Hector: Badge of Carnage - Episode III Review (PC)

Author: Dany Argueta
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Thursday, October 6th, 2011
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Games/Reviews/badge_of_carnage_ep3/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.


We’ve reached the final episode of Hector: Badge of Carnage though this is an occasion not worth getting glum over. The trilogy ends on a high note, surprisingly enough, as Straandlooper addresses the main issues found in the previous two episodes, resulting in a satisfying conclusion for this urban puzzle adventure.

At the end of Episode 2, we find Hector along with his partner Lambert discovering the base of operations used by the Clappers Wreake terrorist, but the two quickly end up being incapacitated by the criminal himself. After regaining consciousness within a septic tank that’s set to be filled with sludge, the brave cops make a quick and dirty (Literally!) getaway into the Clappers Wreake countryside. 

While Hector and Lambert are busy figuring out how to return to Clappers Wreake, they inadvertently find another hideout used by the notorious felon and discover plans to create havoc within the city by a gas that induces a terrible transformation on the citizens, thereby causing the town to chaotically collapse on itself. Having knowledge of the destructive plot, Hector and Lambert rush to Clappers Wreake and try to save its inhabitants.

Clicking to Victory

If you’ve played the previous two episodes, you know the drill by now: solve point-and-click puzzles by hunting down then using the correct items at the right moments. The puzzles are zany and hilarious as ever.  At one point, you have to figure out how to prevent the aforementioned septic tank from flooding, and your best bet is apparently a busted yet unusually absorbent piñata.  In another equally peculiar situation, you have to keep a rabid badger at bay with a soiled piece of toast.  Doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but that's just the sort of thing you'll find in Hector.

One minor addition introduced in Episode 3 is switching between Hector and Lambert early on in the first act, requiring you to do a little item management between the two and figuring out where to use a certain character. Overall, taking control of the partners merely serves as a small bump in difficulty and doesn’t radically change the gameplay.

In case you get stumped with a puzzle, Straandlooper kindly provided a complete walkthrough within the game. Fortunately, the hint system acts like it did in Episode 1, giving players the choice of either getting some vague clues from Lambert or jumping straight into the walkthrough.

Improvements Everywhere

Straandlooper had some problems handling humor in Hector, but they've finally figured it all out in Episode 3. The use of British-centric terms and slang has been toned way down this time, and the jokes tend to be much simpler, making them easier to pick up on for English speakers outside of the UK.  Not only that, but most gags are overall funnier this time around, so expect to chuckle more than you might have in the previous two episodes. These improvements are definitely welcome, though it's really a shame they didn't come until the end of the series.

Another area Episode 3 improves upon is its presentation, namely with the voice acting. Hector's cast of characters now boast a greater diversity in their voices, and most of these voices are done pretty well.  You may still catch a few mediocre voices here and there, but they'll mostly disappear against the better varieties. Visually, aside from one minor graphical glitch I noticed early on in my playthrough, Episode 3 looks just as good as the previous entry.

Final Thoughts

Those who have stuck around for Episode 3 will be in for an entertaining finale to Hector’s amusing manhunt. The improved humor seen in this part was a pleasant surprise, which makes this conclusion all the more better. Despite whatever troubles I had with the first two, however, the series itself turned out to be quite good. Point-and-click fans should seriously consider setting a few days aside for a go with Hector.  The puzzles can be a tad wacky, but for a series like Hector, the humor works. 


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