Hallo! Me again, filling in (slightly late) while John is handcuffed to a steering wheel for other duties. The Steam Charts were all shook up (mm mm mmh!) last week by the launch of Steam's summer sale, including propelling a lump of hardware into the top ten for the first time in ages. A number of older games have rocketed back too, boosted by sale discounts, and displaced several games from their near-permanent spots in the hit parade. Let's stroll down it and see.
10. Steam Link
This is Valve's little box which lets you beam Steam games from your rig, your cyberhog, your gamepounder, over to televisions and other distant screens around the premises. I've heard mixed reports from pals (it really prefers a wired connection) but the Link is only £2 in the summer sale and evidently that's enough to get people leaping at it.
One of the best modern RPGs and both its expansions for only £14? Lovely stuff. I'd guess that the boost is also partially down to the E3 buzz around Cyberpunk 2077 making newcomers and occasional visitors wonder about the pedigree of developers CD Projekt Red. Great, is the answer. But don't get your hopes up for a Witcher/Cyberpunk crossover.
Our Jurassic World Evolution review is a little down on Frontier's dinopark sim, but clearly many folks are into the idea of telling the course of evolution to do one. It's simple, it's clear, it has pretty dinosaurs, and it does have a pleasing Tamagotchi element from trying to manage the needs of your babies. Once a game lets you name anything, it's hard not to feel attached to it - in other games, I've become unreasonably protective even of swords I've crafted.
Bethesda's open-world FPS-RPG is £20 with all its expansion in the Steam sale, so here we are again. Given that Fallout 76 will be a multiplayer survival sandbox doodad, it might be a fair few years before we see new singleplayer Fallout. Though of course some big fancy singleplayer mods are still coming for past Fallouts.
While caring for dinosaurs in a zoo is enough for some, many others want to ride, fight, and eat them. This survival sandbox has long been one of the most-played games on Steam but returned to the charts last week, buoyed by a summer sale discount taking it from £50 to £17. A third expansion is in the pipeline, adding some very large critters indeed this November.
Half-price in the Steam sale and still growing, thanks to the mod tools. While Square Enix plan to add more tools to the kit over time, right now they can't change too much about the game, so we're we're largely seeing characters and weapons from other JRPGs. Though I do like the cute Noctis borrowed from FFXV Pocket Edition.
But yes, dinozoo wins over dinomurderisland this week. Valve list it twice because of different editions, see. I'd guess that #8 is the Deluxe edition which includes extra dinosaurs. Dinosaurs which sometimes want to pet you.
It's a rare week when GTA V isn't sitting near the top of Steam's top ten, and its current 67% discount in the summer sale can't hurt either. Crimes: people like them. I'm still enjoying GTA Online myself, despite all the grind, and have already started saving to run my own nightclub.
PUBG Corp have found a way to dominate the Steam sales charts even more: launching a paid pass with a progression track to unlock exclusive clothing and other doodads. It brings floral shirts, bikini bottoms, and other beachwear to celebrate the launch of Sanhok, the new small map set in Southeast Asia. I'm still sitting on a huge stack of Sanhok screenshots to write a ha-ha-hilarious mock review of the hotel, which I've not quite had time to do yet. In short: the facilities are terrible but it is v. pretty.
No surprise here. Beyond the jokes, I do like Sanhok's hotel an awful lot. Aside from spicy drops with six teams murdering each other to pieces, I've had some great fights there. It has a good range of heights, full and partial covers, obscured sightlines... it almost feels like a Counter-Strike map in how it's designed to be an interesting fightplace. Few places in Plunkbat feel so deliberate, and I'm into it.
Wait, hang on - doesn't tradition demand I include a song? Here's my one concession to you, John:
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.
Disclosure: Like half the population of Edinburgh, I have a few pals who work at GTA devs Rockstar on... I'm not entirely sure what. Games. Video games.