The Steam Summer Sale is here to rescue us from the same old games! Hooray! Hooray! Hoo-whatnow? Oh for crying out loud, the usual games are all on sale too, aren't they?
Actually, that's not quite fair. While the most wearyingly familiar names all make their assured appearance, there is a nice crop of different names thanks to the current heavy discounts.
10. Hollow Knight
See, it starts off nicely, eh? Now, here's a game with which I accidentally courted controversy. Playing this last year, I realised I was having a perfectly pleasant time (between hateful stupid bossfight tedium) but not experiencing anything that particularly surprised me. It seemed, to me, to be a Metroidvania-by-numbers, beautifully drawn and well realised, but hard to even see in the shadow of Ori & The Blind Forest and Alwa's Awakening. And after Owlboy so triumphantly reimagined so much of how the genre can be delivered, I found Hollow Knight to feel just too boilerplate.
Hooooo boy, people didn't agree. That special band of people who dedicate far too much energy to not liking me I'm pretty sure had t-shirts printed up, and gave out fliers to unsuspecting passersby to let them know to mention Hollow Knight when condemning me and my loved ones. It turns out people really like Hollow Knight. People like it even more at 34% off, hence sticking a toe into the charts.
9. Fallout 4
A sizeable 50% discount sees the already halved-in-price Fallout 4 pretty much guaranteed to re-enter the charts. In fact, at just a tenner I'm surprised it's not higher, given the gaming population's seeming infinite supply of customers for Bethesda games. (Skyrim has, according to official figures, now sold more copies than there are human cells on planet Earth.)
Here's an interesting Fallout 4 fact: There's someone inside Bethesda whose only job is to prevent anyone from programming Fallout games to let the same button bring up the Pip-Boy as puts it away. The role is officially called Hotkey Director, although inside Bethsoft they're informally known as The Guardian. When someone suggests, perhaps at a meeting, maybe in an email, or even just in some idle chatter over a coffee, that perhaps it would be more convenient if you could just use the same shortcut to open and close the cumbersome and dreadfully arranged device, The Guardian swoops in and has that person immediately fired. Staff quickly learn.
10. Goliath beetle (11cm)
9. Giant water bug (12cm)
8. Elephant beetle (13cm)
7. Atlas beetle (13cm)
6. Actaeon beetle (13.5cm)
5. Titan beetle (16.7cm)
4. Hercules beetle (17cm)
3. Macrodontia cervicornis (17cm+)
2. Preying mantis (18cm)
1. Phyganistria chinensis zhao (62.4cm)
7. Dishonored 2
Good gracious, I hardly know what to do with myself. A single-player, actually properly good game from the last year in the charts?! Yet again thanks to a mighty 50% off, one of 2016's best games, and one of the best FPS games in many a year, is seeing a pleasant surge in sales.
Perhaps the news of Death Of The Outsider coming in September also reminded everyone the game exists, and at £15 is obviously worth grabbing.
How can it have been three years since Shadow Of Mordor came out? Well, I'll tell you how: chronological time. It's a scourge, and to this day our so-called governments are doing nothing to stop it.
I imagine E3's big push on the amazing-looking Shadow Of War has helped people remember this exists and they idiotically forgot to play it. But the real reason for the chart placement is the absolutely enormous 80% discount on the already hugely reduced price, leaving one of the best games of the last decade available for just over £3. Oh, and that three quid nineteen pee also includes every scrap of DLC, all extra modes and packs, and a bunch of extra missions. Blimey.
It's been a long time since I imagined doing my law degree, but I'm pretty sure not buying it at this price comes with a lengthy prison sentence.
50% off for this one, which still leaves it after a year at a chunky £17.50. But clearly it's selling like cold cakes so why would they lower it yet? (I have never bought a hot cake, and nor have you.) This is the GOTY version, so in there you're getting both 25 hour expansions, Hearts Of Stone and Blood & Wine. Also all the additional guff that's been added in since release.
It's interesting to note (if you're as desperate to find things interesting when faced with writing another blurb about Witcher 3 as I am) that the vanilla Witcher 3 is also on sale, at 40% off, for £15, but that hasn't troubled the charts. People en-masse are clearly opting to spend a little more to get a lot more. Worth noticing if you're putting versions of your game on sale, I'd venture.
Valve more typically go to extremes during the Steam sale, taking their big names down by 90%, knowing as they do that such enormous discounts add up to enormous sales. (As they have for the Portals, Half-Lifes and Left 4 Deads.) So it's noteworthy that the endlessly top-selling CS:GO, recipient of some recent significant updates, is only getting 33% knocked off. That puts it at £8.
Which means you'd be as silly as a very, very silly ladder to not just buy the Valve Bundle for £13.20 and get every single other game they've ever made for just another fiver.
Just a 30% discount for NieR, but then it's only three months old, and it's enough to see the game catapulted back into the top end of the charts. And that's without even its excellently named DLC, 3C3C1D119440927, that stays at £9.50.
Oh gawd, this has slowly devolved from stupid jokes to a factual article about Steam sale discounts. I'm so sorry. Here's a bad picture I took of a giant anteater with a seven-day old baby giant anteater clinging onto its back:
Even before the decision was reversed, any hopes of seeing GTA5 finally fall out of the charts to punish Take-Two for their spiteful takedown of OpenIV were dashed in the face of the sale. Even a concerted effort by Angry Steam Users seeing its Recent Reviews rating at "Overwhelmingly Negative" can't combat 50% off. So here is a list of the top ten longest living animals on Earth (not including immortal cheats like that jellyfish that turns back into a baby):
10. Warty Oreo (140 years)
9. Orange Roughy (149 years)
8. Aldabra Giant Tortoise (152 years)
7. Lake Sturgeon (152 years)
6. Shortraker Rockfish (157 years)
5. Galapagos Tortoise (177 years)
4. Red Sea Urchin (200 years)
3. Rougheye Rockfish (205 years)
2. Bowhead Whale (211 years)
1. Ocean Qhahog (400 years)
It's still top of the highest grossing Steam games chart despite not even featuring in the Summer Sale. Plunkbat is INDESTRUCTIBLE. It just sold its four millionth copy, and has grossed over $100 million. So with this in mind, here's a picture of my son tickling a stingray.