The latest offering from Humble Bundle is a stack of 2K games, including third-person horrors-of-war shooter, Spec Ops: The Line [official site] in the lowest tier. That’s yours for a dollar or more but (the horror, the HORROR) you’ll have to take a copy of Duke Nukem Forever as well. The Darkness 2 is the much more palatable final third of that one dollar selection. Jumping to the next tier, with a minimum buy-in of $8.37, gets you a copy of Civ V, NBA 2K16, Mafia II and…a Battleborn skin pack. Civ V is decent, even without the expansions, but I’d be tempted to wait until October for the sequel.
Spec Ops is the star here. At that price, it’s close to unmissable.
Almost everyone seems to have an opinion about The Line and for one dollar you can back up your opinions with knowledge of the actual game. No longer will you have to rely on an op-ed about how effectively the anti-war message was communicated, or the hypocrisy of making a satisfying shoot ’em up and then wagging a finger at the audience like Michael Haneke playing one of his funny little games. Now, if you haven’t already done so, you can actually play the game and see if it works for you.
I like it more for the setting than anything else. It calls back to Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now but those dripping hot trips down the Mekong and Congo rivers toward the Heart of Darkness are transposed onto stinging sandstorms and the shimmering glass of disintegrating high-rise hotels. It captures the horror of violence but it also does a very good job of showing how temporary mighty works can be. Ozymandias lurks in the wings.