I’m not normally one to get carried away by adventure games. I never played the classics of the genre like Escape from Monkey Island or Grim Fandango, but I will say, hand on heart, that Hector: Episode 2 is a very good game. It is also a very British game.
The cast is a perfect mix of accents from all corners of the country and suit the characters perfectly. Hector, the lead character is done especially well. You are given a sense that the voice actors have really involved themselves in the game and trying to decipher just who their character really is beneath the surface.
It is not just the voice work which delivers, the art is exquisite. For each location, be it a church cum strip club or shop selling makeup and guns you get a great feel for the area you are in. The choice of colours in each scene is a joy to behold, not only are they used to enhance the scene, they are expertly used to guide you to where you need to send Hector to pick up a vital item to help solve the case.
The case follows right on from the end of Episode 1, now while you can’t buy the episodes independently of each other (you can only buy a season pass for Episdoes 1-3) there is a nice touch when you start to play Senseless Acts of Justice, a quick review of the highlights of Episode 1 which leads you to starting Acts of Justice with Hector trapped in a room with an automated sniper rifle targeting his head and a pizza box.
The fact that TellTale went and included a recap of the first episode shows that they care about the ludicrous story, and when you consider the first episode was released back in April, the recap is a nice way to bring people back into the crazy world of Hector and Clappers Wreake.
Clappers Wreake really isn’t an ordinary British village, if you hadn’t figured that out when I mentioned the church cum strip club then you will probably find youself retreating to the hints at an early stage. The puzzles aren’t particularly taxing, but they are inventive and the comments from the characters, be they side characters or Hector himself, are bound to leave you laughing out loud.
It is a very British sort of humour though, a lot of jokes probably won’t have such an impact on our American friends which is perhaps the only complaint I can throw at the game. Even if you don’t get the decidedly British references to Big Brother or Tony Blair you are sure to enjoy the escalating story and path of destruction left in Hector’s wake. Failing that, take a look at the hints to receive some wonderfully imaginative abuse for falling so low as to need help.
While some of TellTale’s recent offerings have been a bit hit and miss, I’m looking at you Back to the Future, this episode of Hector: Badge of Carnage delivers in every way possible. The sooner Episode 3 comes along the better.
MLG Rating: 9/10
Platform: PC/ Mac Release Date: 24/08/2011
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a digital copy of Hector: Episode 2 for review purposes by the promoter. The title was reviewed over the course of one week on a PC. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.