Square Enix Humble Bundle Is A Curious Grab Bag

Play this! It is, at the very least, an interesting thing. (I like it!)

The Humble Bundle Square Enix Bundle 2 is not a collection of classics, but it is a cheap way to check out some divisive and unpopular games you might be curious about. Sure, I’ve heard bad things about the new Thief but I would like to see for myself. I’m still not sure what Murdered: Soul Suspect was. And man, Kane & Lynch 2 is a game you should be curious about. It’s an interesting bundle, with a few really solid games too. I’ve got the good’uns already, but will probably pick the pay-what-you-want bundle up for its curios.

It’s the usual Humble Bundle setup: a load of games are split up into packages, the more you pay the more you get, and you can divide the cash between Squeenix, Humble, and a charity. $1 (65p) will get you sneak-o-murder ’em up Hitman: Absolution (which was pretty pants), divisive RTS Supreme Commander 2, and Android-only murder puzzler Hitman GO (I dunno, how is it?).

Beating the average, which is about $8 (£5) as I write this, gets you the second lot too. This includes 451 ’em up Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut, both Kane & Lynch murderman games (K&L 2 is really misunderstood, you guys), puzzle-platformer Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (which has ace co-op), wacky space station management sim Startopia, the not-very-Thief-y new Thief, and the curious Murdered: Soul Suspect.

Then paying at least $15 (£9.50) gets you the new Tomb Raider and Sleeping Dogs too (not the version including Sleeping Dogs’ great gobs of DLC).

So, you see, it’s a mix of decent games and curios that I fancy playing just to see quite what they’re about. They’re mostly only for Windows, but some have Mac versions too. No Linux this time. And Hitman GO is only for Android pocket telephones, tablets, phablets, and so on. You’ve got another five-and-a-bit days to buy this Humble Bundle before it vanishes for ever and ever and ever.

56 Comments

  1. Gwilym says:

    That man looks so happy to see Lynch there. If he’d only reached out to him, everything might’ve turned out okay

  2. Legion23 says:

    The problem with Squeenix Bundles is that I am never sure if I would get the censored versions of games. Pretty sure it would be the case here too considering Sleeping Dogs is region locked.

    • Puddingbrummsel says:

      They are definitely censored. Here’s the real kicker though: If you got a friend to send you the key for an uncut version (tried this with the Kane&Lynch bundle), it won’t activate.
      So, no more Humble Bundles for me if there’s anything that could be censored, because I can get that stuff only via Steam gifts or other shops. Bummer

      • Ross Angus says:

        I’ve not heard of this. Are you saying there’s a version of Kane & Lynch where their bottoms and dongles aren’t pixelated out?

        • Puddingbrummsel says:

          Nah, that’s a stylistic choice – but in Germany and Japan, the Kane & Lynch games are cut beyond that, low violence etc

  3. Marblecake says:

    The new Thief is actually a heck of a lot of fun. Granted, I am an infidel who has never really played the originals (just started a couple of months ago and couldn’t deal with the dated graphics), but I *am* a huge fan of sneaky-stealthy fare, and as such that game most definitely delivers. I love a game where not harming anyone is a goal you can strive towards.

    • haradaya says:

      If it had given me a jump button, I might’ve liked it a lot more. I’ve never felt so constricted by a contextual movement system before.
      It was one of the most immersive FPS experiences in stereoscopic 3D for a spell though.

      • Kempston Wiggler says:

        I felt this playing Dark Souls. “What do you mean I can’t jump???”

        Not sure how much I’d miss it in Thief, though. In the old Thiefs yes I could jump atop a ledge or two but usually I’d do it accidentally when standing on a metal floor and guards about ten feet away from me.

        • Kempston Wiggler says:

          *cue Benny Hill routine”

        • megazver says:

          But you…. can jump in Dark Souls?

          • Kempston Wiggler says:

            Not from a standing start, and not upwards. That’s barely even worth the name “jumping”. It’s more like a momentum bounce.

      • derbefrier says:

        Yeah the no jumping thing bothered me a lot more than it probably should have. It was infuriating to me.

        • Xocrates says:

          It was made worse by the contextual jumping being common, but neither as common or as responsive as you’d expect. Essentially highlighting that a jump button was missing, but that there was no reason for not having one.

    • bill says:

      It’s a shame you couldn’t over the dated graphics, because the gameplay is excellent. (though there a number of other dated bits you’d have to get over too).

      The 2 games aren’t really comparable. Thief the new is CoD. Thief the old is Doom.

      • Marblecake says:

        I did play the first one for a spell and enjoyed it hugely. I played it till that map in the mine or something and then…just lost interest.
        Can’t say that NuThief is really holding my interest either, due to the lackluster story (as mentioned in other comments). However, I find myself coming back to it for a round or two of relaxing sneaking. Still haven’t finished it (barely even started it, I guess), but every time I play it I’m enjoying myself immensely.

        Even without a jump button.

        Actually, I hadn’t noticed you couldn’t jump till you guys pointed it out :D

    • laiwm says:

      It’s definitely fun enough for this price – felt very similar to DXHR in a lot of ways, but more stealth-focussed. It suffers from many of the same problems, particularly the twisty-corridors level design that utterly fails to convey the feeling of a city, but it’s very playable.

      • Kempston Wiggler says:

        I got the bundle mainly for Thief. It won’t be like the originals but I’m curious enough to warrant spending beer money on it.

      • Xocrates says:

        I haven’t finished it, but the impression I got was that Thief was a game that almost worked.

        It’s mechanically solid enough – though not without problems -, but the level design and story utterly failed to grab me.

        • zarnywoop says:

          As a thief fan, I tried to give it a chance, I really did. As a standalone game it was okay, and I did enjoy some parts if it, but yes, the level design was bad. There would always be that one guard that was placed right next to a door, or one facing the door in bright light that never moved, so would totally kill your ghost steath game. There was no alternative but to knockout/kill him.

          I still havent finished it.

        • melnificent says:

          I’m not sure of the PC version (it’s in my backlog), but I’ve seen it on a PS4 and the framerate low enough to induce nausea. Hoping it’s better optimised on PC.

  4. bill says:

    From what I hear, Hitman GO might be the best thing in the bundle.

    Or Guardian of light, but as I understand it you basically need 2 people for that one.

    The rest seem kinda meh.

    • elderman says:

      Hitman GO is why I bought it, for sure. Didn’t raise the average this time, though!

    • Henson says:

      Apparently, it’s been nominated for a bunch of awards, alongside a bunch of indies I’ve never heard of. It’s rather too bad I don’t have a mobile device.

      • Henson says:

        Oh, and also a bunch of BAFTAs, alongside games like Banner Saga and Vanishing of Ethan Carter. Not bad company.

    • Xocrates says:

      Guardian of Light is still really really good in single player.

  5. rabbit says:

    I still can’t get over how fucking diabolical / pathetic / insulting that third act to DX:HR was. Absolutely disgraceful.
    People criticise KOTOR2 and Fallout 3 for that sorta thing and then seem to generally skip past DX:HR.

    Thought it was absolutely terrible and have never even remotely considered revisiting or playing thru any of the DLC or anything since then. Pity too, as I was really enjoying myself for the first 75% of the game.

    Although I did think that I was only about 1/3 , 1/2 way thru the game when I was wrapping up the ending.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      A pity for you, because the missing link DLC mission—included in the DXHR director’s cut in the bundle—was probably the third best mission of the entire game. And it had a climactic final fight which wasn’t a ridiculous boss, but instead actually let you use your skill at the game’s systems to complete it.

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        Thirith says:

        The Missing Link starts off weak IMO, with the tired “The hero loses all his powers” trope. However, especially if integrated in the overall game it ends up pretty good, feeling more like the original Deus Ex than much of the rest, not least because of subtle but neat links to the original. Well worth checking out, especially if it’s been a while since playing DX: HR without the DLC.

        • Booker says:

          Also, the commentaries in the DC are pretty good, if someone is into that kinda thing.

    • WHS says:

      Wait, why? I wasn’t a huge fan DX:HR for various reasons,* but I didn’t feel like there’d been a marked decline in quality at any point.

      *It had a choose-your-own-adventure quality I sort of hated. In the original trying to focus on any particular weapon or technique would eventually land you in a situation where your skills were not appropriate, and you’d have to improvise, which was the joy of it. Human Revolution instead provided three or four pre-fab routes through every situation, all equally easy, and choosing one was just a matter of personal preference. In the first game, I would play nonlethally but keep a fully upgraded assault rifle on me all the time, just in case, and the temptation to use it was occasionally profound when your back was to the wall. Human Revolution seemed to go out of its way to ensure you were never faced with that sort of legitimately difficult decision.

      • baozi says:

        In the original trying to focus on any particular weapon or technique would eventually land you in a situation where your skills were not appropriate, and you’d have to improvise, which was the joy of it.

        +1. This makes Deus Ex much more interesting/enjoyable to me than, say, Dishonored.

  6. Neurotic says:

    Well, I’ve got Startopia – on disc and on Steam – so I’m sorted this time out. :)

  7. Morlock says:

    I recently picked up Hitman: Blood Money and Hitman: Absolution for £3 total. I finished Blood Money and had a mixed experience. The highs were great and reminded me of the freedom of Thief (old) and Deus Ex, though without ever reaching their levels of execution. The game (or I) ran out of steam towards the end. I can see how Absolution would disappoint fans, but for me it’s not a bad way to pass the time.

    The plot in both games is terrible. I don’t care about the fate of any of these characters or their ridiculous organisations. The problem is that the games rarely acknowledge how dumb the plot is.

  8. Thankmar says:

    Startopia is ages old, but is quite nice, as far as I can tell. Started it multiple times, liked the humor, the space station and the aliens, but since I´m not the management type, i quit everytime things start getting a little bit difficult. So I don´t know if its any good for those who like these games.
    The store sales include Anachronox for merely a tip; thats something one should try out of curiosity (as said in an Have you played a while ago).

    • sinister agent says:

      Startopia is terrific, it’s the last of the great 90s-style management games.

    • eljueta says:

      I bought Startopia last weekend! well now I have it from steam and from GoG.com. Plus I bought this for Thief mainly.

  9. tomimt says:

    I ended up liking Thief and Murdered, Thief more than the latter. Murdered has pretty interesting setup, but there comes a point in the game in which it feels like the devs didn’t have an idea they knew how to take home with a bang. Interesting game, none the less.

    As for Thief, I really felt it doesn’t deserve the bad rep it has. It has some bad design choises, like the ropes that can be shot only on specific locations and there’s still some bugs all over the game, like sometime guards get stuck on objects (but that happes in the first Thief as well) and even a room with void inside it. But overall it was an enjoyable game.

    But Kane and Lynch… wow… I played through the jailbreak missions and the training bit and I gotta say, a bland introduction if there ever has been one. Nothing about that one really screamed “play me through”.

    • Deadly Sinner says:

      You’re really not missing much, besides the two missions in Japan. Kane and Lynch 2 is so much better.

  10. Low Life says:

    451 ’em up might just be my favourite genre.

    • Ross Angus says:

      Amen.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      So what is a 451-em up? I tried to look it up but the best I could get was Fahrenheit 451, i.e. the book named after the temperature at which books burn. JC Denton says here, youtube.com/watch?v=BM91ud4W_y4 , that he’s not big into books, but other than that I can’t see a connection between 451 and Deus Ex: HR.

      • Ibed says:

        It’s a code that you have to enter in some of the big immersive sims I think. If it’s the one I think it is, Steve Gaynor talks about it on the Gone Home commentary; he even had a tattoo of it I IIRC.

        (Weirdly, a majority of my comments on RPS might now be about this fact.)

      • WHS says:

        The number just shows up a lot in System Shock, Deus Ex, and that whole genealogy of games (e.g., the first door code in DX is 0451, a fact I will carry with me to the grave). I’m not sure it even “means” anything, other than generally functioning as a mark of quality?

  11. Gothnak says:

    We played both Kane & Lynch games split screen on the Xbox without ever knowing that there was a run button. After ‘only just’ failing the very last mission around 20-30 times, we looked it up on youtube and the video says ‘Make sure you run this bit’ as otherwise it is impossible’… Biggest forehead slapping moment of my gaming life…

  12. derbefrier says:

    2 pretty good bundles in a row. I picked up the star wars bundle form a week or so ago and now I am tempted to get this.

  13. ArtyFishal says:

    Kane and Lynch! Just wanted to voice my support of the characters and their games, especially the second one. They are very interesting characters in an industry that seems petrified of having characters that are not bland, focused-group, middle America, family values cyphers. Kane and Lynch seem like actual criminals to me, full of all the character flaws that would predilect people to criminality , and not bland thieves with hearts of gold like Nathan Drake, whose sociopathy is never addressed despite his acumen for mass murder- a writing sin that ruined the Uncharted games for me, a major problem in game writing as a whole. Shanghai is also well, if not flatteringly, depicted with a fantastic sense of detail that reminded me of the cultural idiosyncrasies I noticed while I was there.

    • Premium User Badge

      Thirith says:

      While I see the issue that player characters like Nathan Drake kill hundreds, it never felt all that much more psychotic than an Indiana Jones killing dozens of Nazi mooks.

      • ArtyFishal says:

        Indiana Jones gets to play the nazi card and the supervillain card. Not only are nazis as a type unambiguously evil, but in the Jones universe,they are after supernatural items with the express intent of doing unambiguously evil things with them. I could find no real difference between Drakes actions and those of the hapless mercenaries he slaughtered, and I found it repugnant that he could kill scores of them and then mug his way through the next cutscene without any irony or attempt to address his violence. I think this is a problem with the writing in many games and it significantly detracts from my enjoyment. To me, it’s the behavioral equivalent of the uncanny valley. I appreciated Far Cry 3 for having your peers at least show some discomfort and concern for your behavior in that game.

        • Premium User Badge

          Thirith says:

          See, that’s it: I didn’t see the bad guys in the Uncharted games as functionally different from Indy’s Nazis. I remember feeling bad about killing henchmen in the NOLF games, because those were given personality through their idle chatter, but in Uncharted I never got to see the henchmen as anything other than bad guys. And I usually feel bad about what I do in games at the drop of a hat.

    • Jakkar says:

      Truly pleased to find someone else who was left bemused by Uncharted.

      I couldn’t play it. The ‘cheeky Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly’ attitude combined with the casual slaughter of hundreds of other humans in a contemporary quasi-realistic setting left me really quite disturbed, and I said this speaking as someone who has an honest love for violence in videogames and seriously grim themes.

      It’s the unacknowledged dissonance between attitude and actual behaviour that makes me sit unimmersed, distracted, wondering whether the writers and designers responsible were all actually psychopaths. I don’t mind mass-murder, but you have to at least acknowledge you’re doing it. A simple expression of regret, disgust, horror, or even *enjoyment* would have resolved this glaring issue for me – if he only acknowledged that he had just killed 30 people between his glib flirtations with a female character, for example.

      It works for Bond because Bond is a cold-hearted cunt. You can’t depict someone as a cuddly nice-guy without a wicked bone in his body and combine that with mass-murder without acknowledging that something is *off*…

  14. Peptidix says:

    The current (e)book Humble bundle, which consists of Subterranean Press titles, is actually great.

    • April March says:

      I started reading The Ape’s Wife and Other Stories today and can attest to the first two stories on the book, at least, being great.

  15. one2fwee says:

    I’ve heard people say the director’s cut version of human revolution is really buggy and broken in comparison to the normal version of the game. Apparently this is due to it not being based on the latest patch or something.

    Is this correct?

    I do need to try the game some day, i was just put off by the main character’s annoying “i never asked for this”, irritating voice acting of Adam Jensen, complete lack of taste or subtlety (arm blades, punching through walls, canned “non-lethal animations that are almost as brutal as the death ones). Everything just looks really over the top and designed to look “awesome” and the whole thing seems to reek of pretentiousness and faux-depth. Something you could immediately tell from the trailers and interviews in the build up to release…

    Also the dumbing down of the stealth (an element that the second game actually does well, much as people would have you believe otherwise – it’s basically like thief).

    It’s a shame that most of the other games don’t have their dlc – hitman, thief 4, tomb raider reboot, sleeping dogs etc. That kind of puts me off from purchasing to be honest. Or is none of the dlc very good anyway?

    In fact, all this fragmented approach to dlc puts me off of gaming in general. Especially when there is no complete version sold. But even with the silly weapon enhancement type dlc – that surely has a detriment to the game as you never know if the game was actually balanced for those weapons or not.
    The only kind of dlc i can agree with are ones that are basically akin to expansion packs of yesteryear. Anything else does more harm than good.

    • Morlock says:

      The new Deus Ex indeed lacks some of the sincerity (for lack of a better word) of the older titles. It is obvious that some people in the development team did their research, but much of it is dumped into in game literature. At its surface, Human Evolution is a cool Hollywood flick about a cyberdude dismantling a system that may ruin the world. It’s fine once you accept this, but don’t expect the intriguing awkwardness of the original trying to shove all its ideas into the main plot.

      The only DLC I care about is for Crusader Kings II.