Poker Night at the Inventory 2 Review
Poker is universal. From the flashiest casino to the tiniest watering hole, this time-tested game can be found the world over. That has not stopped Telltale Games from Doubling Down with Poker Night at the Inventory 2, a new version of their poker series that brings familiar faces and familiar rules to the table. Will this sequel get card sharks to go all-in…again?
Unfortunately, this simplicity is a double-edged sword. There are two types of poker in Poker Night 2…and nothing else. There are superficial options like a drink ordering system and custom backgrounds, but there is nothing substantial to be found. When one considers how there are many other poker types exist (7-Card Stud, High/Low, Pai gow), it seems like a lazy oversight.
Perhaps the biggest oversight is the fact that the entire game is single-player. This also makes it that much harder to read opponents, as many of the best poker matches come from the mind games that take place between each hand. Put simply, poker is one of those games best played with friends, and playing Poker Night 2 by your lonesome just feels…lonely.
This is one of those cases where style definitely comes over substance, but the style found in Poker Night 2 is a mixed bag. Each of the four characters (five counting the dealer) hails from different game, television, and movie universe. There is some novelty seeing GLaDOS (Portal) deal cards to Brock Samson (The Venture Bros.) and Sam (Sam & Max), but not every guest is a welcome one.
The ever-annoying Claptrap (Borderlands) makes an appearance here, and each of his pop-culture laced one-liners is worse than the last. Others like Ash Williams (The Evil Dead/Army of Darkness) would be stellar additions, but this rendition had his soul (and voice actor) sucked dry, no doubt by the Necronomicon. As the game lives and dies by its dialog, these two changes make what would have been riveting banter into something that grates on the nerves, something only amplified when those one-liners repeat themselves due to a lack of voice clips.
Poker Night 2 could have been a hotshot, but it simply cannot bring the goods. The series shouldn’t fold just yet though – with the right characters and modes, it will be the next big sensation in no time flat.
Poker Night at the Inventory doesn’t bring its A game to the table…more like its C game
|out of 10||Reviews Explained|
A sleek UI makes it understand exactly what needs to be done – even when you don’t
Each character’s style clashes with one another, making the cel-shaded Brock stick out like a sore thumb next to the highly detailed Claptrap
|6||Soundtrack & Sound Effects:
For a game that lives and dies by its voice clips, most of the quips miss their mark and lack the soul of their source material
Two poker types (Texas Hold ‘em and Omaha) are time-tested, but no frills
Other than the chance to earn achievements or items for Team Fortress 2/Borderlands 2/avatars/themes, there isn’t much here to keep you coming back
(out of 10, not an average)