Steam Charts: A New Dawn
Hello. I've had this brilliant new idea! Each week I shall tell you which are the top 10 selling games on the PC gaming outlet Steam. No, no, this is nothing like Alec's idea that he had - he did it on a Tuesday. This is entirely different.
This is going to be easy - I've no idea what Alec was complaining about! It's just writing about some popular games on a weekly basis - I'm sure with the ever-changing, ever-churning nature of game releases, these charts will be a fresh new delight every time! H1Z1 isn't even in there! Right, let's see what we've got.
10. Rising Storm 2: Vietnam - Digital Deluxe
See, this is the business! Released just a few days ago, Rising Storm 2: Vietnam is the sequel to Rising Storm, a stand-along spin-off expansion pack for Red Orchestra 2: Heroes Of Stalingrad, the sequel to Red Orchestra, the total conversion mod of Unreal Tournament 2004, the fourth multiplayer shooter based on the 1998 game Unreal. This time, instead of being set on Na Pali, Rising Storm 2 takes place on Earth, in the aforementioned Vietnam war.
64 players, interestingly imbalanced weaponry, and of course helicopters, fun is - wait for it - an Oliver Stone's throw away!
Gosh, this is so easy. Meer did make a fuss.
9. ARK: Survival Evolved
ARK slipped out of the charts about seven or eight weeks ago, bigger boys like H1Z1 and Plunkbat presumably squeezing it downward. But now it sneaks back in, possibly due to a recent update that makes pooing in a toilet give you extra XP.
That isn't a joke.
That's my favourite thing I've ever written about a game. They also added hyenas, more reptiles, and "megasloths", but I think we can all agree its chart presence is thanks to poo poo.
Right, this is a synch. What's next...
8. Rising Storm 2: Vietnam
Released just a few days ago, Rising Storm 2: Vietname is the sequ... UH WHAT? Oh god, was he right? It's happening? Already? But... But he said it would happen week after week, not minutes into the first week!
Right, so, Rising Storm 2 is selling two different versions. This is the vanilla, the one listed above comes with - oh for goodness sakes - some hats. "Hats" is the term we use for mocking DLC, people. This is literally an extra £3 to have two floppy camo hats, and unlock a headscarf, "lowland erdl", "camo ushanka" and "darkhouse pilot helmet" a bit earlier. Not real hats. Pretend hats. Not pretend money. Real money. Hats.
So, anyway, onto something fresh and new...
7. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Oh gosh, now, this is interesting. A five year old game back in the charts - I wonder if there's a special promotion on or what sorry pardon? It's always in the charts? Every week? But - but who hasn't bought it yet? Who? And how are there so many of them that they number enough to keep it in the top 10 week after week after week? Crowds of people saying, "You know what? That game that everyone bought five years ago? I think I'll buy it now. We'll ALL buy it now." Surely there has to come a day when everyone's bought it who's going to buy it? Or at least in numbers big enough to keep it in the top sellers? Still, a few weeks ago saw the arrival of Operation Hydra that's obviously getting it a bit of fresh attention.
6. Fallout 4
Fallout 4 had its free weekend over a week ago, and is back up to a completely ridiculous £40 for a two year old game. Yet still hanging around in the charts. That means people are even now picking it up after their taster, and happy to fork out the full price to do so all this time after release. While it's not on GOG (where you can get the far superior FO3 and New Vegas for ten bucks), it's also £40 on Humble, but Green Man Gaming has it for £35 and the console versions cost just a tenner in most physical stores. So blimey.
5. TEKKEN 7
A new game! I'm already excited this is possible! Of course it's the tenth Tekken game. Which, just as I'm all ready to be a grumpy man about, is actually incredibly restrained! Ten games over 23 years is positively meagre for an arcade fighting franchise. Street Fighter has had over thirty-seven thousand different versions in the same space of time. In fact, it's been eight years since Tekken 6, and indeed it's the first time the series has graced the PC at all. So let this shine as a gleaming diamond of freshness in the market.
Right, we're on a roll. Let's go...
4. Grand Theft Auto V
It's exactly like he said it would be.
GTAV plays an odd role in my life these days. Having a toddler, people warned me that YouTube was going to be a thing. I was like, "No! CBeebies is enough!" CBeebies is not enough. Especially if you would rather throw yourself through an upstairs window rather than watch Everything's Rosie again. Seeing the same episode of Everything's Rosie twice is realising you've entered a special new circle of hell. YouTube offers the most extraordinary collection of #content that toddlers utterly adore, videos so vacuous and terrible that the commissioning editors of children's programming must uncontrollably weep. There they are, putting together carefully balanced and moderated educational and entertaining original broadcasts, while some guy on YouTube films himself pushing toy tractors into a swimming pool and it's immediately my kid's all-time favourite thing.
In the midst of all this weirdness are the thousands and thousands of videos designed to catch toddlers' eyes made in GTAV. Say, Spider-Man and Hulk repeatedly jumping to their deaths (4.3m views). Or Hulk beating the shit out of a terrified screaming Lightning McQueen (328k views). Absolutely NONE of them are in any way something I want my two year old watching, despite I'm quite certain his having a completely different response. Even the sweetest seem to descend into deeply sinister scenes that would be guaranteed to induce nightmares, or at least teach him a new volley of swears.
I mean, I assume it's for making these videos that people keep buying this.
3. Friday The 13th: The Game
A second week in a row at number 3 for this relative newb. It's had some server issues, but things seem to be improving, and resident horror man Adam is a big fan. And it's a tremendous idea - one player is Jason, the other seven are camp counsellors, and everyone has to play their parts of dying or killing or perhaps even surviving. And best of all, it's all about fear - the more scared your character gets, the more likely they are to give themselves away.
2. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Game Of The Year Edition
Looking at the names repeatedly scratched into the walls of Alec's quarters in the Treehouse, scratched by his own fingernails as writing Steam Charts slowly converted him into the deranged lunatic we know and fear, The Witcher 3 doesn't appear. H1Z1, sure! GTA V, deep and true. But CD Projekt's RPG escaped the list. Perhaps it's something to do with its rather erratic appearances, disappearing for weeks at a time before reappearing for some reason or other. Maybe it's Gwent's open beta. Maybe there was a midweek sale I missed. Either way, the goatyee edition did all it could to knock out the most freshly scratched name of all...
1. PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS
I think it's important to acknowledge that the game's name is in all caps, like a mad person shouting about it on Twitter, or an email from your mum. Honestly, I'm too afraid to play. I struggle with multiplayer at the best of times, and when it comes to your Rusts and your DayZs, I much prefer to hide away in my own tiny corner and live a hermit's life, doing all I can to prevent other players from spoiling it for me. BATTLEGROUNDS ("Mum, the Capslock key is right by the A!") poo-poos such cowardly play with its Battle Royale approach, forcing the one hundred or so starting players to confront each other by gradually reducing the safe play areas as numbers thin.
I think my approach, were I forced to play, would be to mimic the genre-inspiring film's most noble characters, the two kids who hold hands and jump off the cliff right at the start.
A thought in no way driven by my first experience of compiling these lovely charts.
[Right - sweepstake on how many weeks before he starts using GIFs? - Ed]