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Steam Charts: Got The Runs Edition

Running it into the ground

Featured post This is uncannily like the secret base from which Steam Charts is written.

Yes, yes, it’s me. I know, I know, but calm down. While it’s obviously very exciting to have a celebrity as handsome and excellent as me writing you some Steam Charts, I’m still just a regular ordinary guy underneath it all. I leap into my trousers both legs at once, same as anyone else.

The Summer Sale has had its wicked way with us entirely this week. If someone were to have followed this column since even the days when some guy called Alex Mere wrote it, and malevolently came up with a parody of the most cliched possible list, it’d look like this. 5-1 are all games for which I’ve developed running jokes! But we can get through this, if we band together. Next week will likely still be afflicted by the last couple of days of the sale, but then arrive the green shoots of hope that come with the summer release lull, and the prospects for smaller, more interesting games being bought by better people.

10. Valve Index VR Kit

Yeah right, it's up there selling alongside Witcher 3 70% off...

Sorry to get all You And Yours, but I’m not entirely convinced Valve is absolutely angelic in its featuring its own monstrously expensive VR goggles in Steam’s sale Top Sellers. I’ve no proof to support my wild accusations, but I’d be really bloody surprised if they did either. They just happen to have their own product there, first in the list, every day, at over eighteen times the price of the next most expensive seller.

Of course, “Top Sellers” is an ambiguous term that could mean anything they wanted. And it’s here in the Charts because this is about gross, not numbers. But I still wonder how much various competition watchdogs would appreciate Valve’s woeful inability to separate church and state on its store.

9. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

I'm no structural engineer, but I think that building's showing signs of subsidence.

When it comes to games like Sekiro, about which I have absolutely nothing of interest to contribute (last week’s attempt to rile the wretches didn’t even catch a tiddler), I like to check the various updates and additions that have occurred since release. Which is to say, when I don’t have a dumb joke to make, I’ll reluctantly resort to trying to be useful.

Sekiro has none. Not a single official announcement on its Community page. Not a single patch note, even. Now, I’m old, tired and confused, but this seems like a really strange approach to a four month old game. It seems extraordinary that a publisher the size of Activision just dumps and runs like this. And more, that fans of the clearly excellent game don’t demand more for the enormous price. But explain to me why it’s perfectly normal.

8. Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition

Imagine what a spoiler this would be were it possible to understand what were happening before playing it.

I finished it! For a while there I wasn’t sure it was actually going to end. I began to suspect Larian were still developing the game faster than I could play it. Like a cartoon character adding train tracks in front of the train as it hurtles along. But I finally outpaced them, and saw the credits role. I genuinely only restarted the game a few weeks back to get some new screenshots for its frequent appearances in the Charts, and now we’re here. Gosh I have some new screenshots.

I don’t know what to do with my life.

I just installed Divinity: Original Sin 1.

This really is a tremendously good RPG. As in, top five ever good. Shall I dare? Shall I try to pick only 5 traditional RPGs (not including JRPGs, about which I know diddly-squat) and correctly declare them to be the best, and any who disagree are embarrassingly, stupidly wrong? Yes! Although with some cowardice, I declare they’re in no particular order. Here are the TOP FIVE RPGs EVER!

PlaneScape: Torment
Divinity: Original Sin 2
Pillars Of Eternity
Sorcery! 1-4
Neverwinter Nights 2
Knights Of The Old Republic
Dragon Age: Origins

(No one will ever notice.)

7. Rust

They've just added a bunch of horse breeds. I've yet to find out if they've realistically modelled their willies as well.

If this ancient of days is going to keep appearing, I’m going to have to come up with a runner for it. And I think it’ll have to be returning to the wellspring of joy that is the game’s suggestion page, where anyone can offer up an idea for a new feature. This week: an excellent suggestion to remove cheaters!

YOU BOTS!

Isaiah raises an excellent point. Rust’s mere six years of continued extraordinary success, 7.5m copies sold by the end of last year grossing over $110m, its being the fifth most played game on Steam as of Friday, and selling a further six thousand copies an hour during the sale, is clearly very likely about to come undone. And I suspect it’s most likely because the game has been developed by some bots.

6. Starbound

I love that this screenshot implies literally nothing about what sort of game this is, nor what you do in it.

Reason I’m an idiot and you should never listen to anything I say #4583: I was invited to take a look at Starbound at GDC in 2012. It was in a weeny section for tiny indie games, and I had a play and thought, “Um, guys, Terraria already exists.” I don’t think I even wrote about it.

It’s a wonder I’m ever not covered in thrown milkshake.

Still, even though, it’s impressive to see this one charting during a sale week. They’ve knocked 35% off their already extremely decent £12 tag, which makes this all the more remarkable. Here’s why: Borderlands, as in the entire franchise and every scrap of DLC, has a mindwatering 97% taken off, making the £182 package yours for less than a fiver. It’s currently cheaper to buy that 52-part pack than just Borderlands 2 on its own. It’s selling like crazy, because of course it is. But it’s not making an appearance in these highest grossing charts. Rust above is selling six thousand copies an hour at £7. So just think of the numbers Starbound must be shifting to appear here at £7.79. Crikey.

Just try not to think about how much is being raked in by the depressing list that appears below…

5. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Game of the Year Edition

OK, I admit, this is really a promo shot from the forthcoming Netflix Witcher series.

Thank goodness everyone’s giving CDPR money in exchange for the space where a game will one day go, or those poor little mites would be on the streets!

4. Total War: Three Kingdoms

I love it when a war's averted by a dance off.

I really thought I’d find some legs in winding up long-term Total War fans, with this game apparently glued to the top half of the charts for the foreseeable future. But all I’ve managed to do is create consensus among the commenters that everyone’s a bit fed up with the series! That wasn’t supposed to happen.

Instead I seem to be only be upsetting those who cannot envisage anything that deviates slightly from the norm without a cartoon understanding of a drug having been taken. So for clarity, this is what it would look like if I wrote while on “drugs”:

“This sis this gis the game that is thew the game that idid the thing gwith thr game stuff that makes it sslike when that timess with thee thing”

Meanwhile this is just me:

“Did you know that the largest snake ever was the titanoboa? They were up to 13 metres long, and weighed over a ton. They lived about 60 million years ago, after the dinosaurs had all gotten onto their spaceship ark and flown – poetically enough – to Titan, Jupiter’s favourite moon.”

Or indeed…

3. Flibble Glibble Pants

I always put a hint in the filename, btw.

What’s Another Thing You Could Buy Instead Of GTA V At Half Price Again?

This book with AT-ATs fucking.

2. Monster Hunter World

Aw man. My cat's super ill in cat hospital, and even though she's a truly terrible cat, this made me feel all sad for a moment.

Do you know what I say? A thing I say is, and I say this, is that sometimes, I say, that I think the special effects in books might be better than those in the films!!!!!

I mean, when did you last see a film get the fonts so neatly in rows? And those page-turning effects they have at the start of ’80s kids movies are often very poor. Plus I think the explosion will be pretty good when I petrol bomb the copy of Andy Weir’s Artemis I recently started trying to read.

I have just nothing to say about Monster Hunter World.

1. Plunkbat

Gosh, this hasn’t been here for a very long time. In fact, I seem to remember that Plunkles being in the #1 spot means the site’s design breaks when I drop a YouTube embed at the bottom of the post. Let’s see!

I was all ready to go with Hymie’s Basement’s 21st Century Pop Song, and then I realised I’d used Hymie’s Basement in May. So instead it’s this rather splendid PAL remix of Alice Boman’s otherwise over-produced Waiting. It subdues it in all the right ways.

The Steam Charts are compiled via Steam’s internal charts of the highest grossing games on Steam over the previous week, titrated into pure bloody brilliance by a scientist.

Graham’s note: Hello! Those of you who follow John on Twitter might have seen over the past week that his cat, Lucy, was badly injured and is in need of multiple surgeries. John started a GoFundMe to help with costs and while they’ve hit their target, any extra raised will go to Cats Protection, a charity that helps cats around the UK.

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