Hector: Badge of Carnage: Senseless Acts of Justice Review
Hector: Badge of Carnage - Episode 2: Senseless Acts of Justice Box Art
System: PC
Dev: Straandlooper
Pub: Telltale Games
Release: August 25, 2011
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p
Gross-Out Investigations
by Robert VerBruggen

Hector, the crude British detective from developer Straandlooper, has returned to the PC for Episode 2 of his point-and-click adventure. Unfortunately, the episode provides too few humorous moments, features puzzles that are often more frustrating than they are challenging, and drags on a little too long.

Hector: Badge of Carnage - Episode 2: Senseless Acts of Justice Screenshot

This review will include some spoilers for Episode 1, so make sure you play it before you read on—after checking out our Episode 1 review to see if it's worth your money, of course.

When we last left Hector, he was hot on the trail of a terrorist who had holed up in an old building with hostages, picking off police officers with a sniper rifle. The overweight, drunken, profanity-spewing investigator finally managed to get into the same room as the sniper rifle, only to discover that it was being controlled by a computer, not by the terrorist directly.

Hector: Badge of Carnage - Episode 2: Senseless Acts of Justice Screenshot

In Episode 2, "Senseless Acts of Justice," your first project is to escape from the room without being blown to bits by the rifle, after which point you find yourself trapped in the building. Hector has to escape by blowing up a toilet. To get the parts for the bomb, he needs to cooperate with his bumbling sidekick, Lambert, who's outside. From there, you head to the police station to follow up on a few leads.

Naturally, an exploding toilet provides plenty of excuses for, well, toilet humor, but this time around, the jokes just aren't as funny. Episode 1 was a perfect fit for those of us who are old enough to play "mature" titles but are immature enough to enjoy them. As I wrote in my Episode 1 review, "how many games let you try to convince a pornography-obsessed blind man that a dead heroin addict is a blow-up doll?" However, in Episode 2, it seems as if the developers worked off the assumption that anything gross is by definition funny.

Hector: Badge of Carnage - Episode 2: Senseless Acts of Justice Screenshot

Gone are the wit and irreverence that made the first adventure so great as a guilty pleasure. Even when you show up at the town "gentleman's club," the cleverest thing you do is take a picture of a man with a morbidly obese stripper so you can show it to his wife. The fact that there's a morbidly obese stripper in the frame is supposed to prove, in and of itself, how hilarious and offbeat the Hector universe is.

The lack of humor stems, in part, from a lame cast of characters. In the first episode, we met a bunch of Ali G-style British lowlifes, but here all we get are a smattering of town residents who aren't particularly interesting. There is a street urchin with a hook for a hand, as well as a sexually aggressive lady who owns a store that sells both firearms and women's beauty products, but the rest of the cast is quite bland.

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