The saga of Hector comes to a close with the final episode in the Badge of Carnage series. Because the episodes were developed concurrently, the only reason to play through Beyond Reasonable Doom is to see how the story wraps up. No changes have been made to the game’s design, so your attitude towards the previous episodes will determine whether or not you’ll enjoy this one.Beyond Reasonable Doom sets the stage for the explosive finale in which the fate of Clapper’s Wreake hangs in the balance. Police Inspector Hector is on the trail of a terrorist who has forced the malcontent detective into a series of quests designed to bring about the economical turnaround of the British town, such as the destruction of a beloved porn shop and the rebuilding of the town’s clock tower. At the end of Senseless Acts of Justice, Hector and Lambert have identified the terrorist but are knocked unconscious, finding themselves in a “Saw”-inspired death room upon waking up. The two will have to work together in order to escape and save the town from devastation.
If you’ve played the previous two episodes, you’re going to step into this very easily. The pre-game tutorial returns to help get you started, but if you’ve stuck with Hector this long, it comes off as being completely unnecessary (again, why didn’t episode one have it?). You’ll use the mouse to guide Hector and Lambert throughout various locations, picking up objects and using them to complete puzzles and advance the plot. Lambert, Hector’s wiry, easily frightened partner, is given more screen time and shows some initiative and a little bit of backbone despite being verbally abused by Hector. To complete most of the puzzles, you’ll need to switch back and forth between the characters in order to pass items to one another. The most hilarious implementation of this mechanic involves Lambert’s encounter with a bizarre, riddle spewing leprechaun that only he can see.
The cartoony visuals have carried over from previous episodes. The Flash-style animation is smooth and with the exception of a few instances of improper scale, the game looks well visualized. Although I experienced serious graphical glitches in Senseless Acts of Justice, the final episode ran smoothly and without incident.
To put it simply, you wouldn’t be playing this if you did not like the last two episodes. The series’ brand of humor established from the very beginning remains and Hector is still as crass as ever. Beyond Reasonable Doom does feels like the longer of the three games, which is largely due to a number of extended false endings.I know it is weird to complain about it, but why bother putting in “ticking clock” sequences and establishing a sense of urgency in point and click adventure games? This sort of thing might work in Sierra titles, but you can’t die or lose the game in Hector: Badge of Carnage. The cutscenes leading into the game’s final scenarios present urgent situations that, unless someone acts fast, Clapper’s Wreake will be destroyed. However, when taken back into the game, you have all the time in the world to puzzle out the game’s logic. Again, it’s a silly thing to complain about, so just chalk this up to me being weird.
As a whole, Hector: Badge of Carnage is an amusing little game that would hold some appeal to those who enjoy crass humor and simplistic gameplay. However, the game’s shtick gets old after awhile, the jokes getting tired as time goes on. The game doesn’t run jokes into the ground, but there are only so many toilet and sex puns a person can stand. Breaking the game into three parts prevents things from getting too stale and as accessible as it is, there are better adventure games you could be playing.
Librarian by day, Darkstation review editor by night. I've been playing video games since the days of the Commodore 64 and I have no interest in stopping now that I've made it this far.