Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
FBI's Puzzle Research agent Nelson Tethers is coming back into the spotlight in Puzzle Agent 2 after the extremely popular and well-received original released early last year. His case involving the missing erasers is not over, and he's once again visiting the quiet town of Scoggins, Minnesota, in search for answers to questions that were left in the air at the end of the last game.
Nelson's bosses aren't exactly beaming with excitement for his plans to come back to investigate the case, and are having none of it. So Tethers decides to go rogue (or at least as "rogue" as he can). He heads to Minnesota himself and starts snooping around on his own.
The game's distinct influence by Fargo is even more overt this time around, as the jokes get even drier and the cold... um... colder. I felt like I needed a big glass of water after watching the game's preview—or maybe it was just all the walking I did at E3.
Regardless, Telltale showed off a lot of the game in the 15 or so minutes that they spent showing it in their booth. They claimed that they've been listening to fans of their beloved "pilot program that could" (read: Puzzle Agent) and have taken to heart their complaints when developing Puzzle Agent 2. Puzzles are a little more logical and open-ended this time around, and Telltale was sure to prove it by solving a particularly nasty stealth based sliding-block jigsaw in more than one way.
Puzzle Agent 2 looks pretty much like the first one, which is still pretty cool. I'm really into the scribble line art style; it plays off really well with the rest of the presentation. The dialogue is extremely well written and acted, Nelson being just a little bumbling all the time, which hides his knack for puzzle-solving well.
I was able to catch a little bit more of the story when Telltale showed off some of the dialogue in the game. Not all of Scoggins inhabitants are mistrustful of Tethers, with one growing dangerously attached to the now rogue government agent. Korka is a new character that is being introduced in Puzzle Agent 2 as a femme fatale who is as into puzzles and mysteries as Nelson Tethers himself. Not a whole lot was shared about Korka's role in the game, but from watching the cut-scenes, it's easy to see that Tethers is falling head over heels for her as soon as she opens her door and says "why, hello agent Tethers...".
Telltale knows how well the first game was received last year and they don't want to let the fans down. This sequel was kept under wraps for a reason, to get fans' hopes up ahead of time. But Puzzle Agent 2 is merely weeks away from release and it'll be available on June 30th, exactly one year after the original game.