Hector Episode Two: Senseless Acts Of Justice
Another excellent puzzle adventure from Telltale, complete with dark humor, hilarious characters and wonderful gameplay.
It was almost embarrassing how good the original Hector was. Not for Straandlooper, the Northern Irish animation company that managed to plop its unflinchingly seedy adventure into our ungrateful laps from absolutely nowhere, but for everyone else who had been trying for years to make something worth mentioning in the same breath as the adventure genre's standard-bearers of old.
Rather than get all cantankerous about it, Telltale did the decent thing, took Straandlooper under its wing and made sure the sequel got made. Here it is, and there we are.
In proper episodic style, Senseless Acts Of Justice picks up directly where the previous one left off; you definitely won't want to spoil it for yourself by getting on board midway through the story. If you've any interest in adventures whatsoever and have not picked up the first episode, it's mandatory.
The new episode sticks to the reliable formula: a cast of British society's flotsam provide continual comedy value merely by being themselves, while hapless detective Hector finds himself in all manner of hideous situations, forced to deal with people even more reprehensible than himself. If someone decided to make Life On Mars: The Game, it wouldn't be a million miles from this.
As with all adventures, coming up with a decent array of puzzles can make or break a game, no matter how spiky the dialogue is or how well illustrated it may be. Fortunately, challenging-but-fair lateral-thinking puzzles in the fine tradition pepper the proceedings, and often prove as amusing and satisfying as the rest of the game, just as they ought to be. If you're stuck, a hint system prevents any residual frustration.
Although Hector gets so much right, there are the odd moments when you wish some of the regional accents were a little more credible. Non-natives may never even notice, but some of the (otherwise relentlessly sharp) lines fall flat as a result.
Nit-picking aside, Senseless Acts Of Justice is another harrowingly accurate exploration of the eccentric, perverted, vomiting British psyche. This is less of a game, more of a documentary.
Used under license from Eurogamer.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.2 or later.
Requirements: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 4.2 or later.
What's Hot: Twisted humor, amusing situations, challenging puzzles, slick animation.
What's Not: Some accents need work.