We have a GIFbot in the RPS staff chatroom. GIFbot is a treacherous and unreliable creature, often offering wildly irrelevant or breathtakingly banal results when we type '/gif whateverphrase' and then cope with whatever it randomly pulls from whatever reprobate corner of the internet it's plugged into it. However, often enough its results are so irrelevant as to be perfection itself. And so we shall keep it around for an eternity, and reach for it in our darkest hours.
For instance, in the absence of a better conceit for the latest Steam Charts. For these, once again, are the ten games with the most accumulated sales on Steam over the past week. Take it away, GIFbot.
(To clarify, I typed '/gif gamename' into the bot for each of these, and this is what I got).
Sort of Total War ultralite, paired with a playground 'what if?' conceit. Send wildly imbalanced armies - 5000 zombies vs 6 marines, for instance - off to tear strips off each other, see who wins and hopefully have a giggle in the process. This is less 'why didn't anyone think of this before?' and 'how long before there are a couple of dozen imitators?'
9. Halo Wars: Definitive Edition
Sadly recent, decent sequel Halo Wars 2 has been to sent die as a Windows 10 Store exclusive, but Steamers get a pity release in the form of this mildly remastered version of the first, hitherto Xbox-only game. Hopefully its success means that Microsoft will grudgingly release the Creative Assembly-developed sequel on Steam (and ideally GOG and everywhere else too) before too long. If it doesn't, GIFbot salves every wound:
Pip's beloved underwater sightseeing/building title swoops back into the top ten thanks to a now-concluded $10 sale. Tragically, GIFbot had no results for 'subnautica' so I had to go with 'sub nautica' instead.
GIFbot, I thought you were better than that.
As I revealed last week, I fired this up during the lone hour I had free from looking after my three-year-old over Easter, but some forty minutes in I had still not been allowed to save my progress. Then I died, of course. And it took me right back to the start, requiring me to play through tutorial, unskippable cutscenes and everything all over again. Bye-bye NieR, as far as I'm concerned. Many people have urged me to continue, saying that after the first section is concluded saving becomes freely available, but I'm afraid that, given the enormous glut of great games there are to play right now, I'm not going to make even the slightest concession to one that doesn't respect my time.
Games as a whole need to develop greater empathy for their ever-ageing audience (hello!), and the complexity of accommodating big huge titles into hectic lives means there's little room for auteur nonsense like denying saves until a certain threshold has been reached. I'm sure it's great (and I dug what I did play), but so are very many other games that don't pull that kind of prickery.
5. Arma 3
Yer $20 sale did this.
Best GIF? Best GIF.
I have this on my hard drive right now. Fraser's already run a broadly positive review for us, but me, I'll be sticking mostly to singleplayer, so will be wittering about the campaign in a post near you soon.
I said last week that this and the number one were on a collision course, and both KOTK's rise to #2 and GIFbot's response totally backs me up on that.