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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This week let's finish with a song.