Police Quest II: The Vengeance (PC) Retro Review
Updated: Mar 25
Game Name: Police Quest II: The Vengeance
Developer: Sierra On-Line
Publisher: Sierra On-Line
Release Date: November 1988
Platforms: MS-DOS, Amiga, Atari ST and NEC PC-9801
On a past Retro Night in Canada I had streamed and completed Police Quest 1. That was really cool as it was a game that I grew up with and for me, it had a sense of nostalgia. Memories of my IBM Compatible Tandy 2000 SX and MSDOS. Man, those were the days.
After that, I decided to try the sequel aptly named Police Quest II: The Vengeance. Since I have no particular attachment to this game, I thought that it would be cool to play it.
Has this entry in the classic Police Quest series, aged well? Let us find out.
The game takes place right after the events of Police Quest 1. You had just arrested Jessie Bains aka The Dark Angel and you were honoured by the city of Lytton for your great work.
Since that day, you have been promoted to the homicide division. You also started dating Marie from Police Quest 1. She was a prostitute (love interest) in the first game that helped you to arrest Jessie Bains.
Happiness does not last forever and here it is no different. Jessie Bains has escaped the jail that he held in. He is going after anyone that helped to put him behind bars.
The rest of the game is finding the "bread crumbs" left behind by Bains to eventually capture him once and for good.
Police Quest 2: The Vengeance - Sample Gameplay
I think that this game aged better than I initially thought.
Let us start with the graphics. As much as they are nothing to run home about by today's standards, they were an upgrade on the previous installment. There were more colours and the sprites looked less cartoony.
The sound effects for the game seems to have taken a step back. It feels as if there are less in game sounds than in the original. However, there is more music though. The music during the driving scenes is very 1980's and it is glorious .
One big positive of the game is that they got rid of the manual driving scenes, opting for a cut scene instead, with some music. I think this is a big improvement on the original as this was one of the elements that I was not a big fan.
Many of the elements of the first game are back here. The game heavily focused on following proper procedure and using the correct wording when interacting with people and things. This can still be some of the most frustrating aspects. However, this is what makes this game so good. There is a lot of trial and error and it can take quite a few play throughs to just get it right.
The one element that I was not a fan was that I was able to skip a section without knowing that I needed to complete it before continuing. An example of this is that I did not complete the shooting range section at the beginning. Nothing tells you other than a vague mention on a bulletin board that you are behind on your scores. So I proceeded to the next section. I got to the murder scene and you face the criminal. However, since I did not pass the shooting range part, I could not get passed this section and needed to restore from a previous save. It should have been a little more clear what needed to be done.
What it comes down to is, if you liked the original game, this will be right up your alley. However, this is a series that you either love or hate. For me, since I was a fan of the original, this one is enjoyable. I like the fact that the story continues from the previous game and back then this was a rare thing. Nowadays, we take that for granted.
I recommend this game to the fans of the series. Although I do not think that a player should start with this entry. If you want to get the full experience, I would start with Police Quest 1 and then play this one.
What do you think? Do you like this game?