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Supreme League of Patriots - Issue 2: Patriot Frames (PC) artwork

Supreme League of Patriots - Issue 2: Patriot Frames (PC) review

"The usually not as good superhero 'sequel' that breaks tradition."

Supreme League of Patriots - Issue 2: Patriot Frames is bizarre in so many ways. Itís the second issue of an episodic run thatís released on the same day as the rest of the season for reasons Iím happy to invite the developers to explain. I guess Iím okay with it as it means I can play all three chapters back to back without the multi-month gaps I've suffered through Telltaleís titles, and am currently stewing over with the new Dreamfall release. But it does beg the question: why is it not just one large game? Is it a secretly harboured grudge against game journalists? Is it all a clever ploy to make me write three reviews rather than one?

It could comfortably be one large game; each issueís taken me roughly three to four hours thus far with a third yet to go. Issue 1 was blatantly the origin story of The Purple Patriot, while the second issue centres around his struggles against bureaucracy to establish himself as a legitimate superhero. Another one of the bizarre aspects of the game is on how it does this. The previous episode goes out of its way to set up a small collection of tropes that the second issue gleefully expels and then acts really smug about it. It knows what itís doing in its self-referencing with open jabs thrown at its genre and sly nods aimed towards the fourth wall. It feels like Patriots has got all the set-up out of the way and is now free to set its sights on anything it feels the need to lampoon.

In the last episode, The Purple Patriot was just a invented character used for Kyle to take a stab at competing in syndicate reality show, Americaís Got Superpowers. Thatís no longer the case, with The Patriot becoming a dominant persona. The issue created here is that heís an extreme caricature of a Republican in contrast with the Liberal views held not only by a mostly obsolete Kyle, but by his roommate Mel, who is forced to serve as unwilling sidekick throughout.

Itís not an original dynamic to introduce, but it is one that works particularly well in a game so centred around dialogue. Kyleís new found political views clash violently with not just with the only friend he has, but with much of the returning cast. He harbours a strange throbbing rage at the Flamboyant Superhero in his little leather cap and frilly miniskirt. Heís openly annoyed that females are not only allowed to prance around in outfits fighting crime, but have been supplied full driving licenses and have donít seem to be aware that they've left the kitchen unattended.

Patriot Frames deals with the arduous task of getting a superhero license, which asks the pair to jump through numerous hoops to obtain then permits and endorsements needed to be legit crime fighters, but that kind of thing takes a lot of money. Luckily, they have a multi-million dollar settlement waiting to be picked up with only a score of furious woman standing in their way. They need a release form from the hospital, but the Goth nurse isn't endeared by Patriotís constant demands to see one of those male doctors who know what theyíre doing, or that he keeps calling her doll face and toots. The receptionist in the studio tasked with delivering the settlement cheque has declared it her lifeís work to destroy the duo after their hijinks during the auditions got her demoted. The political activist superhero he needs to buy a supercar from kinda hates him and everything he stands for.

The same problems do return; Supreme League of Patriots remains a slow feeling game, not allowing quick travel between a lot of locations, meaning that a lot of time is wasted watching the cast trudge across the screen. As clever as much of the writing is, and as well delivered as it is acted out, the little pauses between spoken dialogue while character portraits load up does rob it of a bit of its impact.

But it also shares the same strengths. Scratch that; itís stronger. No longer concerned with building a foundation, Supreme League of Patriots - Issue 2: Patriot Frames is free to savage any topic it chooses. It continues its refreshing tact of having many of its issues solved through dialogue but does place a slighter bigger emphasis on a smattering of inventory based puzzles, achieving a balance that feels more in keeping within the genre it seeks to send up. I feel like I've written this before; Iím almost certain Iím going to have to write something similar at least once more, but itís a mean spirited game beneath all the faux-intellectuality and political satire. I can get behind that.


EmP's avatar
Staff review by Gary Hartley (January 29, 2015)

Gary Hartley arbitrarily arrives, leaves a review for a game no one has heard of, then retreats to his 17th century castle in rural England to feed whatever lives in the moat and complain about you.

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