It’s no secret that Telltale Games has set a new standard for the adventure game genre. They have the licensing to everything from Monkey Island to Back to the Future. Last year saw the launch of the Telltale Pilot Program; a program designed to allow relatively unknown developers the chance to be published by Telltale Games. So earlier this year, developer Straandlooper was able to use this program to their advantage, allowing for a PC release of Hector, a classic game that ticks many boxes, more than I have been able to tick in quite a while, which is very refreshing.
So where do I start, the basic plot carries on from the first installment, one which I never got to play, but I managed to gather the gist of things after a few minutes. You start off with a sniper rifle pointed at your ugly mug and a laptop that is speaking to you. Well not quite, what I should have said was ‘a laptop on which someone is talking to you’. You are faced with the very overweight and filthy minded detective Hector who is trying to find and capture a terrorist that is on the loose. From here on in, he has some very humorous and foul chat, and plenty of ideas up his sleeve to capture this cheeky terrorist.
The very first thing you notice after the initial cut scene is some beautifully drawn cartoony graphics. They are all 2D, but that doesn’t matter as this game draws on that old fashioned arty look, one that I personally like, and one that many of Telltale’s games have. You are faced with finely detailed scenes that you move around in. These scenes are broken up into rooms, really. Within each room you use the oldie point-n-click style to select objects, combine them etc, all the usual stuff you can expect from an adventure game. The graphics are all animated and they are very funny at times; they certainly made me chuckle to myself a few times.
The sound in the game mostly comprises of the various characters’ narratives, all very humor-based with some slapstick-style comedy thrown in for laughs. There are a number of British-based jokes, and quiet a few things spoken about that I think we can all relate to. Things like Facebook, Jeremy Kyle and even the Facebook game FarmVille. This does remind you it’s a game designed by British developers. I quite enjoyed these small referrals; I think that if you play a game and it refers to real life things you can relate too it’s a nice touch. The only prominent downside about the voices that I noticed, was the fact that they obviously only used a few voice actors for the different characters. Many of them pretty much sounded the same. I do feel they could maybe have employed a few more people here. However, this is a minor issue and doesn’t really spoil the enjoyment.
The control system solely uses your mouse, including its left mouse button. This one button system works remarkably well. It really makes the game easy to control and very enjoyable. You investigate things using one click of the left mouse button, and interact with things using two clicks. Your inventory is along the bottom of the screen, and again, it’s a left click here and a left click there to combine items. I really liked this touch as it really does make the game suited for a relaxing time; plus I need my other hand for my tea and biscuits.
I for one loved this game, it was such a nice change from many adventure games that I have played that almost always require you to combine objects or use them in a way no one would actually ever do realistically. Every object you use in this game would actually be pretty much how you would think about using it in the real word. This is very refreshing and certainly adds some brownie points . I have played far too many adventure games that have required you to use objects in a way no one would ever realistically think about. I will mention though, that I would not necessary call Hector: Episode 2 the hardest nut to crack. Despite this, there is a hint system throughout that can be accessed at any time, and if you wish you can just follow it to completion. However, I would advise against this as it would completely spoil the game. I admit I used it a few times, usually followed by calling myself a idiot after reading the solution, something you will find out the hint system likes to remind you of itself. Trust me and try it, and you will see what I mean. I would rather have played the first chapter in the trilogy first, however there is the third one to be released at the end of this month. I for one can’t wait for this chapter to conclude this funny series. I do hope they make more series of Hector, as the main characters are great, the gameplay is logical and, above all, the humour is genuinely funny.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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