Hector: Badge of Carnage - Episode 1: We Negotiate With Terrorists

Crude, sarcastic, and vulgar, though an otherwise good way to start a potentially fun adventure series.

By azn_pride, Posted 27 Apr 2011

I can only imagine what it must have been like to play a game like Hector: Badge of Carnage on the iPhone, as you don’t see much of those kinds of games in the device--if at all. Now that Telltale is bringing developer Straandlooper’s episodic series to personal computers, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by it. The game does live up to its penchant for raunchy, inconsiderate humor, but its funny and clever writing makes for a solid game and a good start to a potentially fun adventure series.

Hector, Badge of Carnage, Episode 1, We Negotiate With Terrorists, Review
Totally not creepy.

You play as the cynical yet all-around amusing titular character, Hector, a police detective living in the small town of Clappers Wreake (that’s somewhere in the UK, as the game points out). A hostage situation involving a sniper occurs in the area, and the town’s only hope is through Hector, as he is the only one available because all the other negotiators are dead. Now, Hector has to comply with the terrorist’s requests or risk getting the hostages and his fellow officers killed in the process.

Hector, Badge of Carnage, Episode 1, We Negotiate With Terrorists, Review
Now THAT is funny.

Hector is funny, but there were instances in the game that didn’t warrant a chuckle or two out of me. I do blame it mainly on my ignorance towards UK pop culture references, slangs, and the like, plus there were some jokes that were more crass--especially the sexual ones--than anything remotely comical. Regardless, none of the gags were blatantly offensive or anything worth suing somebody over, and when the game does its best efforts to be funny, it definitely delivers. Moreover, the animation is well done, featuring some quirky character designs, detailed backgrounds, and very crisp-looking cutscenes. The deliberate, fine voice acting also deserves a mention.

Gameplay is customary for a point-and-click adventure game; you have an inventory menu in which to store items you find in the environment, and use certain items to trigger events that advance the story along. You can also combine items together to produce similar results. In addition to these, you can also talk to people via dialogue trees to bribe them, acquire items or even open up sidequests in the process. As for the controls, the mouse feels a little stiff, and interacting with the environment can be a bit of a pain as well. Clicking on an object or location once triggers a dialogue from Hector while double clicking on it prompts him to examine it further and maybe find an item or two. This can be frustrating because when just trying to look at an object, you can potentially issue the wrong commands or skip over dialogue unintentionally.

Hector, Badge of Carnage, Episode 1, We Negotiate With Terrorists, Review
Meet the hint system. I hope the both of you, uh, get along.

A significant improvement over the iPhone/iPod versions is a more elaborate version of the hint system. This mechanic alone makes the game much easier to manage when you’re finding yourself in seemingly dead end situations. Just simply click on the question mark on the menu interface, and it takes you to a text-based guide, almost how a standard FAQ system works. You can click on various preset questions depending on your progression and/or location, giving you clues as to what you can do next. The game does a particularly excellent job being indirect in providing hints to players. Clues are often vague at the start, then eventually becoming clearer as you constantly ask for more straightforward signs. It’s less likely you’ll actually ask for the answer straight out, as you’ll probably run into a hint that will make you say “Oh, I get it now.” Also, the sarcasm is a nice touch, almost as if calling you a quitter or dumb when you’re just politely asking for hints.

While some players might not appreciate Hector’s hint system’s sardonic nature, I understand and appreciate how it’s at least trying to encourage players to figure things out for themselves instead of relying too much on the hand holding. Though you will run into a few head-scratchers here and there, the puzzles aren’t particularly difficult; ultimately, I wound up not relying on the hint system that much. Still, the game’s just no fun when you let it spoil everything for you. You won’t run into timers or anything, so you can take your sweet time trying to decipher each problem presented. When you finally solve an apparently impossible problem, you’ll feel a sense of relief doing so. It’s indeed rewarding for your ego, and it’s also interesting to see the hilarious results that play after successfully cracking each one.

Hector, Badge of Carnage, Episode 1, We Negotiate With Terrorists, Review

This is only my second foray into the world of point-and-click adventure games, but so far I’m enjoying my time with it. This episode feels like it may have been over too soon, but it does have its funny and enjoyable moments, along with some sarcastic and witty dialogue to top it all off. While the game could’ve done better with sharper controls and a longer length, the rest of what Hector: Badge of Carnage Episode 1 has to offer makes it easy to overlook its shortcomings.

Gallery (13)

Episode 2: Senseless Acts of Justice

Episode 3: Beyond Reasonable Doom

David Gabriel, NoobFeed.

comments powered by Disqus

  • Daav recommended me to play Gemini Rue (point and click game) and I did enjoy it. I think I'll try this one out too.

    Posted Apr 27, 2011


General Information

Platform(s): PC, Mobile
Publisher(s): Telltale Games
Developer(s): Straandlooper
Genres: Point And Click
Themes: Adventure
Release Date: 2011-04-27

View All

Popular Articles