Steam Charts: Top 10 Games Edition

The Steam Charts is the only place on the internet to find out the most up-to-date information about the games you care about the most, the latest rumours of upcoming changes to early access hits, and secrets that can see your way to coming top of the gaming high score tables!

I mean, it would be if we could do our job properly. Meanwhile…

10. Foxhole

I want so many other genres to be re-realised as online games in which individuals control every unit. That sounds like the cute introduction to a series of gags, but no, I really mean it. Imagine Lemmings, but where there are one hundred players controlling each floppy-haired entity, everyone desperately trying to co-ordinate into a coherent team that can create a route out of a 2D platform level without all exploding or falling down a hole. See! See, that’s a really bloody good idea! I’ll expect quite the royalty cheque from the team that gets on that.

9. H1Z1: King Of The Kill

While it’s frankly rude to actually write about H1Z1 rather than something entirely irrelevant, it seems noteworthy this week that we’ve seen the complete disappearance of Dark & Light and Citadel: Forged With Fire, and Friday 13th hasn’t reappeared for a few weeks. It becomes slightly morbidly fascinating to note which of these early access multiplayers have long-reaching stickiness, and which have their few weeks in the sun, before sliding to a more modest churn.

And while we’re noting games that have vanished this week, Car Mechanic Sim 2018 has dropped out seemingly in time with its having the worst of its bugs fixed. Steam users are, it seems, mercurial in their ways. Meanwhile, this blighter doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

8. theHunter: Call Of The Wild

I’ve never played one of these hunting sims. Indeed, RPS has barely ever covered them. It at first glance might seem preposterous to be squeamish about it while we merrily write about the pleasures of human hunting sims on a regular basis, although there’s a rather crucial differentiator that deserves a more expansive response than I’m about to give it:

A realistic human hunting sim would be horrific.

I think that’s where the arguments about, “Why is [other crime/icky thing] game a problem when you’re okay with murder games?” fall apart. Because if someone were to create a human hunting sim with the depth of realism and meticulous attention to detail these deer shooting games receive, I imagine it would be about the most controversial game in a long, long time.

Anyway, the peculiarly spelt theHunter was a third off last week, hence this sneak into the charts.

7. Grand Theft Auto V

I’m very pleased to announce the return of our ongoing series, What Are Rockstar Spending All The GTA V Money On?

What Are Rockstar Spending All The GTA V Money On?

Puppy stamping boots.

6. No Man’s Sky

I haven’t played anything since as much as I played No Man’s Sky last year. I still, after so, so many dozens of hours, don’t know if I like No Man’s Sky. This is something I tried to work out here and here and here and here and here and here. And there was the time I just made sculptures.

So I’m very interested to go back with this major new update, as clearly are many others with its reappearance in the charts. I’m just not sure if I have the energy left to do so.

5. LawBreakers

If there’s anything we don’t know, it’s how many copies a game’s selling on Steam. The stories last week were that while LawBreakers was proving popular with critics, it didn’t have very many people actually playing. Yet here it is halfway down the list of the top ten games on the PC’s biggest shop. So, does that mean you don’t need to sell many copies of something to get to #5 in the Steam charts? Does it mean the estimates of sales aren’t accurately reflected in player numbers? Does it mean Cliffybee has been setting up thousands of Steam accounts to buy copies? (It doesn’t mean that, legal fans.) I dunno.

Guessing site SteamSpy puts it on just shy of 50,000 copies, which is extremely modest for the sort of game it is, but loads if you’re an indie trying to keep going. Heck, at £25 a copy that’s over a million pounds. See, it’s extremely complicated stuff.

4. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

I went to the Natural History Museum this weekend, and while I’ve never been a big advocate of “Dippy”, because IT’S NOT REAL BONES! IT’S JUST A PLASTERCAST OF SOME BONES, the magnificence of the blue whale’s skellington is somewhat lost in that enormous entrance hall. (It also doesn’t help that they have half the dinosaur bones in the main exhibit hanging from the ceiling, and have closed the walkway that let you see them.)

But I’ll tell you my main takeaway from it: it’s pretty exhausting taking an inquisitive nearly-three-year-old around that place, trying to explain why each and every stuffed dead animal isn’t moving. Not because we were trying to avoid saying “dead”, but because he simply doesn’t have a concept of death, so it’s meaningless to him to give that as the reason. Still, didn’t stop him kissing the glass cases for the lions.

3. Total War: WARHAMMER II

Don’t preorder games.

2. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

Coo, look at this one leaping to the de facto top spot in a chart where the #1 slot has been accidentally concreted in place for all of time. Sam reviewed it, describing a really fascinating-sounding game that explores the extremely unsettling subject of psychosis, complete with invasive, unpleasant voices in the main character’s head. I’m equal parts intrigued to play this, and terrified to for the disturbing nature.

However, slightly more offputting is the poor combat, too fiddly and too repetitive, and apparently a pile of technical issues to be ironed out. Still, none of this seems to be getting in the way of its success in sales. And it’s really interesting to see a game so boldly exploring such tricky topics.

1. PlAyErunknowN’s BattlEGrounds

This week let’s finish with a song.

42 Comments

  1. Catchcart says:

    Your comments about the fortunately non-existent Human Hunter 2017 were on point. Hadn’t thought about it that way. Thanks, John.

    • Caiman says:

      The Sniper Elite games revel in the realism of bullets entering and destroying human bodies far more so than any hunting sim, so I don’t think that argument holds up. And if you’ve played any of these hunting games, they’re not particularly realistic either, no more than any open world game. No, I think it’s much simpler than that: some people don’t like shooting animals in games (I never got very far in Tomb Raider!). Some people don’t like shooting kids in games either, even though it’s not directly comparable. Adult humans, on the other hand, are usually combatants and hence they’re expecting to be shot, if they don’t shoot you first.

      • Harvey says:

        You’re right in the sense that it didn’t cause a huge controversy, but the fact that The Sniper Elite series includes that as a feature is what kept me personally from ever wanting to play it. I suspect others feel the same.

        • frymaster says:

          If it’s just not something you want to see in a game, then it can be turned off. If, on the other hand, it’s not something you want to endorse in a game… fair enough.

      • Muzzler says:

        I agree that a lot of it might come down to how “innocent” your shooty targets are, but I don’t think mr Walker talked about how realistic the violence itself is.

        e: should mention that I don’t actually know how realistic that game is in a broader sense, just that there are a *lot* of games with realistic violence so that’s kind of a moot point in this regard I think.

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        Grizzly says:

        I seem to remember a particular Sniper Elite 3 review that touched upon that, whilst Sniper Elite is rather realistic in depicting how a bullet is entering and exiting a body and making a mess of the innards, it’s still almost entirely clean kills. In V2 you ocasionally got a man on the ground shouting for a medic, and you could boobytrap the dead, but the action was still very sterile.

        Compare to, say, Red Orchestra 2, where human bodies are fragile sacks of meat that frequently end up being torn apart, and occasionally the sound of whizzing bullets is interspersed by a soldier crying for his mother for several minutes as the life slowly drains from him. Even in the rather brutal Red Orchestra 2, there are no soldiers desperately trying to keep their intestines inside their own body as their belly has been cut open, there is no soldier walking around the battlefield looking for his dismembered arm hoping a medic can reattach it, there are no soldiers trying desperately to pump air into a lung that by any definition no longer exists, there are no soldiers that end up being eviscerated so thoroughly that the only trace of them is a name chiselled in the Menin gate.

        • AyeBraine says:

          I am quite positive that “realism” and “attention to detail” is this case are not related to gore or shocking dismemberment. If anything, these tend to add detachment and element of stylization to violence. They’re theatrical, grand guinole style.

          I am very much convinced that the human hunting sim that J. Walker meant would be horrifying for other reasons. It’s because it would be literally hunting humans. It would be terrifying because of its cold (or innocently giddy) premeditation. Because of the casualness; the industrious mastery of pragmatically and “humanely” putting down a human being; because of complete lack of justification, nay – complete lack of the concept of needing that justification.

          I’m not decrying hunting as a hobby here, btw. But if a human hunting sim used the same framework of justifications and attitudes, THAT’S what would make it scary. You’re just dropped in a world where murdering unarmed people is normal, if slightly frowned upon by some. The question of why you went hunting isn’t even raised in this sim, just like a hardcore flight sim doesn’t need to justify the reason for takeoff. Also, in this world, it’s a faux-pas to let the dead bodies go to waste, so you have the tools and expertise to skin and gut the carcass in situ, then pass it to your SO who has all the best recipes, or freeze or smoke it for later. Also, it’s just polite to kill quickly, besides, it is the mark of skill and grace of the hunter. Waiting until a person matures and has kids is also a plus, for conservation’s sake.

          Any of these things would make a game infinitely more dark than any Sniper Elite (with its childlike innocence of “but these are Nazis!”) or Mortal Kombat X. There’s a reason very few movies, even art house ones, go that far and depict a perfectly casual, premeditated murder without any animosity, simply for curiosity’s sake, or irritation, or boredom, or, well, as a hobby. Like Funny Games.

          (…Or Dnepropetrovsk teens liveleak video where they poke a hobo with a screwdriver for five minutes.)

          • Jac says:

            I thought hitman was a human hunting simulator?! Are you people trying to tell me it isn’t?!!!?

  2. TotallyUseless says:

    There’s no way talking fanboys away from pre ordering games. :(

    • bills6693 says:

      The pre-order success of Total Warhammer 2 is probably:

      a. The preorder gives you a DLC faction for the first game which you can play right away

      b. The second game is essensially an expansion to the first and given the good release state of the first and that it doesn’t involve a big engine change or anything, it seems like a fairly safe bet

      c. The steam refund system means that its fairly safe to preorder since you can refund the game at any point up to and up to 2 weeks after release/after up to 2 hours of gameplay

      So fans (such as I) can preorder, get the DLC faction now, be fairly sure of our purchase and also can refund if the game turns out to launch as a mess/reviews or previews are reporting it is a mess/we decide to go back on the preorder.

      • Shadow says:

        The refund system does nullify the company-side advantage of preorders, doesn’t it? Preorders were usually a means to secure cash in advance, but now those sums are no longer secure at all.

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          Nauallis says:

          That would only be the case if cash-flow wasn’t the goal. It’s not as if the pre-order sums are being sent to specific “just in case our game sucks” accounts where it sits until after the two-week release period is up. Cash in (from pre-orders or otherwise) is typically allocated/paid/saved quickly (30 days or less). If refunds are issued, it will be out of money earned after launch.

          For a company that needs to report their earnings in some way (be that because they are public or to secure business credit), pre-orders look good as revenue for earlier fiscal quarters.

        • wackazoa says:

          When pre-orders where the thing, I remember them mostly being so that you could guarantee a copy to play on release day. Now with digital that is unnecessary.

          As for the Steam refund, 2 hours isn’t a long time. You might not get a good idea of a game in that time, plus or minus. I think its a great thing to have, don’t get me wrong, I just don’t think banking on that to validate your preorder is the best course.

    • NetharSpinos says:

      So sorry that our enthusiasm shatters your precious world view of how things should be.

      • Viral Frog says:

        Pre-ordering is a bad idea. It’s not our “precious” view on how the world should be. It’s us trying to discourage people from things that encourage bad business practices, such as releasing half-finished or terrible quality games. Think about it like this: company has a half-finished or terrible game, they know they will probably take a huge hit once reviews are out or day 1 purchasers are pissed by the game. So why not offer pre-orders with enticing bonuses, secure the funds, and then not worry about it again? Sure, refunds exist so that might somewhat dissuade developers from continuing to do this… but that doesn’t really seem to be the case, does it?

        • Herring says:

          Well, it does. Look what happened with Arkham Knight, an expensive lesson all around. Though you could argue that that the refund system on Steam was a new release that caught WB hopping…

    • Nolenthar says:

      And yet, this article (link to rockpapershotgun.com) while not exactly on with pre order, is one of the reason why I still pre order. To get great PC games (or video games in general), there needs to be consumers who still act with passion rather than calculated pragmatism (it technically doesn’t matter if you play a solo game on day one or 6 months after, it’s the same damn game, and you’re likely to buy it 50% off if you wait), because then again, this increases the revenue and thus, keeps this golden age going.

      Pre Ordering is similar to kick starting in a way. It shows confidence in a company to deliver more or less what you expect. I pre ordered The Witcher 3 and its DLCs and didn’t regret. Preordered Dishonored 2 and somehow regreted (at least for its performance flop, the game is great), I preordered Total War Warhammer and didn’t regret, and I preordered Dragon Age 2 and never ever preordered a single Bioware game since nor will I, EVER. This is not a black and white situation as you can see.

    • Zenicetus says:

      As another post mentioned above, this isn’t exactly a new game. It’s adding new factions and an expanded map on an existing game engine that’s working fine. It might need some balance patches at some point, but as pre-orders go, it’s probably a safe bet if you like the series.

      I’m not pre-ordering myself, mainly because I’m not sure I like the new factions all that much. I might wait 6-8 months for it to show up in a sale.

    • napoleonic says:

      There is no problem with people pre-ordering expansions. And that’s all TW:WH2 is – a great big docking expansion to the first one.

  3. tkjgmz says:

    “A realistic human hunting sim would be horrific.

    I think that’s where the arguments about, “Why is [other crime/icky thing] game a problem when you’re okay with murder games?” fall apart. Because if someone were to create a human hunting sim with the depth of realism and meticulous attention to detail these deer shooting games receive, I imagine it would be about the most controversial game in a long, long time.”

    That’s exactly the reason why I have not touched any of the Hitman games since the very first one. I found it a crucial bit too serious and highly unpleasant (and I’ve no problem with, say, riding a dumpster truck along the pavement in GTA for giggles – up until IV that is, I’ve not played V because of the torture scenes and that Trevor character in general).

    • Someoldguy says:

      Yeah. If they produced a modern Carmageddon that was suited to today’s high res screens I don’t think I could play it, unless it was done in the German Zombie style. The original was macabre fun, but now some sick individuals have started doing it in real life, it would be a bit too close to the knuckle for my taste.

      • frymaster says:

        The version I played in the UK was zombies, but I thought the German version was robots?

        • Someoldguy says:

          As far as I remember it was a red blood / green blood issue and mine certainly had red blood. Looks like that was only allowed after a challenge to the certification process.

          link to wiki.carmageddon.com

    • jonahcutter says:

      Trevor being a deliberate representation of the impulses to drive dumpster trucks along the pavement for giggles in GTA.

  4. Premium User Badge

    The Almighty Moo says:

    Slight typo there John. You wrote whale skellington when you meant skeleton.

    Skellingtons are the ones that move about like in Jason and the Argonauts.

  5. lancelot says:

    I think it’s not about how realistic the murder mechanic is (a sniper sim can be very realistic in that aspect). They key question is probably “Does something like this actually happen?” Making a dozen headshots within minutes or an elaborate setup for human hunting are both too detached from reality to make them uncomfortable. “Lesser” things can be more disturbing because they are disturbingly possible. E.g., Belladonna may be a good adventure game, but I’m not down with poisoning cats.

    • ChrisGWaine says:

      I think it might be more specifically “Do I feel this is intended to appeal to an audience that thinks this is enjoyable in real life?”

      Oh, and it’s got to be something you’d feel uncomfortable with people enjoying in real life.

  6. emotionengine says:

    Because if someone were to create a human hunting sim with the depth of realism and meticulous attention to detail these deer shooting games receive, I imagine it would be about the most controversial game in a long, long time.”

    Isn’t this basically what happened with the Manhunt games? Even Rockstar itself was apparently conflicted about the game during development in regards to the gruesome violence and general brutality on display. The second game was initially refused a rating in the UK and rated “Adults Only” in the US, effectively rendering it unsalable, which lead to Rockstar self-censoring the title for its actual release. I think one or both games are still banned in parts of the world.

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    SqFKYo says:

    Is that GTA3 screenshot I see? Nice touch :-D

  8. Darth Gangrel says:

    jOhn WalKEr’s speLLinG Of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds mAde mE Lol.

  9. stringerdell says:

    After getting really cheesed off at the shambles of no mans sky at launch, ignoring it for almost a year and picking it up again yesterday I can confirm they have fixed most of the annoying stuff and added a lot of good stuff.

    If the game was released like this a lot less people would have been a lot less angry.

    • wackazoa says:

      Hence why we should never pre order. Waiting the extra days or so would save a good bit of the head aches.

      Interestingly enough I haven’t bought it but was always interested in it. Seems like a nice game to chill out for a hour or so and do some exploring. Does that sum up the experience?

      • Someoldguy says:

        I chilled out for around 60 hours before they added in some of the new stuff. You’re going in without the over-inflated expectations and the price is half what it was, so I’d say yes.

  10. Durgendorf says:

    I’m legitimately surprised the Sniper Elite series hasn’t drawn more media ire for reveling in the consequences of bullets hitting human flesh. Remove the Nazi paraphanalia from that game and you’re pretty damn close to the human hunting simulator John mentions.

    • wackazoa says:

      I agree somewhat. Sniper Elite also has nut shots. Lots of nut shots. Like every video/article covering it includes a nut shot. Hard to take a game like that serious. Plus the xray stuff is kind of cartoony.

      Plus like you say it has Nazis. Those guys are like a free get out of jail card.

  11. indigochill says:

    Really glad to see Hellblade doing so well. It’s clear they poured a lot of heart into the game and were super-focused on their theme. If they’re masochistic enough to try something else in a similar vein in the future I’ll buy it in an instant.

  12. Mik'el says:

    So the O.A.P. {Original Article Poster} is against crowd-funding video games through facets such as KickStarter.com or FIG.co…?…

    That in essence a step up from just ‘preordering’ the game. If the answer is still yes, then respectfully disagree with you do I.

    NoneTheLess, avoiding preordering a game outside of a franchise, or a video game developer, that is unknown to your personal video game arkive, is something that can be agree to by me.

    However, epic franchises and companies such as Dragon Age, Mass Effect {even with their ME3 epic fail}, or Obsidian’s Pillar’s of Eternity. The later being more of a direct example of an outstandingly successful game that literally was made possible by crowd funding and “preorders”.

  13. Josh W says:

    *Danish with a song.

  14. racccoon says:

    Go Gog!
    Keep the PC freedom of choice alive :)

  15. Unclepauly says:

    Almost every stealth game feels like a human hunting game to me. Well, except ghost runs.

    I liked the song at the end, I didn’t expect that.

  16. MrJenssen says:

    “Because if someone were to create a human hunting sim with the depth of realism and meticulous attention to detail these deer shooting games receive, I imagine it would be about the most controversial game in a long, long time.”

    Uuuuuhhhh…. Battlegrounds?

    • fish99 says:

      …or any FPS for that matter. It’s an argument that holds no water. Animal hunting games are no more brutal or graphic than people hunting games. In both no one gets hurt apart from pixels.