Reviewed: May 9, 2011
Released: April 27, 2011
Hector: Badge of Carnage is a comedic adventure game. Unlike most adventure game comedy, which, while not necessarily family friendly, are usually whimsical and full of colorful characters, Hector goes for a cynical world full of people so terrible theyíre hilarious. If you like The Office or Archer, youíll know what I mean. The world of Hector is cynical, vulgar, and frequently disgusting, but incredibly satisfying. Donít let anyone play this game unless youíre comfortable with them watching an R-rated movie.|
Hector is a detective inspector for the city of Clappers Wreake, the worst city in all of Great Britain. In the first episode, he was sent to deal with a crazed gunman who was making demands about how to improve the city. Episode two begins where the previous installment concluded, after Hector finally made his way into the sniperís nest, only to end up in a sticky predicament. In this installment, Hector must escape with his life, then hunt down the perpetrator again so justice can be delivered.
Though not as initially rude or shocking as the first episode, as episode two plays out, this is definitely a Hector game. The titular character is as cynical and spiteful as ever, assisted by his upbeat but completely moronic partner. If you donít care for scatological humor, be prepared. This game has loads of it. However, itís all executed very well, instead of relying entirely on shock value to carry a joke. Clappers Wreake comes to life as an urban cesspool with sleaze on every surface, corrupt and beyond salvation to the point of parody.
Graphics-wise, the game is full of standard 2D animation. Donít expect fancy polygons. The sprites arenít, unfortunately, terribly detailed, but they all have a definite style to them that brings them to life. The animations arenít anything to write home about, but they get the job done. Unlike the first episode, it does a better job about hiding any glaring animation flaws. Itís not a pretty game to look at, but itís way above the quality of any typical Flash game you might find.
Sound is also slightly spotty. The actors are good, but thereís a slight scratchiness to the way the voices actually sound, and some characters are recorded at a different quality than others. The characters are also all English, or from around that area, and the accents really stand out. Thereís nothing terribly special about the audio, but itís all generally done well enough.
Still, in spite of those flaws, Hector episode two continues to be an enjoyable experience, and the issues with the animation and sound are ultimately minor considering the gameís budget price and excellent writing. Itís not just more of the same of what episode one offered, either. This is a series that isnít afraid to try new things. Early on, for example, thereís a sequence where you control another character in addition to Hector, swapping between Hector and his partner as you solve a puzzle by figuring out ways to get items to each other. Overall, I strongly recommend Hector: Badge of Carnage to anyone who doesnít mind the comedy, and for those who were on the fence about continuing the series after the first episode, episode two does not disappoint.