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Poker Night 2 (PC) artwork

Poker Night 2 (PC) review

"Play it again, Sam"

Poker Night at the Inventory proved that single-player poker could be an interesting diversion. The game was popular enough to spawn a sequel, featuring a different line-up of characters from different franchises. Poker Night 2 uses the same interface, although you can switch between Texas Hold’em and Ohama Hold ‘em, depending on your preference.

Poker Night 2 (PC) image

One of the biggest improvements over the first game is that GLaDOS is now the dealer. She sits above the table insulting the players based on their lack of poker skill, and making other hilarious comments. The actual players are mostly solid choices. Brock, from Venture Bros (played by the excellent Patrick Warburton) is hilarious. He’s a good, natural fit to a poker game like this. Claptrap from the Borderlands series is also funny, as is his infatuation with GLaDOS. Sam from Sam & Max is sitting at the table this time around, although Max is sitting on the sidelines making comments. Sam and Max don’t really work separately, so it’s good to have both of them in this game, with Max often commenting on Sam’s poker moves. The weak link of this cast is Ash from The Evil Dead franchise, who doesn’t really work in animated form – and he’s not voiced by Bruce Campbell, so what’s the point?

While you play hand after hand of poker, these characters will talk amongst themselves. The dialogue is pretty good, and there’s a fair bit more of it than in the first game, but it does eventually start to repeat. I just wish Ash would shut up about his Oldsmobile. One of the interesting things is that you can unlock table and card themes for each of the franchises, which adds new dialogue that you won’t have heard in the preceding gameplay.

Once again, the characters will bluff and bet their way through the games, sometimes being obvious, sometimes not. There is a new feature that lets you buy a drink for one of the other players, in the hopes they will become more obvious with their tells, but it’s not really necessary to win.

Poker Night 2 (PC) image

You’ll be able to win most rounds through general poker skill. If I saw one or two of the other characters betting aggressively, and I knew I had nothing, I usually decided to fold and let it play out. If I had something, I would keep raising until they went all in – some of the time I would win, sometimes they might have a better hand than me. That is the life.

Like the first game, you can win items that can be used in Team Fortress 2 and Borderlands 2. I haven’t played either of those games, so once again this is not a function I used. I know a lot of people only buy these games for their connections to the other games, but I find that I just enjoy a game of poker, and enjoy the dialogue between characters from different media franchises.

I’d be interested in another Poker Night game, but it’s been about four years now, so I think it might have run its course. It would be interesting to see characters from The Walking Dead or The Wolf Among Us (or even Game of Thrones) show up for a game of poker. My wishlist for characters in a game like this goes much deeper though…

jerec's avatar
Community review by jerec (March 11, 2017)

On very rare occasions, Jerec finds a game that inspires him to write stuff about. The rest of the time he just hangs around being sarcastic.

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