I’ve only played poker twice! Yet here I am writing a post about a poker game! That’s the kind of consummate professional I am. I know enough about poker to get away with this, though – for instance, I know that if someone plays five Jacks at once it’s called a Belgian Tickle and everyone else in the game has to take their trousers off. I know that if anyone scores 21, they immediately have to give their car keys to a homeless person. And I know that Telltale’s first attempt at a poker-based game starring a selection of pop-cultural characters was disappointing. Given that, post-Walking Dead, the studio is presumably now aware of the critical and commercial benefits of making really good rather than merely adequate and formulaic games, hopefully that means they’re going to give Poker Night 2 their all.
Though one of its stars is unfortunately Borderlands’ perpetually grating robo-prick Claptrap, so perhaps this is a race they can’t possibly win. The other stars are significantly more promising. I’ve not seen Venture Bros, whose Brock Samson takes a place at the table, but Nathan informs me that “It’s amazing. First season’s a bit shakey, but after that, it becomes utterly brilliant.” Then you’ve got Evil Dead semi-hero Ash, who hopefully won’t just say ‘groovy’ over and over again, the less funny but more varied one from Sam and Max, and GLADOS as dealer.
Also Claptrap. Bloody Claptrap. A character that, in both Borderlandses, we’re repeatedly expected to laugh at despite his doing nothing to earn it. If any game character didn’t deserve wider pop-cultural status, it’s that jabbering uncomedian.
Grumble grumble. Here’s the requisite trailer:
This is out in April, on PC and the other things with worse graphics. The age-ratings warnings reveal that it will feature “use of tobacco” as well as violence, gambling, swears and double-entendres. Saucy.
In his verdict on the first game, John thought the poker in that poker game was rubbish, and there’s been nothing yet on how that side of the sequel will be improved, bar vague declarations that it’s suitable for both pros and novices.
Also, there are unlocks for other games to be had. You can find out about those here, or attempt to ready the tiny blurred text in my poorly-resized screengrab below.