The Humble Paradox Bundle will net you Stellaris, Crusader Kings 2, Pillars of Eternity and more

stellarisapocalypse

What’s your favourite paradox? My current one is ‘how can the many awesome games in The Humble Paradox Bundle 2018 cost so little money?’. Wait, that’s not a paradox – it’s just a really good deal. Looks like I need to finish this news post then head back to paradox school.

Fortunately I won’t need to enrol to enjoy the games on offer here. This bundle has 8 in total, with highlights including Obsidian’s RPG Pillars of Eternity and the surprisingly funny wizard brawler Magicka 2. This is Paradox though, so best of all is the selection of sprawling strategy games. Let’s dive in!

As is the Humble way, the more you spend the more games you’ll pick up. At the first tier, $1 (about £0.73) will net you Cities in Motion 2, Magicka 2 and Majesty 2. I haven’t touched the others, but I’m currently playing through Magicka 2 for the first time with a friend and we’re having a blast. The chaotic spell casting is great of course, but I’d forgotten just how funny Magicka can be – we met David Antenborough in our last session, who got a chuckle from us with almost every line.

Also, that’s a lot of ‘M2’s, which makes me think I’ve discovered some kind of secret code that’ll unlock more games if I hammer my right mouse button. No luck yet.

If you beat the average, which is $7.23 (about £5.18) as I write this, you’ll get Crusader Kings 2 and its The Old Gods DLC, Pillars of Eternity, Hearts of Iron III Collection and Europa Universalis III Complete. With the possible exception of Pillars of Eternity you could sink hundreds of hours into any one of those games, and Pillars is a damn hefty RPG. I stopped before too long because the combat didn’t quite click with me, though I loved the ‘choose your own adventure’ style decision making. It reminded me a little of The Banner Saga in its ruthlessness, with one early choice I made to let a climber fall to his death rather than risk helping him. Here’s John’s review.

Last but not least, pay $12 (about £8.60) and you’ll unlock sci-fi 4X game Stellaris. Rich McCormick recently took a look at how Stellaris is faring after 8 major updates. While he still found the late-game petered out even with the “essential” Utopia DLC, the mid-game has been livened thanks to a more in-depth politics system. I’m tempted to dip back in now, but I reckon I’ll hold off until the Apocalypse expansion and next update arrive soon. Adding doomsday weapons that can blow up planets should let me revel in playing as a properly evil empire, and the FTL changes sound like they’ll make warfare a bit more interesting.

As usual, if you do pick up the bundle then you can choose how much of your money goes to Humble, Paradox and charity. They’ve highlighted Charity: Water as the default charitable organisation, but you can pick whichever you like from Humble’s database of thousands.

The Humble Paradox Bundle 2018 will run until February 6th, and you can grab it here.

16 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    The problem is that the best bundles, like this one, are full of games that I already own.

    Because they’re good games, and that’s what makes this a good bundle.

    I would gladly recommend this to anyone who likes grand strategy or even fairly-large strategy like Stellaris.

    • Someoldguy says:

      Absolutely. If you’ve never tried a Paradox grand strategy title, this is a great way to check them out.

      Like you, they’re all in my collection already.

    • Vandelay says:

      I must admit I did scoff at this bundle when I first saw it. No Cities: Skyline, only one of the hundreds of Crusader Kings 2 DLCs, Europa Universalis 3 instead of 4, etc. On a second look though, that is probably just because I already own most of the bundle and not the things it is missing.

      If you want 2 or 3 of the games here, it really is worth the price.

  2. darthfergie says:

    Sadly, some of the games have trouble running still. I got hearts of iron 3 in another bundle and tried to fire it up to tons of crashes. Researched it and found out there were a bunch of hoops and iffy tweaks I had to do to get it to actually run.

    Bundles like this are a crapshoot. Some games like HoI3 are in these bundles just to fluff up the number. Meanwhile you’ll get tremendous value out of Crusader Kings 2 which is probably worth the price of admission all by itself.

  3. napoleonic says:

    The $1 tier would get me the exact same number of new games (two) as the $12 tier – and I don’t have those two games because I don’t want them!

  4. mitrovarr says:

    Fair warning – if you get into Stellaris there are at least one, maybe two pieces of DLC you will really want. You absolutely, positively want Utopia. Leviathans is pretty good too.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Right, those two DLC are fairly essential, the others are cosmetic. And we’re getting close to what looks like a major new DLC that will fundamentally change the game’s travel mode and combat/warfare. So that’s one more DLC to buy.

      This is a good price for newcomers to check out the base game. Just realize that you’re not looking at the final cost if the game grabs you.

  5. spamminster says:

    Be prepared to fork over ~ 200-200 EUR for CK2 and Stellaris in the near future, also 30 EUR for POE, for the full experience.

    If you are the slightest bit OCD, you will be bled dry.
    I don’t quite remember when was the last time i felt excitement because of a sale, in this increasingly distasteful hobby of ours.

    • Aetylus says:

      Though for those who are not familiar with the paradox model, that price for CK2 is if you feel the need to obsessively buy all DLC, including the many cosmetic ones, music packs, ebooks etc at full price.

      There are perhaps half a dozen gameplay DLC that most people consider core. You get about 60% of the DLC content as part of free patches anyway. If you want the rest, you buy them on one of the many heavily discounted sales for about 30 euro for the lot.

      But yes. If you want to buy all the cosmetic DLC at full price it will cost you.

      • teije says:

        Absolutely true. I’ve played hundreds of hours of each of the 4 major Paradox titles, without the cosmetic/music DLCs, and buying most gameplay DLCs on the inevitable sales. Based on the longevity of these games, works out pretty reasonable cost IMO.

      • Mezelf says:

        What’s “essential” anyway? I’m not the only one that played a shit ton of CK2 when it first released. Without patches, without expansions or DLC, and I remember having a blast. I was already a fan since CK1, yet CK2 still blew me away at launch.

        Unless they’ve actively taken out features since launch to put it in DLC, or they’ve patched it in such a way that playing the base game is unenjoyable (that’s what “essential” means, I guess?), I don’t see this whole “oh you have to spend hundreds of euros on this game to have fun” criticism as valid.

        If you absolutely HAVE to have every single DLC, well… That’s more your own failing than anything else.

    • Megatron says:

      Think of the base game as the freebase, hooking you into a steady stream of purchases, and you won’t be far off the mark. I resisted Crusader Kings and am holding out against Cities: Skylines (which invariably seems to find itself at the pocket-money, impulse price of £5 in sales…#ISeeWhatYoureUpTo) but Stellaris seems to have me completely at its mercy. I don’t even know when I’d ever USE a Plantoid but I bought the damned art pack!

      Games as a service? Paradox’ business model sells games as an addiction!

    • SaintAn says:

      The smart thing to do it just pirate the games you’re way behind on and try to stay up to date with the newer games like Stellaris in return.

      It’s really a shame they lock mechanics and so much more behind a paywall. They should do DLC like Creative Assembly does it, by adding it all in the game to play against for free, improving the game for everyone.

      • Khab says:

        They… kind of do, though. You’ll still fight Islamic nations in CK2 without the Sword of Islam DLC. You can be invaded by the mongol horde without their appropriate cosmetic DLC, and so on. The only one that doesn’t do this is Stellaris, which makes kind of sense, since it’s a 4X/Grand Strat hybrid game with no historical base to draw from.

    • April March says:

      I’d be more inclined to buy a bundle of a single game (like, say, CK and its many expansions at different tiers) than to just buy a regular game and a few expansions.

      Though even then I’d be sure that the best, must-have expansions would be behind the $12 tier anyway.

  6. Abacus says:

    It would be a disservice to play PoE without the fantastic White March expansion.