by William Thompson
reviewed on PC
Not that you’d be wandering around too much anyway, as there are only a handful of locations to visit in Clapper’s Wreake. The locations are quite varied though, and each scene has its own set of memorable characters. There is the Ali G sounding hoodlum in the park, an overweight (think Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons, but heavier) porn shop owner, a grumpy Scottish war veteran in a wheelchair and an incomprehensible drunk.
Actually, if you’re not from the UK, you may find much of what is said incomprehensible. Personally I had no issue with the superb voice acting, but be prepared for some strong British accents, and some purely local lingo. Even some of the pop-culture references may go over some people’s heads as they relate to British television and idioms. But that aside, the audio does a decent job. The voice acting is superb, with each character having their own unique style. I did find that in a number of occasions though, that Hector was speaking but there was no audio. His lips were moving and there was written dialogue, but for those moments Hector had decided to turn mute. A little disappointing, I must say. Other sound effects were pretty much standard fare.
From a visual standpoint, Hector: Badge of Carnage follows on the cartoonish style set by other Telltale games. The characters are well animated, whilst the backgrounds are vibrant and cheerful. And although the movement animations are quite fluid for the most part, there were times when they seemed like they could have come straight out of an online flash game.
Should I chuckle or cringe?
The story flows nicely though, with Hector needing to complete the three demands of the terrorist. These can be completed in any order and as the game goes on, we learn more about Hector’s personality. The humour used in the game helps to keep the feel of the game light-hearted. The jokes have more of an adult nature than in other Telltale titles, but at the same time are more childish. You’ll either be chuckling along with Hector’s antics and language, or cringing at his political incorrectness. At one early stage Hector uses a condom tied to a piece of string to fish an item out of a toilet bowl that he doesn’t want to stick his hand into. Another scene has Hector helping a prostitute get some work. So you can get an idea about the style of writing.
Next episode, please
Much of your feeling towards the game will depend on your feeling towards that style of humour, and how you take Hector’s antics. Personally, I enjoyed the change in style. The writing and dialogue is witty, the voice acting is great and the visuals are adequate. The puzzles are clever without being over the top in difficulty. But as is the case with these episodic releases, the game only comes to a partial close and you’ve only done half the job. Indeed, at the end of the game I was left pondering what would happen next and who the terrorist could be. For what it’s worth, I have a suspicion that the terrorist may have been the recipient of 25 thousand dollars. But that remains to be seen. No doubt all will be revealed in the remaining episodes.
Puzzles are challenging but not head-scratching annoying
Occasional audio bugs