It’s at times like this when I have to wonder — not for the first time — if I might be something of a sucker. In my last Humble Choice post, which incidentally wasn’t for June, I was close to cancelling. Then, with a growing sense of dissatisfaction, I paused June and had decided that if July was also of little interest — then I’d say ‘Goodbye’ to the service.

Well… Here we are—the moment of truth.

Was… July… Good enough?

Damnit, Humble, yeah- yeah it was. Not necessarily in a blow my socks off kind of way. More of a… “C’s get Degrees” just-barely-good-enough kind of way.

Still, one of the indie titles in this bundle has been on my wishlist for quite some time and makes the entire bundle worth the price of admission almost on its own. So! Here we go. It’s another month of Classic and Premium subscribers getting all titles in the bundle again. So if you’re on those plans and make the call not to pause, there’s no choice necessary. For those on the lower tiers plans, I’ll attempt to rank the games in order of preference, starting with most preferred to and ending with least preferred. Where I own a game already, I will pretend for this list that I don’t.

My Picks for July 2021’s Humble Choice

Deck13 has been giving the Dark Souls formula a shot for a few games now, going back to 2014’s Lords of the Fallen, which received, at best, a luke-warm reception. Going back to the drawing board, they came out with The Surge in 2017, and this one did a lot better. While keeping many of the core concepts — loss of currently collected XP-analogue on death, a rest-point mechanic, interconnected areas with shortcuts, etc — it showed Deck13 moving into expanding out the formula with a new setting and new mechanics layered over the top.

But it had its share of faults too. Enter The Surge 2 — a further refinement of Deck13’s learnings in both the genre at large and the mechanics they wanted to do themselves.

Definitely my top pick out of the options provided this month!

RankGameGenre(s) / Notes
1The Surge 2Souls-like, Action, RPG, Sci-Fi
2ADOM (Ancient Domains of Mystery)Rogue-like, Fantasy
3HammertingColony-Sim, Fantasy
4NimbatusSpace, Design, Action
5Yakuza 3 RemasteredAction, Adventure, RPG
6Deadly DaysRogue-lite, Zombies
7Dirt 5Racing, Arcade
8ElderbornSouls-like reimagined as a ’90s release
9Kill It With FireSpider-genocide Simulator
10Bee SimulatorBee Simulator. It’s there in the name.
11Paradise KillerAdventure, Open-World, Investigation
12S.W.I.N.E. HD RemasterRTS
Bold titles are ones I’m sure I want. Top tier titles. Italic titles, on the other hand, I might not bother to redeem even with the choice to do so.

There’s my ranking for July’s offerings — but I do feel the need to note a few things this time around.

Yakuza 3, I could see potentially being higher, to the point of maybe topping the list even, except for the fact I still haven’t made my way through the preceding games. If you have, though, it’s pretty likely you’ll know where you want to rank this one already!

Dirt 5‘s change in direction away from a Rally game and into… *waves hands* …this… puts it less in the category of other Dirt or rally games. It puts it in a box alongside Forza Horizon, where, in my opinion, it pales in comparison. This is not a box Dirt 5 is going to escape from unscathed.

Paradise Killer was initially much higher up my list. I really enjoy the odd investigative / lawyer style game, which at first glance, Paradise Killer appeared to be a more fantastical take on. However, it turns out that isn’t so much the case. From what I gleaned in reviews (it did review very well, mind you!), it is more of a 3D platformer/collectable-item-hunt game. So, thank you, but no thank you.

On the plus side, nothing here made me roll my eyes so hard I had to italicise it!