s alot easier to sound dismissive when you call it that.

    Of course I’m not much better getting the few that don’t like Pubguh playing Heroes of the Storm, or Hawts.

  2. Expose Gaming1 says:

    Counter-Strike is always in the top 10 most selling games. I mean it’s always there, for the past 3 years, okay maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit, but you understand.

    Same thing with GTA V, it’s often in the top ten most sellers on Steam. Both are great game by the way!

    • Shinard says:

      No, you’re not exaggerating. CS:GO is always in the charts. It was always in the charts. It will always be in the charts.

      Maybe… maybe CS:GO IS the charts.

      THE VENGABUS IS COMING!

  3. Premium User Badge

    Ghostbird says:

    (or cling film, perhaps)

    “The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.” – H P Lovecraft

  4. Rack says:

    If you ever played the excellent Zone of the Enders games Xenoverse is a lot like that. If not, then I guess it’s like a cross between Virtua Fighter and Starfox?

  5. Pravin Lal's Nuclear Arsenal says:

    You seem remarkably calm this week, Alec.
    I’m concerned. Did you check the dosage on the meds?

    • Alec Meer says:

      Given the news in Britain today, staged breakdowns about videogames didn’t appeal.

      • Pravin Lal's Nuclear Arsenal says:

        …Ugh. No, I suppose they didn’t. I’ll go wear my “Ass” hat now.

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      I’m 90% sure this article has been ghostwritten.

  6. ZippyLemon says:

    Are these games that are in the top ten every week almost without fail the new World of Warcraft?`

    As in, are they generating a mountain of revenue so incomparable to the median that publishers can’t help but attempt to replicate them?

    Is there currently in vogue a philosophy of game production that can be summed up as “tweak the loot and crafting mechanics just right and you create a complex economy that players are actually willing – nay, eager – to invest repetitive labour into. That economy supports a black market of powerlevelling and cash-for-items, which we ban, resulting in an endless stream of retail purchases by firms replacing their banned accounts (and training back up to the level/gear they need in order to operate, fuelling consumption of the lower tier economy). Also microtransactions and season passes, I guess…).”?

    Am I missing something or are cheaters today about 10x more profitable than legit players?

    • falcon2001 says:

      I, uh, I don’t think any of the titles on the list match your description.

      Edit: Maybe CS:GO? I don’t know if PUBG does but I don’t think so. Definitely not The Surge, for example

      • ZippyLemon says:

        GTA
        CS:GO

        I’m not saying it’s all games. I’m just wondering at the absolutely monstrous amount of revenue they must be pulling in relative to the rest of the industry.

  7. Premium User Badge

    The Almighty Moo says:

    I really do feel like the second one should be called, and star, Alice Wake, delving into the nightmarish depths of her phobia to save her husband from non-existence.

    • TobleroneRoloCombo says:

      It’s revealed at the end that The Taken have been taken in by record labels, who will only license their music on a temporary basis.

  8. Universal Quitter says:

    Huh. I thought for sure that “Pube-Gee” would be the consensus pick.

  9. skeletortoise says:

    I can help explain Dragon Ball. Ahem.

    Dragon.
    Dragon.
    Rock… the Dragon.
    Dragon Ball.
    Z.

    *poetry jam snapping*

    • poliovaccine says:

      Goodnight
      Room
      Goodnight
      Moon
      Goodnight
      Cow, jumping.. over da moon
      Come now children, scooch closer
      Don’t make me tell you again
      About
      The scooching

  10. gbrading says:

    Pub-gee is how I’m pronouncing it.

  11. poliovaccine says:

    Haha, I didn’t realize it til now, but the premise of The Surge is basically just the origin story of the Tin Woodsman of Oz… I don’t remember if it was in the movie or not, but in the book the story goes that he was just a regular, human woodsman, chopping down trees for a living, but when he suffered an ax-iddent (sorry sorry) that cost him his arm, he replaced it with a metal one… and then the same happened with the other arm… and then both his legs… and by the time he’d mistakenly cut off his own head, he was tin enough to assemble a metal replacement.

    I want a Banjo-Kazooielike-cum-Deus-Exer like *that.*

  12. Faenrir says:

    Dragon ball is just THE most succesful manga/anime of all time. US got it very late (20 years after it came out) but it still sold crazy numbers. Without it, no naruto, one piece and all those very succesful animes either.
    “As of November 2014, the franchise generated $5 billion in merchandise, making Dragon Ball one of the most merchandisable anime based media franchises of all time.”

    No surprise that a good game set in that universe is on the steam charts, eh ?

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      The surprise is how such an awful show got so popular to begin with.

  13. Darloth says:

    Plunkbat.

    PLayerUNKnown’s BATtlegrounds.

    It’s fun to say. I don’t actually know whether it’s just as much fun to play :)

  14. Ghostwise says:

    What a striking and accurate description of GTA 5.