I like to class myself as a fairly good poker player, I play in a league weekly and you can often find me online playing competitively. I have the first Poker Night on the PC and only really gave it a go for the free Team Fortress 2 items that you can acquire in-game, once again Telltale Games have introduced free items in the form of Avatar props and Borderlands 2 unlocks, the question is, is there more to the game than just free items?
Not really. No real improvements have been made since the first title, although Telltale Games have added features in the form of in-game unlocks with poker chips, tables and the addition of Omaha poker to play alongside Texas Hold ‘Em. At the end of the day, Poker Night 2 is still as dreary as the previous title and even more so in some aspects.
One of my biggest grinds with the game is the difficulty, in the previous title you could choose your difficulty, now you’re stuck no matter what your skill level is. Now here’s the worst part, all of the AI controlled characters play extremely aggressively, constantly making raises (massive over-raises), when you don’t call it shows them bluffing but when you do call they always have bigger hands no matter what you’re holding.
I feel that if Poker Night 2 was an online-gambling site it would actually be shut down due to hand-rigging and game-fixing, I’ve never suffered such bad beats in all my poker career, every time I hit a straight, one of the AI characters would magically get a flush, when I hit a flush the opponents hit a full-house – incredibly frustrating especially when you know the percentages are on your side.
Okay so we know that the AI is incredibly broken but what about the characters themselves? We have Brock Samson, Claptrap, Ash Williams and Sam from Sam & Max. Each character adds their own weight to the game but the real star is GLaDOS as the dealer, while each character has their own conversations and one-liners GLaDOS seems to regularly steal the show with witty lines. After a while though the conversation becomes repetitive and I found the best thing to do was just put on some music.
The gameplay itself is also very sluggish, to fold a hand you have to press X while many other games will opt with the B button, B is in fact raise so on several occasions I have actually raised on a hand that I wanted to fold. There is also an option to skip a hand once you have folded, although this feature is nice and handy it’s nothing new when compared to the first title.
At the end of the day the game doesn’t seem to have made any improvement on its predecessor, in fact it just feels like a reskinned version of the first and lacks any new input to help improve the title, the same annoying issues remain and I feel it’s success will solely lie in winning items for your avatar and Borderlands 2.