Review: Hector: Episode 1 - We Negotiate With Terrorists
I am not one for British humor. Could never figure out what the reason behind it all is, just never grabbed me like it does others. When finding out that Telltale was releasing Hector: Badge Of Carnage for the PC and Mac, I looked up some info on the game. Of course it was riddled with British humor and slang. Putting aside my dislike for British humor, I loaded up the first episode, We Negotiate With Terrorists. The setup is that a hostage crisis breaks out in Clappers Wreake and “the fat arse of the law” Detective Inspector Hector, becomes the only hope for justice. Now, Hector has to make a hard decision: carry out a terrorist's outlandish demands, or watch as his fellow officers are taken down one by one.
Right away I was enjoying the art style that the developers Straandlooper Animation used. It fits right in with the rest of the art style that most Telltale games are done in. Very cartoonish and colorful. With any game of this type, you basically look for items around the area you are in and use them to get you past the obsticles that are presented in front of you. Although my dislike for British humor, the crude nature of the dialouge was at times quite funny. Things like Hector asking a "Human Relations" worker "Who's your daddy?" to only have her respond with who her actual daddy is made me giggle a little. There are plenty of lines in We Negotiate With Terrorists that caught me off guard with how crude yet humorous they were. Maybe I need to rethink this whole British humor thing.
Besides the humor and dialogue, what makes a good point & click adventure game is the puzzles. Make them to easy and people get bored. Make them too hard and people get pissed and quit. We Negotiate With Terrorists keeps the frustration levels to a minimum. I had to look at the hint system a couple of times since I was at a loss for what I had to do next. I got so use to Telltale Games tricking me with some of their other point & click adventure games that I overanalyzed everything when it was much simpler than I thought. Even with the puzzles being a little on the easy side, I imagine if you haven't played this yet since it was out on the iPhone last year, you will have to use the hint system at least once. The hint system is pretty straight forward and reads like a FAQ, with a bit of humor mixed in. It berates you for using the hint system and as you scroll to the bottom, it has everything listed in a neat and organized fashion for you to get to the hint you need. If you want to get the answers for all the puzzles, you can, which is quite unfortunate if you decide to do such a thing.
The audio for some of the voice actors sounded like it was recorded in a really low bitrate and was hard to listen to at times. Not sure if its just me or the press build I am playing but it is really easy to tell when the audio sounds off. Whoever was the voice of Hector will forever be known as the cartoon version of Jason Stathom in my mind. It was all I kept picturing in my head when Hector would talk. Maybe I just think every Brit sounds like Jason Stathom. Kinda makes me want to watch The Italian Job now.
With all games of this type, We Negotiate With Terrorists length will be determined by how good you are at puzzle solving. It took me maybe 3 hours to complete and with the next two episodes, Senseless Acts of Justice and Beyond Resonable Doom, not being released until sometime this fall, I am not sure people will remember to come back and play the rest of the episodes. Hector: Episode 1 - We Negotiate With Terrorists is not a bad game, just not sure it will leave a big enough impression in peoples minds with that much of a wait in between episodes.