Puzzle Agent 2, Telltale Games' sequel to the successful Puzzle Agent released in 2010, is an extended and entertaining continuation of the first game's story and gameplay. While it doesn't do a ton of new and exciting things with the formula, Puzzle Agent 2 continues where the first left off. It has a wildly entertaining storyline, some great mind-boggling puzzles, and an overarching mystery that will keep you going "Huh...What?!" until the end. It is better on several elements and manages to do everything in a fresh manner, keeping players entertained throughout.
Puzzle Agent 2 starts where the previous game left off with Agent Tethers confused and uneasy about his last case's premature closure. He delegates the work of transcribing his evidence tapes to his coworker in the vegetable crimes department of the FBI. Then he takes a personal leave back to Scoggins to figure out what is going on, once and for all. Many of the original cast members are back for round two and they all seem to have different reactions to Tethers' return, setting up a great theme for the game that keeps you wondering who is actually on your side. A handful of new characters are introduced, adding personality and mystery to Scoggins, and giving some new faces for existing players to get to know. The story ends up twisting and turning in a manner that keeps you guessing whether the town of Scoggins is going mad, or if Tethers himself is beginning to lose his grip. Much of the structure of the game sticks to the previous game's formula, in a way that flows much more nicely than the first game. As far as continuity goes, storyline nitpickers will probably have a heyday with the fiction, as there are plenty of plot holes and red herrings. In the context of gameplay, it manages to focus your attention so well, it doesn't even seem important enough question the blips. It's also lighthearted and goofy enough that the story could be somewhat sacrificed for the overall humor and enjoyment.
Puzzle Agent 2's general look of the game is cleaner and crisper than the first game, lending it a much more consistent and overall better look than its predecessor.. While the actual menu system isn't inherently changed, much of it seems smoother and cleaner in animation. Character animation and art style continues its rough layout and design, but rarely becomes something that a player could complain about. It can be nitpicked as lazy art direction, but the pacing and style of the game actually lend themselves to the choppy animation style that the game employs. The sound has excellent music direction and great voice acting that rarely disappoints. There are a lot of faux-horror segments that would fall flat on their own, but the sound design and musical themes make it sound more dramatic.
Puzzle Agent 2 puzzles were impressive, as I had originally expected to see familiar puzzles from the first game. There were only a few small references to the old games. The final puzzle of this sequel seems to directly pull from the style of the first game's final puzzle, but the overall theme of the puzzle is so different, some may not even notice. There are more side puzzles, giving more reason to explore the areas. They still don't provide rewards other than overall puzzle rating. It's challenging, however, to imagine full side stories occurring in such a game. One thing I didn't enjoy were limited choices on how to return back into the game for missed or completed puzzles.Telltale added a small HUB to access a puzzle, enabling you to search every nook and cranny before completing it.
Puzzle Agent 2 hits a lot of high notes. The entire story is wrapped up into a pretty satisfying finale that will make you glad you went through it in it's entirety. The conclusion is definitely set up for the possibility of another game. Puzzle Agent 2 is available now and is definitely worth picking up. Customers who purchase Puzzle Agent 2 through Telltale's storefront page will get Puzzle Agent for free.