1: Police Quest 2: The Vengeance

Publisher: Sierra
Developer: Sierra
Year: 1988
Platform: DOS; Amiga; Atari-ST; PC-98

Review: Sonny Bonds is back…with a vengeance! Actually, the perp he testified against last game and put in prison is back with a vengeance. Not only has he escaped prison, he has kidnapped Sonny’s girlfriend and is knocking off everyone that was at the trial. Since you’ve been promoted to homicide, the case is yours. Lest you worry that you’ll get bored with nobody familiar around, Jim Walls has created several more characters with wonderful personalities.

First is Keith Robinson, your partner. Other than taking smoke breaks and making snide remarks, he offers little help, but befits the easy comic relief that every cop game needs. Then you have Captain Hall, who has a very short temper but a keen taste for pistachio ice cream and a master at working the telephone. And as with Police Quest 1, the supporting cast of characters usually have something funny and interesting to say.

The production values remain quite satisfactory, with improved graphics and sound over the predecessor. Even the sound that tells you that you’ve been awarded points is addicting. The game takes a bit more of a linear route this time around as Sonny usually knows his next destination. However, the puzzles remain fair and moderately difficult. Police procedure is toned down considerably, but still must be followed regularly in order for Sonny to achieve the maximum points and have a clue as to what’s going on. The design team also made a smart move in eliminating manual driving. Since Sonny is in an unmarked car and never needs to patrol the streets, driving would have become pointless and quite tedious.

But where this game shines again lies with the character and plot development. The Vengeance has the best story in the series, with the game spanning over two cities, under water, and in the air. The humour is still very prevalent, and suspense and action are dished out at regular intervals. There is one highly contrived plot device, but can be forgiven considering its entertainment value. And the end-game is fantastic on all levels.

As close to flawless as an adventure game can get, Police Quest 2 remains my favorite game of all-time.

Contemporary RatingMedium. Good parser, but going to the shooting range multiple times to adjust the sights on your gun would annoy many.

Cruelty RatingTough. If your only saved game is a split second before you’re going to die, then yes you can make the game unwinnable. Otherwise, you should be fine. You can miss a ton of things through your investigation, and this will make the game more difficult (and less enjoyable), but it won’t lock you out.

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5 thoughts on “1: Police Quest 2: The Vengeance

  1. Played and beat this one with my cousin. Loads of fun, but a couple things were rather annoying. Finding the crime kit in the bin in the main police room happened completely by accident for us after we just started entering commands we found in the manual. Over all, this game was a real treat.

  2. After Portal was #2, I wondered if this one was on your list. “He didn’t leave it off entirely and rank PQ3 higher did he?

    Very good game. The driving was annoying for its duration and had to speed the game up until you got where you were going if I didn’t want to go crazy. The biggest graphics hang up was the river scene. Playing that with the improved graphics was a breeze. Originally it was quite hard to pick out what you needed to see.

    You kindly left out how we slighted your Police Quest skills. I still don’t know why we ignored your pleas to look in the guy’s pockets. Seems pretty obvious. Regardless, it would have taken us two seconds to try your theory and move on, but instead we did every other stupid thing we could think of first. Morons.

    • I do remember that driving took a while back then. For some reason, game designers would base certain game events on your computers RAM rather than give them fixed intervals.

      I’ve forgiven ya’ll for the pockets thing. It was just nice to be 8 years old and be right.

  3. Beau, I am quite pleased with your #1 choice! Mom gives you a thumbs up! Of all the computer games I’ve played, Police Quest is at the top of my list, so many fond memories of playing it back when you were a kid. And I agree with Ryan, the driving was definitely annoying, but nothing new, real life driving is annoying for me, so how true to life that part of the game was for me. :} I can’t comment on any other specifics of the game other than that, I can’t remember them like you and Ryan, but just a general summary: the game kicked ass!

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