Top Ten: Best Games for Steam (Based on their trailers)
It’s been one hell of a month for gaming. GTA V is still the reigning king on every console gamer’s mind, and in the land of handheld Pokemon is causing the disappearance of more children than unmarked, windowless vans. With two major releases hitting so close, your disposable income may be a bit smaller now, especially if you picked up some collector’s gear:
But maybe that’s not you. We can’t all be blessed with deep pockets, a love of crime, and the patience to train a team of cock-fighting cartoon characters. Maybe you worked hard to scrape together the cash for your high-end PC, and dammit you’re going to use that shining monolith of technology even if the games you play cost nothing at all! And if anyone tries to wave their 3DS in your face, you can just show them these brilliant trailers for the games they won’t but totally could be playing.
How is this free to play!? No FTP looks this shiny! And look at all those abilities! And space ninja robots! Space ninja robots, like I said I wanted to be when I grow up!
When Sony asks your small company to develop your new game for the PS4, you say yes, then you admit to sorcery. Even though it’s only in beta and created by some relatively unknown studio, this game is already massive and fairly addictive. The persistent 4-player co-op romps are smooth little excursions of weapons testing and murdering ugly things.
The problem is that this game’s true intentions shine through after a few missions. Warframe might be better named Warfarm, because, like all FTP’s, this game is only as fun as the money you put into it. Small upgrades drop throughout, but the significant upgrades like new weapons take a purposefully elongated process to unlock if you’re not willing to break out Ol’ Cardy the Money Genie. That wouldn’t be so bad if the game made me want that upgraded gear, but the AI is so dumb that eventually I realized I was only ever struggling due to a numbers game. I was never inspired to evolve my character to fight the inept army of ugly C3-PO’s, and the story fell apart after the first boss fight, leaving me without any real enemy at all.
Warframe is ultimately about spending your time and money to make numbers pop out of robots. There are many flashy, cool ways to make numbers pop out of robots, but as soon as you tire of making numbers pop out of robots you’ll put this game down.
Ya know, League of Legends does take a lot of my time but I really like the strategy aspect of it. What’s that, game? You can make the games faster for me?
SA is basically what League of Legends should look like on a smartphone. Incidentally, it’s made by the people who brought you Farmville, so… that adds up, except it’s not on a smartphone. Also, no one has balanced it, ever. Because the matches are about a third of League’s length, snowballing starts immediately and games are decided in the first few minutes, so certain characters are just unstoppable and others are completely useless. That’s a big deal when your rooster is about as long as the first Mortal Kombat’s.
Still, I found myself going back to this one. Removing the farming from a DOTA clone does leave you with team fight after team fight, and abilities are leveled over the long-term so you don’t have to do it in battle. The only down-side to this is the way the long-term upgrades limit each character’s build orders. The cost of speed is depth.
I don’t want a faster League of Legends, I want a slower, more complicated version.
The most fair way to describe Dota 2 is probably “high skill cap.” Between the community and the sheer depth of play styles, Dota 2 can be isolating for the “casuals,” plus its UI and controls are not as streamlined as League.
However, you do start with all champions unlocked, so it’s not trying to absorb your time and money as hard as League. Also, if you play it, people on 4Chan will like you, which is almost a good thing!
Fighting game MMO? This is like Super Smash Brothers or Street fighter with RPG elements! I’m gonna make a team and rule the PVP board!
Except, no, you’re not. Elsword is best summed up as a two-button fighting game, like Divekick, except without charm, humor, or joy. If you thought MMO’s were repetitive, try an MMO where you mash only the best, most efficient button combo. The game tries to add variety by creating branching job classes, but they don’t really affect gameplay, they just dictate which magic clothes a player can wear so that when they hit monsters larger numbers pop out. And good luck figuring out what’s going on behind all of the particle effects.
Ragnarok 2: Legend of the Second
Legend of the second? Is this game named after itself? That’s crazy! Do you see that crazy anime action?
Yeah, none of that’s in the game. Instead, it’s just absolutely basic MMO stuff. There’s about a minute of poorly animated exposition before you’re launched into a world you presumably have to save, but care nothing about.
If you don’t believe me, here’s a video about what this game’s really about. You’ll notice that everything the narrator mentions can be summed up with “this is an MMORGP.”
Basically, this game is just a chat room for tweens with a video game stuck in it.
A flight simulator that’s not for dads?! Why has no one done this before?
Once again, it’s WW 2 all over the place. War Thunder is arguably the greatest effort so far to make airplanes that airplane enthusiasts can shrug at while saying, “yeah, that’s pretty close to actual simulated airplanes.” Dogfighting is nothing new, but the intricacies of each plane make combat in War Thunder complex enough to be involving. Plus, if you get bored, you can play as the Nazis!
Of all the games on this list, this might be the easiest to recommend. The flight physics are well constructed, if that’s something you’re into, but there’s also an arcade mode for the casuals with missions that give all players a fair chance. The PTW crowds still dominate consistently, but their presence isn’t as pronounced as in other FTP’s since the basic planes are not terribly underpowered and there’s a much higher dependence on skill.
What is this? A MOBA with long-term RPG elements? Can I build an army alongside my hero? Do I control a whole town?
I have no idea. After getting through the offline tutorial for Prime World, I discovered that I might be the only person playing it ever. All of the gameplay is online, and all attempts to connect to a game failed miserably. Maybe this game is an inspired, long-term DOTA, but I’ll never know.
Still, it had a pretty good trailer. That counts for something, even if no one’s playing it.
Planetside 2 is what happens when Battlefield meets Tribes and MAG! This game is enormous! There’s literally an entire planet to conquer! Look how pretty that is!
Remember how the best part of Battlefield is that you only level up once every two weeks? P2 lives by its pay-to-win marketing scheme. It’s fun at first, but the progression is slow to the point that the game’s original glory eventually withers. The massive battles hold a lot of appeal, but after a while you start to realize that your efforts and your army’s efforts are kind of pointless. Objectives are lost and gained in a natural ebb and flow until your actions lose meaning. The game actually simulates being lost in a collective, and unless you get really into it, like cult-level into it, you’ll play it until you go to the upgrade screen and realize you have about 1000 more kills to go before you can bump a stat.
That was amazing! Did you see that? It’s like if Brutal Legend got an MMO! It’s like if WOW was hardcore! Raising monsters? HA! This game is all dragons! That’s the best kind of monster! Screw you, Pokemon!
No, Pokemon, I’m sorry. Take me back. Dragon’s Prophet is awful.
It’s nothing like the trailer. In fact, the trailer has nothing to do with it. There’s no humor in this game. There’s no sense of style. They just throw dragons at you then expect you to keep farming things in an endless, meaningless cycle until you’re bored enough to buy things with real money. By things, I mean all things. You need to throw real money at almost everything in this game: dungeons, dragon stable slots, reviving after death! This isn’t a game, it’s a farm for unloved children with access to their parents’ credit cards!
This game is not metal.
Personal Favorite: Haunted Memories Episode 1
I didn’t play this game, but the trailer tells me this is a game about looking at your hands at night with a soundtrack of air raid sirens, then the LSD kicks in. Now that’s a trailer!
Full disclosure, I actually did play this game. It’s a Slenderman game, a lot like the original Slender and its sequel.
The big difference is that Haunted Memories is the most graphically adept version of the Slenderman hide-and-seek-and-pee-a-little horror genre, which is a big deal. Slenderman gets a great visual update, and the new ambiance is nice, plus it occasionally makes you see Slendy in places where he is not. My only gripe is the lack of direction which leaves you wandering around hopelessly, which is thematic but also a dick move.