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May 19 2016

Late Poker Night 2 Review

This is where it all began, my plunge into the murky depths of addictive gambling. I lost everything, I should really be ashamed of myself, knocking back shots in a smoky room with the lads, but I regret nothing. The companionship the game offered was worth it, and I would do it all over again.

Poker Night 2 is the sequel to the 2010 hit, Poker Night At The Inventory. Developed by Telltale games in collaboration with various publishers once again, to incorporate famous video game and cartoon characters from a few recognised titles. The game was made available on Steam, the Xbox 360 and PS3 via digital download during a quiet lull in Telltale’s release schedule.

The game involves you as The Player, having an introduction to a private, underground poker club called The Inventory. You are chaperoned to your seat, where you meet your opponents for the rest of the game. Starting from your left, you have Brock Samson from The Venture Bros., Claptrap from Borderlands, Ash Williams from The Evil Dead and Sam from the Sam & Max franchise. The dealer of the table is quite hilariously/scarily GLaDOS from the Portal series. There are also support characters in the background with Moxxi from Borderlands as the bar waitress, Max as Sam’s left hand man and raider Steve from Borderlands also making an appearance, ‘ahio’.

The first few games will slowly introduce certain features that will then be applied throughout the game. Each game starts with each character starting with $20,000 of virtual money. The aim of the game is to eradicate all your opponents from the game by taking all of their cash, hopefully I don’t have to tell you how to play Texas hold ’em, but it’s easy enough to pick up even if you are a novice. After the first game is won or lost, the proprietor of The Inventory tells you about completing three minor side tasks to unlock a chance of being able to compete for a collectible. There are a total of 5 collectables to gain overall, each one relevant to the characters at the table, yet some of the unlock conditions can be difficult to complete, especially with the AI making your job harder with random bets and bluffs that you were hoping to not happen.

The length of the games can vary depending on how patient the opponents want to be throughout that set. Most of the times they will bet all of their money early on, giving the opportunity of eliminating them early in the game, but beware, as with any gamble, you stake to lose a lot, potentially losing the game if somehow the AI has managed to get one up on you. I recommend to play the games for a couple of hours and get an idea of how each character plays, bluffs and gives away their tells such as Max hitting the table with his head on a bad hand or Brock giving you the ‘I will kill you’ eyes. I also only recommend raising to 80% of your opponents chip count to try to bluff them into folding rather than going ‘all in’ to scare them as usually they’ll get wise to your bluff and will call you out.

One of the greatest features of this game are the conversations that the characters will have. Depending on who’s still remaining at the table, the dialogue can change, involving either certain AI or the entire table. Each npc brings over their exact characteristics from their productions and are hilarious to listen in on. They will sometimes direct comments at yourself, mostly something derogatory which generates a few giggles. Though it doesn’t happen that often, some conversations are repeated within the same hour of gameplay, making it slightly repetitive but it at least gives you another chance to get the joke if you didn’t get it the first time round.

One way around minimising any repetitive dialogue is by unlocking new decorations for The Inventory. As you win or lose a game of poker, you are rewarded with a certain amount of tokens that can be used in unlocking and activating a character’s set of chips, card deck and table artwork. The Inventory as a bonus will then be decorated entirely to that theme. This creates more interactions with the environment, especially when players are expelled from the table and adds additional dialogue lines between the other characters. The Steam achievements in the game are simple enough to gather, and can be completely collected within 10 hours of gameplay, which is also about the maximum time that I would recommend to play this game overall before it gets to the stage where it might start becoming boring.

Overall, Poker Night 2 is great fun being extremely relaxed and slow paced. Can be picked up very cheap on G2A. Recommended for wasting time on the computer if you’ve got 10 – 30 minutes to kill. Easily one of the best single player poker games out there, very surreal and plenty of banter between mates.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.thelategamer.com/video-game-review/pc/late-poker-night-2-review/

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