Along the lines of Monkey Island and Puzzle Agent, Hector: Badge of Carnage continues Telltale Games’ output of mystery and humor. Unlike Puzzle Agent, Hector: Badge of Carnage spends more time delivering hokey and tongue-in-cheek humor than a storyline. Depending on why one invests their imaginative mind with a new Telltale Games release, this could be what one has been looking for all along.
Hector is an overweight, British cop stationed in Clappers Wreake who begins the story locked in a cell in his underwear. The scene doesn’t get too much better from there, as most of Clappers Wreake looks like a riot came through and made everything look like tattered garbage. As it happens, Hector’s primary mission during the game is to assist in dialing down a hostage situation by cleaning up the moral cesspool that Clappers Wreake has become.
As one can expect from a work published by Telltale Games, the primary way to accomplish tasks is by clicking the mouse on various parts of a 2D scene. The user will spend a lot of time looking at objects, trying to pick them up, and of course attempting to make seemingly unrelated items useful in the progression of the story. The main goal in each setting primarily consists of looking for ways to either exit a scene or to get something to work. Sometimes one has to be quite imaginative (or at least a good random guesser) with what will help you succeed.
Some of the conversations that Hector has with the questionable characters he meets can be quite witty. The humorous back and forth chatter can be a fine distraction when one is stuck on what to do next. Thankfully, as one’s laughter or eye rolling dies down, the game allows the user to pilfer some hints from the hints menu. Granted, the user has to read through a few lines of mocking derision before getting to the hint, but sometimes one just wishes to move on no matter what the cost is to one’s pride.
Ultimately, what makes this game different from other releases is that Hector: Badge of Carnage is certainly more edgy and adult-rated. There’s an early sex scene involving a prostitute that is as far from Monkey Island as one can get. There’s also some urination, multiple references to alcohol, and all sorts of colorful language. Perhaps this is what the smirking masses were hoping for in a puzzle videogame: the seedy stuff.
After some moments of impatience or head-scratching, Hector: Badge of Carnage certainly grows on one given its thick layer of humor and quirkiness. It is not a game for the little ones, but with adults the game can provide a laid back experience that satisfies the puzzle itch while dishing out a few good zingers along the way.
f one is interested in giving the game a whirl, go to the game’s website for more information!
Hector: Badge of Carnage – Episode One is not rated by the ESRB, however, Telltale’s website does recommend the game only for those 17 years of age and older and the game does feature many adult themes and language. This game can also be found on: Windows, iPad, and iPhone