Hector is my kind of detective. He's lazy, not very sharp and spends a good chunk of time in little more than his tighty-whities. And yet, time and time again, Hector is the best man for the job. He's the very definition of a lovable loser; the type of classic game character we used to see a lot of in adventure games of the 1980s and 90s. He's a breath of fresh air at a time when Telltale Games needs it the most.
Unlike Sam & Max, Back to the Future and the recently released (and hugely disappointing) Jurassic Park game, Hector: Badge of Carnage is not developed by an in-house Telltale team. Instead it's Straandlooper, an Irish game company best known for 30 episodes of Luke Spotisode on the iOS platform. Here we're given a traditional point and click adventure game, similar to classic PC games like Full Throttle, Leisure Suit Larry and Maniac Mansion. While the core gameplay hasn't changed much in the last few decades, the foreign sense of humor is a welcome change of pace from Sam & Max and Monkey Island.
You play Detective Inspector Hector, a cranky character who patrols Clappers Wreake. Hector is no fan of Clappers Wreake, and for good reason. There's nothing redeeming about this crime-infested cesspool. The air is toxic, the criminals are dumb and the city park looks more like a garbage dump. Needless to say, you're going to need something stronger than alcohol to make it through a day of defending this toilet bowl.
It would seem that we have a mad sniper on the loose in Clappers Wreake and he's holed up in an apartment building. This would be the perfect job for Hector ... if it wasn't for the fact that he was passed out in a police cell. He wakes up to empty liquor bottles, used condoms and the most disgusting toilet this side of Scotland. In other words, it's another typical day for the Detective Inspector. Once he's picked the lock and put on some pants, our overweight hero is off to safely negotiate with the sniper. If only he could find a working car.
In the first episode, We Negotiate With Terrorists, we learn that the sniper isn't looking for money or prizes, but rather wants to help clean up this disgusting city. We do that by destroying a local porn shop, fixing the town clock and paying to help clean up the park. This will send Hector on a wild mission that will take him all over the city picking up items, solving puzzles and, well, negotiating with terrorists.
In episode two, Senseless Acts of Justice, we are still hot on the trail of the mysterious sniper. After re-enacting the first episode's cliffhanger, Hector is left with a few juicy clues to the criminal's real identity. Our hero embarks on a cross-city trek to follow the clues, investigating a gun-crazy nail salon, an old church-turned-sex club and a bloody disgusting butchery. The clues eventually lead him to a revelation; Hector finally knows who the mad gunman is. Unfortunately, tracking him down isn't going to be as easy as he thinks.
Hector is the kind of likeable moron you don't see much of in gaming these days, which may be one of the reasons Badge of Carnage is so compelling. The hand-drawn graphics and spot-on voice acting doesn't hurt this outlandish crime caper. There are some trite moments, but Hector's adventure is one fans of the genre should take on!
This product was submitted by the publisher for review. As a rule, Defunct Games does not review games we spent money on. However, that does not always apply to classic/retro games. This specific product, however, came straight from a PR guy for the purposes of being reviewed!