The Humble Breakdown: Square Enix Bundle 2
There are eight days left in the second Humble Bundle from Square Enix, and eight days to consider the great selection of (primarily) single player fare available. Let’s get started!
Played it?: Yes. Haven’t beaten it yet, got about 5 or 6 stages in.
The latest entry in the Hitman series is their most accessible by far. Hitman: Absolution offers a story that does take a fair amount of previous knowledge of the Hitman lore to really appreciate the gravity of, but the gameplay is certainly unique. Sneaking games typically send players to remote facilities and quiet yet guarded bunkers, but a lot of Hitman’s sneaking happens in plain sight. Distractions and disguises are everywhere and the game nails the sense of “do it your own way” by encouraging multiple playthroughs with their Contracts mode. A totally loaded game that’s worth the low tier all by itself.
Supreme Commander 2
Played it?: No. Played the original for…seven minutes.
Not much to speculate here. I may update this section in the near future when I have something to comment! -JL
Played it?: No, but I really want to!
Square Enix Montreal’s debut title is an Android OS game that mixes the motivations of Hitman with the patience and strategy of the classic board game Go. From the looks of it, this turn-based puzzle game involves small maps rife with enemies and opportunities to display your skill. It’s always nice when an IP gets taken in a new direction, and instead of attempting a messy port the devs went with a mobile friendly game type that still manages to look like a Hitman game.
Above Average ($7.50 at time of writing)
Played it?: Yes
The Thief series has had ups and downs over its long history, but it has always been held up as a prime example of how to do stealth games right. The reboot packs the graphical updates you’d expect, and manages to keep the charm of the original games fairly well. Stealth and FPS don’t often blend very well but Thief manages to provide a great and atmospheric adventure with a wide variety of difficulties to enjoy.
Murdered: Soul Suspect
Played it?: Yes
Mystery games can be tough to design when the player is limited to using a controller, but there are some games that do a pretty good job of trying. Murdered: Soul Suspect is goes a step further by mixing life and death, setting itself in a blend of modern and historic Salem, Massachusetts populated by ghosts and humans alike. As you possess people, inteview ghosts, dodge demons and find clues the so-so story comes together, but the value in this game is in the setting and pace.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director’s Cut
Played it?: Yes, before and after the Director’s Cut was released
Cyberpunk games don’t get much better than the Deus Ex series, and this game hits all the marks.There’s evil corporations, sneaking, cyberwear, gunfights, a little hacking, and to top it off they’ve overhauled the boss fights for the Director’s Cut. It’s a heady blend of action and stealth set in a highly stylized futuristic city that should not be missed by fans of the genre.
Kane and Lynch Collection
Played it?: Yes, both of them
These guys were supposed to be the next big thing in terms of co-op franchises for Square Enix. The debuted around the time that Gears of War and Army of Two were really making waves, but Kane and Lynch never really caught on in the same way. The same devs who made Hitman went on to make two Kane and Lynch titles, both with co-op campaigns, and both with only mediocre reviews. However, embedded as a two-fer in the bundle both of these games make for fun distractions preferably with a friend along in Co-op.
High Tier ($15)
Tomb Raider (reboot)
Played it?: Yep!
Tomb Raider was approaching the ten games mark when the series decided to drop the numbers, reboot Lara Croft’s look and story, and start again. This Tomb Raider is an open world adventure set on an island near Japan, where Lara must fend off wildlife, cultists and more as she searches for her friends and a way home. You could call this the “Lara Croft Abuse Simulator” for all the horrific death animations peppered in the game’s quick-time events, but the brutality of the world serves to root this otherwise straight forwards action game in a grittiness that appeals. A sequel is already on the way, and although the multiplayer is pretty dead the campaign is marvellously fun.
Played it?: Yes
Another attempt at building a niche in the open-world driving and shooting game market is hard, but Sleeping Dogs gets points for trying. I don’t know why all the main characters speak with American-sounding voices and the “authentic” Hong Kong setting has so much heavily-accented broken English, but aside from the glaring cultural issues the gameplay is solid. Throwing some kung-fu in there with gunplay adds variety, and the look and feel of the world is fresh as well.
Should you get the highest level?
That depends on your love of open world action games. The latest Tomb Raider is easily better than Sleeping Dogs, in terms of pretty much everything, but if you are more focused on gunplay and co-op then you do not need to spend the $15.