Every once in a while there’s a Humble Bundle that makes us sit back, whistle, and mutter “wow” into our gaming headsets. Today is one of those days. Games publisher 2K just launched a new Humble Bundle and it’s a doozy.
At its lowest level, the Humble 2K Bundle 2 features the superb The Darkness II and Spec Ops: The Line alongside the epically disappointing Duke Nukem Forever for anyone who pays a mere dollar or more. Feel free to pay more if you're feeling generous, though; you pay what you want for Humble Bundles, with a percentage of your payment going to charity.
In fact, you'll unlock more games the more that you spend. If you bump your payment up to exceed the average—which currently sits at $8.38—you get Sid Meier’s Civilization V, NBA 2K16, Mafia II: Digital Deluxe Edition, Battleborn Start Skin Pack and a coupon for 40 percent off the purchase price of XCOM 2, one of the best PC games released this year.
That’s awesome enough, but shelling out $15 or more is when things get really crazy. At that level you get Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and—get this—Battleborn itself, plus an add-on with 230 Platinum currency for Battleborn.
Linux gamers beware; you won’t be able to play several of these offerings including The Darkness II, Duke Nukem Forever, NBA 2K16, Mafia II, and all the various Battleborn offerings. Mac gamers won't be able to play Battleborn, the NBA game, and Mafia II.
The story behind the story: This is a superb Humble bundle all around, but the inclusion of Battleborn is a real eye-opener. The first-person shooter/MOBA mash-up rolled out mere months ago in early May for a price of $60, which was still the game’s price on Steam at this writing—not even counting the optional $20 season pass.
But Battleborn hasn't been well received. We didn’t review the game, but our hands-on from Hayden Dingman was decidedly tepid thanks to the game’s remarkable similarity to the popular Borderlands franchise. (2K publishes both games for Gearbox Software.) The amount of downloadable content available for extra money out of the gate also turned off many gamers, considering Battleborn's full $60 price point.
Battleborn's reception became even more tepid three weeks after the game’s release when Blizzard’s first-person shooter Overwatch rolled out with a similarly cartoony, multi-player appeal that quickly overshadowed Gearbox's game.
Rumor has it the Gearbox game has more or less tanked, and there’s some anecdotal evidence to suggest this is the case.
There were fewer than 100 viewers on Twitch watching Battleborn across 10 live streams at the time of writing. Twitch is not an indication of sales in any way, but it does strongly correlate with gamer interest. More people are currently watching the five-year old Call of Duty: Black Ops than 2K’s newest game, for example. Contrast Battleborn’s numbers to those of Overwatch, which (also at this writing) has nearly 20,000 viewers across 20 streams. And the game's peaked at a mere 1,623 concurrent players over the past 30 days, according to Steam Charts.
So Battleborn's not popular and definitely not original. But if you like Borderlands then for just $15 you can’t go wrong by picking up Battleborn with a ton of other superb games that are well worth your time.
Oh, and Duke Nukem.