Welcome back to Clappers Wreake, home to all sorts of foul-mouthed, overweight, slovenly, insane, stupid and amusing folk. Our story picks up immediately where Episode 1’s cliffhanger left us months ago when that episode first released. Thankfully, there is a recap at the start of this outing, which helps ease players back into the game after such a long delay.
It’s important to note that Straandlooper and Telltale Games’ Hector adventures are extremely educational. I learned about the horrors of children playing with discarded appliances, the tragedy that ensues when mixing alcohol and drugs and why poop jokes just never get old. All of that is to say that Senseless Acts of Justice is, for the most part, quite humorous.
The game generously includes pop culture references, some of which are quite hilarious, while others feel a bit forced. The more subtle jokes and, especially, the ones that point out differences between British and American language were spot-on. There is another Doctor Who reference in Episode 2, but this one will require a keen eye. My favorite new character was the snarky computer tech, Solid Bass. His dialogue is some of the best in the game.
Early on, you’ll have the opportunity to play as Hector and Lambert (something new for Episode 2), switching back and forth between them to solve the first major puzzle. From there, you’ll visit new locales across Clappers Wreake, meet plenty of new characters (and a few that make a comeback), and ruin more than a couple of lives. Unfortunately, though, this episode suffers from some pacing issues and goes on a little too long.
One puzzle, in particular, involves a character that moves around with no indication that you can interact with him. The focus isn’t on the individual and the game doesn’t do anything to suggest that he is relevant. There is also a lot of backtracking in the game. I lucked into grabbing an easily missable item that, had I not acquired, would have caused serious confounding later on.
It also bears mentioning that I ran into a graphical glitch in which a character was replaced by a large black block. It didn’t impede my progress, but it also shouldn’t have happened. Following that, the game crashed to the desktop. Thanks to the impeccable autosave system, though, I was able to pick right back up without losing any progress. With the exception of those problems, the game looks and sounds exactly like the first episode (read our review here), which is a good thing.
While Hector: Badge of Carnage – Episode 2 was quite enjoyable, the pacing issues and occasional convoluted puzzle, prevent it from measuring up to the first episode. It is absolutely worth playing if you enjoyed the first entry in the series and my hope is that the conclusion, when it arrives this fall, will correct these minor issues.
Review copy provided by publisher.