Last summer an indie adventure took the App Store literally by storm. With HECTOR: Badge of Carnage Ep1 (TMA Review) Straandlooper, a British studio previously known only for their animated flicks, snatched a boatload of glowing reviews and even nabbed themselves a lucrative (probably… hopefully…) deal with Telltale, the pioneers of episodic adventure games. The entire adventure community had held its breath for nearly a year in anticipation of the sequel, which was finally released a few weeks ago in HECTOR Ep2 HD – Senseless Acts of Justice.
HECTOR Ep2 HD – Senseless Acts of Justice features the same classic point-and-tap adventure gaming as the original. The story picks off where episode 1 ended, with our brave (and foul-mouthed) Detective Inspector Hector having completed a series of strange and meaningless tasks and enters the building where the terrorist is holding hostages… only to find it completely abandoned, save for a remote-controlled sniper rifle aimed right at his noggin.
In the sequel you’ll find yourself in the familiar shoes of Hector (along with some assistance from Lambert), chasing the clues to uncover the mysterious identity of the terrorist. Exploring the world is available via the same comfortable 3rd person view, with the puzzles focused solely on inventory/environment-based ones, along with a few dialogue gems. The difficulty level is more than reasonable, though I did find myself turning a couple of times to the built-in hints and walkthrough shared by Lambert over a casual chat back at the station.
The developers managed to stick to the rank style that truly made the original stand out in the crowd. The humour, while a bit crude, finally brings the legendary British sense of it closer to the world population. The dialogues reminded me of the classic LucasArts games, with a few being true works of art. And the superb voice-over for all characters goes a long way towards further asserting their in-game personality. Visually Hector 2 is gorgeous and fully 2D – none of that rendering hockey-pockey. The world is colourful and fully in line with the all-but genius style that is Hector Badge of Carnage.
The interface works great with intuitive full-touch controls. The one bit lacking is probably a hotspot highlighting feature; you’ll dutifully leave stains on your beautiful iDevice while dragging your fingers all over the screen to find them. On the other hand, one could argue it being just a part of the game’s atmosphere. The only really frustrating omission is the lack of multitasking support, greeting you with the main menu even after a short jump to say, checking your email or voicemail.
Despite all my worries with the long delay and having been drawn into the partnership with Telltale, Straandlooper have met and even exceeded all my expectations with HECTOR Ep2 HD – Senseless Acts of Justice. Sticking to the trademark Hector style of play, they’ve released a superb adventure game that is one of the gems of the App Store and easily the funniest game I played this year. And despite their claims of it being only “half-as-good” as the original, Hector Ep2 more than measures up to the high bar set by the first episode, providing hours of fun and mind-bending puzzle solving for casual and die-hard fans alike.
With this I declare HECTOR Ep2 HD – Senseless Acts of Justice officially touched!
|Title:||HECTOR Ep2 HD – Senseless Acts of Justice||Developer:||Telltale Inc|
|Reviewed Ver:||1.0||Min OS Req:||4.2|