Cornered the market
Telltale Games have definitely filled a niche in PC gaming. The once dying genre of point-and-click adventure games has been rejuvenated by the company that has now become synonymous with the genre. The episodic format used by the company seems to work extremely well with point-and-click style of game, often leaving the gamer wanting more as each episode concludes. The latest game in the Telltale stable, Hector: Badge of Carnage, follows in a similar vein despite being developed in association with Straandlooper.
The game’s protagonist Hector, is a hard-nosed and soft-bellied Detective Inspector with the Clapper's Wreake Police Service. He has a similar body shape to Chief Wiggum from The Simpsons with a demeanour more like that of The Family Guy’s Peter Griffin. He seems as though he would rather be hanging out in the local pub or porn shop than doing what he’s paid to do. But he seems to get things done despite his political incorrectness. In Episode 1 he is brought in to negotiate a hostage situation in his own unique way. After talking with the terrorist, we discover that there are three tasks that the terrorist wants Hector to complete before he will free any hostages. It is then over to the gamer to solve the puzzles in typical point-and-click style.
The controls work really well in Hector: Badge of Carnage. A simple single click on an item will result in Hector examining the item and coming up with some sort of humorous quip. A double click of an item will enable Hector to pick up the item and add it to his inventory. Combining items is easy too. A simple click of the item followed by clicking on the second item will combine them. This all works in a slightly different fashion to previous Telltale games, but is very intuitive. At all times, Hector’s inventory is displayed at the bottom of the screen, meaning you can always keep track of what you have without moving away from the main screen.
I found the objects that needed to be combined were rather obvious too, which is always a good thing in my book. There is nothing worse than roaming around an adventure game not knowing what to do next because you have not combined two strange objects together before you can progress. In fact puzzles on the whole are fairly straightforward in the game. They are certainly a challenge, but none of them really left me wondering what I had to do next. All the objects and locations have hotspots, so there is no need for pixel hunting. Indeed, you’re not left scratching you head while Hector wanders around aimlessly searching for minor clues.
Puzzles are challenging but not head-scratching annoying
Occasional audio bugs