Steam Charts: The Rat Plague Edition

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Greetings, readers. John, your regular guide to this hollow summary of ceaseless material consumption, is missing. We presume he has angered the company overlords with some sort of ill-judged diatribe against corporate consolidation, and has subsequently been reassigned to another media outlet, possibly The Re-education Supplement, or Gulag’s Weekly. Well, you won’t find any such insubordination from me. I have only the purest intentions of telling you the top ten best sellers on Steam this week, with a secondary goal of reinforcing the cold emptiness of our predominant mercantile culture. Let’s buy some games!

10. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

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From what I understand of the Steam charts, this is where I give a description of the videogame. In this game you play as alcoholic bullet expert Kristina Pimms. The world seems destined to spiral into an endless war, as tensions rise between ten men and ten other men. Only you have the knowledge to avert this catastrophe. But will the ten men and ten other men listen to a washed-up ballistico with nothing to lose?

9. Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Set in the distant future, the world as we know it has collapsed into a neo-feudal hegemony. The country of Bohemia has risen from the Darker Age to become the dominant shoveller of cow excrement in the entire Habitable Zone. But a threat from beyond the borders approaches. A rival nation has discovered an ancient technology – tolerance – and is marching on Bohemia with more human beings than were previously thought to exist in the world. Play as country boy Henry, as he strikes out on his own and discovers that, actually, these invaders are OK.

8. Warhammer: Vermintide 2 – Collector’s Edition

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Adapted from the Redwall series of books, this is a point and click adventure game in which you point at rats and click to kill the rats. Many fans of the child-friendly books have expressed concern at the amount of blood, guts and gore in the dungeons and mines of this modern adaptation. But the creators argue they have stayed true to Brian Jacques vision. “Have we updated it for a modern audience? Yes,” said one developer who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal. “Have we included the ability to decapitate several rodents at once and watch as their ratty heads tumble down the stone steps of a corpse-filled abattoir? Also yes. But…” The developer then trailed off, shrugged, and took a bite of a large baguette, spilling juicy veal and cherry tomatoes all over the floor, whereupon hundreds of small rats scurried out of their boltholes, huddled at his ankles and feasted, like ancient serfs to an inscrutable god.

7. Hearts of Iron IV: Waking the Tiger

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This is a piece of DLC for the strategy game Hearts of Iron IV, in which the player gets access to a new unit – the tiger. The tiger (panthera tigris) is a powerful animal with four limbs and a distinctive pattern on its fur which resembles dozens of that weird ‘S’ everyone drew on their desks in primary school. “A tiger’s coat pattern is still visible when it is shaved,” states Wikipedia. “This is due not to skin pigmentation, but to the stubble and hair follicles embedded in the skin, similar to human beards (colloquially five o’clock shadow)”.

6. Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition

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Four young men embark on a trip to the chip shop, unaware of the deep socio-political ramifications of their actions. As news of their city’s destruction reaches the young Noctis, Gladis, Promptis and Ignoramis, they resolve to follow a flamboyant man with a twitchy coat into a large crater, where they encounter the King of the Geodes. He offers them a clandestine deal: Keep playing the game, or suffer the ignominy of admitting the thing you were looking forward to all year is not very good.

5. Rainbow Six Siege – year 3 season pass

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The sixth in the popular Rainbow series of platformers. Here, the terrain is destructible, meaning players can rappel through walls and blast holes in the floor to surprise the frogs and anthropomorphic possums below. This season pass gets fans access to two new characters: Pascal the battery-powered action figure, and Aloysius the defrocked priest.

4. Nier: Automata

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The impossibly popular non-game from Platinum. Who among us could have predicted that a small jar of expired artichokes, disguised as a game and sold on Steam, could become one of the most-loved purchases of the decade? It’s on sale at the moment – £20 instead of £40 – which explains its jockeying up the charts. People love those mouldy artichokes!

3. Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition

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I am unable to elaborate further on the videogame that is doing its best to disappoint and demoralise me with each passing hour.

2. Warhammer: Vermintide 2

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The rats gather at the developer’s toes and begin to climb his body, aching for the baguette. He shows no fear, nor surprise, nor disgust. He welcomes them with a passive look. The cold and loving eyes of a tired mother. The baguette is gone now, and so too the developer, smothered in the writhing mass of rat bodies. Here and there, I can still see a glimpse of the man’s form beneath the plague. A finger pokes through the dank, shifting fur. A flash of lip. The slump of a shoulder. Finally, the rats dissipate, scuttling downward atop the backs of their matted siblings, tumbling from the chair, which sits now, soiled and torn and still and empty.

Vermintide 2 is £22.99 on Steam.

1. Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds

It is my understanding that a song is usually ear-marked for this entry. So here is some sensational Spanish pop in the form of Tenia Tanto Que Darte by Nena Daconte.

Bye!

33 Comments

  1. chuckieegg says:

    I like Yorkshire Gubbins.

    • Artiforg says:

      Where the hell were you last week when John mentioned it?

      • Sarfrin says:

        Wait, has anyone ever seen John and chuckieegg in the same room together…?

    • Hutt Butter says:

      This is literally the content I came here to see.

    • Holderist says:

      My hope to discover a delicious baked good was met with disappointment.

  2. Skabooga says:

    I absolutely lost it at the Hearts of Iron entry. I’m glad to see you continue on John and Alec’s fine tradition, even if only for one day.

    • gwop_the_derailer says:

      Brendy’s a good ‘un.

    • lancelot says:

      Very disappointed by that entry. The genus name should always be capitalized and italicized. It’s a scientific text, dammit.

      • Ent says:

        You are right in that the first letter of a genus name should always be capitalized, but the genus & species names actually don’t have to be italicized – it is recommended by ICZN, but not a must.

    • napoleonic says:

      Only way it could have been better is if there’d been captions for the piccies.

  3. Pau says:

    Nena Daconte’s song is about loss. Probably an abortion, also she’s prolife as fuck. Obvious case of I can enjoy their art while disagreeing with their way of life. See also Roman Polanski.

    I enjoy your descend into madness through Steamcharting good job.

  4. Bullfrog says:

    Careful Brendan, you might get landed with this full time.

  5. PiiSmith says:

    Hopefully the sccess of Vermintide 2 is a reason for the developers to improve it. The current state is not the best.

    • Gurrah says:

      What do you mean? 30 hours in I’ve only encountered one major bug (pointing Victor’s sidearm at a Chaos Spawn and getting grabbed in the process left Victor rigidly pointing in accusation at enemies without being able to melee anymore after being released by said Chaos Spawn). It looks amazing, runs great and frankly I haven’t had that much fun with a new title since I bought Prey on release last year.

      • Couchfighter says:

        I love the game, but objectively speaking the launch version has its issues.

        – Occasional constant lag
        – CTDs and Backend Errors forcing game to close
        – Overeager seemingly panick inspired class changes to adress complaints about balance
        – Mobs literally spawning on the street in your face, and not just crawling out of nearby cracks.
        – Pacing issues – sometimes you go for minutes without anything to kill other than stray slave rats, and other times you get a rat ogre+stormvermin+gunner+lich+stormvermin patrol+gutter runner all at the same time.
        – Maps sometimes restarting from scratch during host migration, if the host leaves or loses connection even right at the end of a mission.
        – HDR is wonky and bad

    • Taintslapper says:

      I’ve sunk about ten so far and haven’t encountered any major issues. I do agree that the devs may need to look into the number of incapacitating enemies that can spawn at once. Had a game last night where I got grabbed by a hook-rat, my team mate got grabbed by another hook rat while trying to free me, another team mate got hot by a leech, and the last team member got knocked down. Other than that it’s fantastic.

      • MrEvilGuy says:

        ?!?!? I haven’t played it yet but in L4D the biggest danger was always special infected incapacitating everyone at once. Why would they get rid of this in the rat game?

        • Taintslapper says:

          I didn’t say get rid of it, but if everyone gets incapacitated at the same time it kind of sucks to lose a mission for something that was largely unavoidable. And maybe it’s been a while, but I don’t ever remember seeing more than two enemies that can incapacitate a player spawn at once in L4D.

  6. abstrarie says:

    There we go! Actually making fun of the games in question! That is the sauce I was looking for!

    I always like hearing how FF 15 disappoints people. And I am one of the masses who jumped on that moldy artichoke sale and am finding them to be surprisingly tasty so far.

    • skeletortoise says:

      “Making fun of”? What are you reading? These are just clinical and objective descriptions and analyses of the top selling steam games, same as any week.

  7. Steed says:

    Exception Steam Charting. I particularly enjoyed “He offers them a clandestine deal: Keep playing the game, or suffer the ignominy of admitting the thing you were looking forward to all year is not very good.” – having just got to exactly that point last night after a weekend binge. I’m enjoying the game, but think it may run out of Interesting Things soon.

    Maybe shoulda got the mouldy artichokes of Nier instead.

  8. Premium User Badge

    calcifer says:

    *Insert “this is why I read RPS” comment*

  9. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    Meanwhile, I’m enjoying FF XV way more than I thought – I may even love it. So Brendy’s loss is my gain!

  10. wackazoa says:

    ” In this game you play as alcoholic bullet expert Kristina Pimms. The world seems destined to spiral into an endless war, as tensions rise between ten men and ten other men. Only you have the knowledge to avert this catastrophe. But will the ten men and ten other men listen to a washed-up ballistico with nothing to lose?”

    “Set in the distant future, the world as we know it has collapsed into a neo-feudal hegemony. The country of Bohemia has risen from the Darker Age to become the dominant shoveller of cow excrement in the entire Habitable Zone. But a threat from beyond the borders approaches. A rival nation has discovered an ancient technology – tolerance – and is marching on Bohemia with more human beings than were previously thought to exist in the world. Play as country boy Henry, as he strikes out on his own and discovers that, actually, these invaders are OK.”

    I could see me playing these. I just will have to add them to my backlog…

  11. Someoldguy says:

    I swear there must be some sort of office bet going on at RPS as to who can produce the most ludicrously irreverent and bizarre Steam Chart content without going completely off-plot for the entire article. Long may it continue to be a hard-fought contest.

  12. Waznei says:

    I hate that song.

  13. napoleonic says:

    Speaking of which, why isn’t there a series of Redwall RPGs?

  14. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    I rather enjoyed that song.

  15. geldonyetich says:

    I didn’t mean to give John a hard time last week. Lets face facts, the Steam charts are a near perpetual disappointment into the unoriginal nature of popularity. The Steam charts feature is not discussing games in an interesting way; the Steam charts feature is wryly tracking lemming migrations.

    But at least the diatribe of a trapped creative mind was significantly less resembling a desperate grasping to discuss literally anything else. I rather enjoyed this one, from the Redwall reference to the general lunacy.

  16. mipearson says:

    Brendan mate, logged on just to tell you that you have fine taste in music.