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Steam Charts: Doing my duty

It's at number one again

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John has been writing these charts for just a few weeks and already he’s had to book a week off in order to recover. I am made of more sterling stuff, and while he’s gone it falls to me to share the details of which games sold the best last week on Steam.

10. Arma 3

Question: does Arma have genuine crossover appeal now, or are the same number of people playing as always and everyone else is buying it purely for its lively mod scene? Every time I’ve ever tried to play the game, I’ve struggled with its controls, its AI, its multiplayer networking, and spent two hours crouch-walking through bushes while exciting battles happened just beyond reach.

It’s currently back in the charts as it’s in the midst of a 66% off sale, which ends on June 22nd, the day that developers Bohemia launch their free 5vs5 spin-off Argo. It doesn’t star a bearded Ben Affleck, as far as I can tell.

9. Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition

A beautifully animated platform game about jumping to avoid spikes and and failing to avoid emotionally manipulative cutscenes. Everyone else liked Ori more than me, but I confess I’m interested in the sad owls of its just-announced sequel. Because I like owls. The Definitive Edition is also back in the charts – or in the charts for the first time? – as the result of a 50% sale which ends later today.

8. Tekken 7

Recently released and still riding high, despite the awkward split between its regular edition and its absurdly priced has-all-the-content version. Or perhaps because of: these charts are based on revenue and not sales figures, and so in some instances a high price might see a game feature despite relatively low sales figures.

We haven’t written much about Tekken 7 yet but we have a feature coming later today. We’re not expert enough in fighting games to review it, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dress its characters up in silly outfits and then take screenshots.

7. H1Z1: King of the Kill

I wondered whether the grand success of Plunkbat would mean that Plunk’s previous work would start to dip in popularity, but apparently not. Question: now that battle royale-themed games are clearly a genre, are we going to see desperate mainstream games publishers jumping into the fray just as they did with MOBAs and CCGs? A battle royale game set in the DC comics universe; a battle royale game featuring all your favourite Runescape characters; a Kickstarter for Murder Island Dizzy.

6. Friday the 13th: The Game

Jason seemed to get off to a rough start when launch problems caused servers to go down on launch day, leading to a lot of negative reviews on Steam. Now a few weeks have gone by, it’s maintained its chart position, and consensus is that it’s a good game. Adam liked it, so I’m pleased to see that it’s doing well and wasn’t sunk by that early blip. Personally I haven’t played it – or ever seen a Friday the 13th film. I had to Google just to check whether Friday the 13th was the one with Jason or the one with Freddy.

5. Grand Theft Auto V

What’s even the point, now that Rockstar have shut down the tool which makes GTA5 modding possible? I played and enjoyed GTAV’s singleplayer for about ten hours – more than most Rockstar games – and I’ve dabbled in GTA Online, but these games appeal to me for i) the ability to walk around and look at scenery and ii) the ability to muck about with user-created mods. Rockstar had previously said they’d support that modding, albeit unofficially, because they recognised all the good stuff that had been made for GTA4, so to close it down now seems doubly shitheaded.

4. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

I’m probably supposed to write something here baffled that people are stilll buying CS:GO, but of everyone on the team I’ve probably played the most Counter-Strike. They’re buying it because it’s great. I dip into CS:GO only occasionally, but I sunk thousands of hours (and hundreds of pounds in dial-up phone bills) into CS beta 5.2, etc. back in the day. The game remains broadly unchanged, which is a comfort, bar the addition of a few new weapons, a few new maps, and some great new modes. I even like CS:GO’s DLC model, with all the operations and badges and so on. Keep buying it forever, everyone.

3. Call of Duty: Black Ops III – Zombie Chronicles

A rare appearance for DLC in these charts. Zombie Chronicles adds eight “remastered classic” Zombies maps to Black Ops 3, drawing from World at War, Black Ops and Black Ops 2. The DLC, which requires the base game obviously, also contains “2 All-New Whimsical GobbleGums”, which: what? I’ve never played any of the CoDZomb stuff ever, but I quite like Black Ops 3’s multiplayer. It’s more colourful than you’d expect, seemingly set in a water-logged world reclaimed by nature, features ample double-jumps and wall-running, and the series has smartly shorn away the most grating aspects of its upgrade system.

2. Dying Light: The Following – Enhanced Edition

I have still not playing Dying Light in any of its forms, a fact that shames me every time I try to look Adam in the eye. Or look at his name in our Slack room, which is more common. It’s a don’t-touch-the-floor first-person-zombie-parkour-’em-up and The Following is its expansion which added cars and the Enhanced Edition includes the original game and all the post-release bonus content. It’s bounced back up to number two in these here charts after last week’s sale, which marked the announcement of ten new bits of free bonus content to come for the game over the next year.

1. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

The Elder Scrolls Royale. SMITE: Battlegrounds. Battlegrounds but with terrible anime models that look like they’re from a half-finished Half-Life 1 mod. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 – Zombattlegrounds Edition. CCP’s Project Battlegrounds, which will be cancelled before release. Cryptic’s Fantasy Battlegrounds, which will be cancelled after a brief public alpha.

Sorry, I’m still thinking of all the battle royale-themed games to come. Because here it is again. Plunkbat is maybe the longest running number one since these charts began, and anecdotally at least it seems likely to keep growing. It’s now crossed over from ‘game other people play’ to ‘game colleagues play’ to ‘game friends play’, and somewhere in the middle there I even started playing. It’s pretty good! I got quickly frustrated by King of the Kill (and by trying to get PU’s Arma mod to work before that) but Battlegrounds seems a little less janky, a little more forthcoming with equipment, and a little better at spreading players across its map so that the pace has those tension-building moments of quiet.

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