The Hidden Surprises of Game Bundles

square enix christmas surpriseI bought the Square Enix Christmas Surprise a couple of days ago, the first ‘surprise bundle’ I’ve ever tried, which required you to pay £4.99 for six steam keys and three special offers usable in their store.

The catch was that as it was a surprise, those six steam keys could be for any Square Enix game. This meant there was plenty of speculation prior to the reveal and it was all quite exciting on the day of the announcement – at least for me!

Thankfully I don’t own many Square Enix games already or this may have been an issue for people who did since there was a significant chance of receiving the same game. I was just hoping to avoid Just Cause 2, Sleeping Dogs and Tomb Raider which were all luckily not included.

Those which were included were: Deus Ex: The Fall, Lara Croft and the Guardian of the Light, Murdered: Soul Suspect, Nosworth – Warlord Pack, The Last Remnant and Thief: Master Thief Edition.

Now from those, bearing in mind the bundle cost £4.99, I was delighted to see Thief. This was a game, despite some negativity from those familiar with the franchise, that I was hoping to play at some point anyway. I wasn’t too impressed with the rest however on first glance.

After doing a bit of research on The Last Remnant, it was a relief when it looked at least like a nice RPG I’d probably find and pick up some point anyway. I can safely say I have no interest in Nosworth, and the Lara Croft game has good reviews but it’s a coop game that I’ll need to wait for my friends to purchase too.

Seeing as Deus Ex: The Fall and Murdered: Soul Suspect had Steam Trading Cards, I downloaded them both the same day. I wasn’t expecting much from The Fall with a great deal of criticism towards the game (I have played Human Revolution) and sure enough, I reached the 100 minute mark and uninstalled it as it was very much the downgrade I was led to expect.

Murdered: Soul Suspect was a big surprise however. I do enjoy detective games (still need to play L.A. Noire at some point!) but as soon as I saw that it had this supernatural side to it, I was a bit put off. I’m not a big fan of horror games. Meaning to just get those Steam Cards then uninstall, I left it on the menu screen. I finally decided to give it a go seeing as it was there, with a cushion nearby to hide behind if required.

It was actually really enjoyable! Honestly I had no idea I’d enjoy it as much as I did. The story was gripping and really engaging, the open worldish feel was nice (although I wish there was a map!) and there were plenty of collectibles to find throughout which I always enjoy doing. I spent around 10 hours over two days completing the main story and almost unlocking all the achievements. As expected I really disliked the demons who you had to avoid and exorcise by running up to them from behind and hitting a key combo, but I can forgive that as that was the only combat the game offers.

Would I have purchased it previously without the bundle? Nope. Would I recommend it now? Absolutely!

Of course, naturally there is the great savings side of bundles. Providing you do actually want at least one of the offered games, then they provide you a chance to discover new games, those genres you perhaps wouldn’t have previously been desired to try out.

All in all, unless you have a seriously negative opinion of a game or it purely has awful reviews, then I suggest you don’t just let those games gather dust in your library, try them out, and you may find yourself as pleasantly surprised as I was.

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