|Genre: Adventure & RPG|
|Min OS X: 10.6|
|Hector: Badge Of Carnage - Episode 2|
September 7, 2011 | Jon Carr
Requirements:Mac OS X: 10.6.3 | CPU: 2.3 Ghz Intel | RAM: 4 GB RAM | Graphics: 512 MB NVidia or ATI graphics card | Not recommended for Mac Minis or early-generation MacBooks
Review:Hector is back in the second episode of the Badge of Carnage series from Straandlooper and Telltale Games, aptly subtitled "Senseless Acts of Justice." Filled with even more outrageous characters, puzzles and jokes this second outing sees Hector performing demolition, arson, robbery and even human organ trafficking all in the name of justice.
Things start directly where the last one left off - with Hector trapped in a small room with an automated sniper rifle and a box of pizza. A brief and rather unnecessary tutorial plays out before you can control Hector as usual. The game mechanics are the same as the first game. You wander about various locations picking up and combining objects and solving puzzles or getting characters to do what you want. There's a short recap of previous events upon starting a new game, but I would suggest playing from the start of the series as you will definitely get more out of it due to the numerous references and characters that pop up from the first game.
After escaping from the sniper rifle debacle, Hector has 3 clues he must follow in pursuit of the terrorist from the previous episode. The story arc and gameplay this time around has a decidedly detective-like feel to it, which is fitting given Hector is, after all, an inspector. The first game didn't suffer for the lack of it, but it works very well here and makes it even more enjoyable. You see a lot more of the town, such as other parts of your police station, a nail salon that also doubles as a gun shop, a disgusting restaurant and a church-themed strip club. These locales are populated with even crazier characters which Hector must deal with. There's a one handed, tap dancing street urchin, oversized prostitutes, midget hackers, a serial killer butcher and more.
Nothing has changed in terms of the art style and audio, with the hand-drawn animation returning and the well done voice work bringing the wacky characters to life. Both are strong and hold up well throughout the 5 or 6 hours you'll spend here solving the case. And the game's crude but hilarious script is sure to leave you laughing and cringing by turns. It takes the edginess from the first game and cranks it up a couple notches but still manages to not go overboard.
My only gripe with the game was one puzzle involving ordering meat which required you to know an absurd amount of beef related dishes among multiple choice answers. One wrong answer started you back to the beginning, and the answers changed each time which took out any benefit of trial and error. Given I had no knowledge of the topic, this puzzle frustrated me to the point of almost giving up until I just googled the names so I could pass the puzzle. The rest of the puzzles in the game are great and quite clever without being too punishing, requiring you to think and adjust to the mad logic of the game world. Should you need help the same layered but insulting hint system returns.
Outside of that the second episode is yet another highly entertaining and satisfying adventure in the insane town of Clapper's Wreake. If you didn't like the first game, the second isn't going to convince you to play the series. But for fans of Hector's first outing, Senseless Acts of Justice is a must play. Now $20 for the whole trilogy its a great value. Episode Three isn't out yet, but will be this Fall. If you haven't played the first episode but are into raunchy adventure games, pick it up - you won't regret it.
Pros:• Another outrageous adventure
• Even better puzzles and locations
• Humorous dialogue
Cons:• One frustrating puzzle
Jon Carr is an IMG writer who also hosts the podcast and enjoys conducting interviews, previews and writing all the features he can think of. When not reviewing games or scheming world domination, he's probably playing a new game in Bootcamp or keeping up on all the latest game and tech news. He builds websites for a living but spends all the time he can furthering the Mac community.