Steam Charts: surviving the Frostpunk bots of Britannia

Hullo! John is preoccupied with wizards right now, so I’m taking over for the rundown of last week’s top ten on Steam. It was an interesting week, bringing back some welcome old games and slamming in some shiny new ones. Largely, it’s all about robots and survival.

10. Beat Saber

“If you feel the Force, throw your hands to the sky,” 5ive sing on their total choon Battlestar. And so great numbers of Force-sensitives have slammed on their cybergoggles and thrown their hands to the sky in time with beats in this VR-exclusive rhythm game. It’s a bit like early VR hit Audioshield but with David Hasselhoff’s glowsword from Starcrash, yeah? That’s not to dismiss it: young Matt has been playing and said Beat Saber “is every bit as brill as I’d hoped it would be.”

9. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Battles royale may come and battles royale may go, but CS is forever. Some manner of change may by on the wind, mind. In April, Belgium’s Gaming Commission declared that CS:GO’s loot boxes (which contain weapon skins and other cosmetic bits) do violate the country’s gambling regulations. We don’t yet know what will happen with this, whether Belgium will press on or back down, but we live in interesting times as practises which have helped fuel the recent years of ‘live’ PC games come under scrutiny from regulators.

8. Far Cry 5

Sure sure, Ubisoft’s open-world murderfests are formulaic and often irritating, but they offer fancy explore-o-murder on a scale and with a big-budget sheen that few other games can rival. You wanna pootle around a sandbox befriending animals and firing shovels at the faces of man and beast? Talk to Yann Ubisoft.

7. Nier: Automata

Ah I am so happy to see this keep bobbing back up in the charts whenever it goes on sale. It’s such a wonderful game–one of 2017’s finest–with such warmth and such fancy robomurder. But yeah, given that its well-known problems have gone unpatched for over a year I do understand people might want to hold back. Please play this video game; it is so very nice.

6. BattleTech

And we move from zippy robotic warteens to stompy gert warmachines. After initial grumbling in his BattleTech review, our Alec has slowly come around (with the help of mods) to delight in the turn-based tactical MechWarrior action, to the point that he’s now shouting about taking an Arrow IV to the knee. Ha ha, video game jokes. I tell you what though, I’d like to see Nier: Automata’s warteens dicing BattleTech’s mechs.

5. The Forest

After almost four years in early access, The Forest finally launched properly last week. It puts a delightfully terrible spin on survive ’em ups, crash-landing players onto an island which slowly reveals itself to house a tribe of murderous mutants. Good times.

4. Stardew Valley

The lovely farm-o-living RPG has surged back into the chants following the beta launch of its long-awaited multiplayer mode. Jay Castello had a wonderful time when she played, reporting back:

“Multiplayer Stardew Valley truly brings out the feeling of community that the single player tries to evoke and it led to a totally different farm life than the one I would have created alone. Encouraged to be much less conservative in my investments than I usually would have been, we ended up with a booming economy. But I also spent much more time just hanging out and fishing, an activity I largely ignored in all the previous time I spent playing.”

‘s nice to have friends.

3. Frostpunk

Can you survive the frozen wasteland hell that is England? AND IN THE GAME? Coming from This War Of Mine devs 11 Bit Studios, Frostpunk is a different sort of survival game, putting us in charge of the high-level strategic decisions that can keep our furnace stoked and our town alive through the frozen end of the world.

Xalavier Nelson Jr said in his Frostpunk review that it’s “one of the most tense, exciting city building survival games on PC”, which sounds great, but he didn’t feel much emotional weight behind casually letting people die off for the greater good. Our Alec has started writing a diary series about his own time as an icelord too.

2. A Total War Saga: Thrones Of Britannia

We’re back to England in more Total War. This is interesting as the first official ‘Total War Saga’, a new side-branch in the series which will focus on exploring particular places at particular times rather than broad eras. This time it’s Britain in the year 878, long before the land had any sort of vague unity. It’s doing those Total War things in that Total War way, is my broad takeaway from Nic Rueben’s Total War Saga: Thrones Of Britannia review, and hey evidently that’s something people are quite fond of.

1. Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds

Last week’s update has been huge to me, bringing an amount of polish and refinement that makes the game finally feel like it’s ready to have left early access – rather than 12 updates earlier. Also god damn, I adore the new muscle car. Roaring down the highway in a muscle car convoy is such a treat.

The Steam Charts come via Steam’s internal charts of the highest grossing games on Steam over the previous week, as compiled and released by Valve.


  1. Torabayashi says:

    King Crab level Battletech joke, Alice.

    • Apologised says:

      …god King Crabs are seriously cool looking. Even back when they were introduced, in an era when FASA felt that some gumption, a black felt tip and a protractor was all they needed from an illustrator they still looked cool.

      Plus, there’s just something alluring about a Battletech which has the design philosophy of “How many of the largest and most terrifying gun in the game can we fit into a single mech?”
      “Are you sure you don’t want a balanced mix of weaponry?” said the Atlas.
      “Wouldn’t you rather have a loadout that wont run out of ammo in 6 turns?” said the Imp
      “How about not having all of your main guns in your easily shot off arms?” Said the well named Awesome.

      “NO” declared the King Crab


      And off he stomped, into glory.

    • Gankatron says:

      Alec changed his mind regarding his initial negative reaction towards Battletech, huh?

      Amazing what some prodding from the editor can accomplish to bring an outlier opinion in line with mainstream opinion. :P

      • sebmojo says:

        it wasn’t the greatest review, but i think it was fair for someone who didn’t understand the Tao of stompy robots. He was very clear about how and why he walked his opinion back.

  2. Freud says:

    I’m not sure I approve of this turn for the Anglo.

  3. grimdanfango says:

    A VR-only game made the global top-10? That’s pretty significant, isn’t it?

    Does look damn good fun… tempted to pick it up myself.

  4. latedave says:

    This is so much more enjoyable when someone actually likes writing this! Feel as if I actually learnt something about the games this week

    • anevilyak says:

      In fairness to John, in the weeks when the list is composed mostly of the same games that have been on the charts for what feels like a decade, there’s not really much new left to write (i.e. CS: GO).

  5. Hoot says:

    For those considering NieR: Automata but worried about any potential issues, just google FAR Mod. It’s literally a 1 click install and gives you an in-game GUI that lets you turn various bits and bobs off or on and by doing so fixes basically any issue you may or may not have.

    I used it and it gave me the ability to play with a controller without having the mouse cursor sat mid screen as well as making it look pretty as all hell at 60FPS by tweaking a few graphics settings.

    Oh, it keeps itself up to date too. 50 hours, no crashes.

    NieR: Automata + FAR Mod = Warteen Robomurder Bliss

  6. Nauallis says:

    Ok Alice & thanks for the list, but how did Plunkbat do this week?

  7. Gomer_Pyle says:

    That Thrones alt text tho

  8. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    Heyyyyyy, whaddaya tryin’ to pull here? I know a Final Fantasy XV screenshot when I see one! Lads indeed.

  9. napoleonic says:

    Read this on my phone first, then noticed Alice had written it and had to read it all over again on my computer so I could see her tooltips. DAMN YOU ALICE WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE SO AMUSING?!

    However, quick note on “This time it’s Britain in the year 878, long before the land had any sort of vague unity.”: England had already had a number of Bretwaldas at this point, which I think counts as “a sort of vague unity”. Heck, the Romans had unified the place centuries before.

    • Jernau Gurgeh says:

      Depending on your phone, browser version and probably a myriad other things, you may be able to see the image ‘tool tips’ by just holding your finger on the pic. That usually works for me in Safari on my iPhone 6s+.

  10. Byakuyabo says:

    Had been waiting for 2, 3 and 6 for a looong time…and they all come at the same time! I can’t play them all!

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