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Hector Badge of Carnage - Episode 1: We Negotiate With Terrorists Review

Eduardo_Reboucas By:
GENRE Adventure 
PUBLISHER Telltale Games 
DEVELOPER Telltale Games 

Taking the 'Great' out of Britain... literally.

Clappers Wreake is absolutely the worst place to live in. Crime is at an all-time high and its streets are filled with filthy people who care nothing for the common policeman. Hector is one of those coppers, and today, he's going to save the day. After getting up from a night out on town. Pantless.

click to enlargeBadge of Carnage Episode 1 begins with a hostage situation and cops dying left and right. Contrary to what this might sound like, this game doesn't take itself too seriously. The police are busier with doughnuts and ice cream than anything else. Regardless, they need a person with people skills to take care of the situation and this is where our pal Hector comes in.

Waking up in a cell, Hector - a detective inspector for the local precinct - doesn't know what happened and how he got there. As soon as you help him find a way out and a new pair of trousers, he meets the terrorist who's taking hostages and demands certain tasks to be performed before he'll release any of his victims.

These demands are pretty much what you need to fulfill in this first episode. Gameplay is absurdly traditional in the adventure game sense. You point and click, pick up items, and sometimes combine them in order to complete puzzles. Some of these are straight-forward and easy, and even if you get stuck, there's a hilarious and sarcastic, comprehensive hint system built in-game.

click to enlargeThe presentation for this series takes a huge cue from old LucasArts adventure titles from the early 1990s, with a touch of well-done animations. The voice acting is spotty, but Hector thankfully has some of the best deliveries in the game. The writing is humorous too, with some of the most disgusting humor in an adventure game since the original Leisure Suit Larry games. Some of the jokes are visual too, proving that this new series is not for little kids.

Based on an original concept by Straandlooper, a Northern Irish animation studio turned game developers, Hector: Badge of Carnage shoots off in an entertaining start. It basically showed up out of nowhere, completely off my radar, and to my surprise, it's one of the better, more traditional adventure games in a while. Here's hoping Telltale and Straandlooper can manage to keep the quality this high until episode three.
B+ Revolution report card
  • An absurd traditional adventure game in 2011!
  • Disgusting and incredibly funny writing
  • Comprehensive and sarcastic hint system
  • +/- Some so-so puzzles
  • Spotty voice acting

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