What could've been another routine poker simulation is livened up by terrific characters and suitable unlockables.
Over the years, poker has really picked up in popularity, with a number of high-stakes tournaments in Vegas and Texas Hold 'Em sessions being held at bars everyone (usually for bar tabs – which is just fine by me). But we haven't seen too many poker games as of yet. Activision did try its hand (mind the pun) at World Series of Poker a few years back, and Microsoft is working on a new game for release sometime over the summer, to please its Xbox Live audience.
But let's be honest – it's going to take a lot to top Telltale Games' Poker Night 2. The developer follows up its critically acclaimed The Walking Dead series with a fun, loose game of either Texas Hold 'Em or Omaha, and like the original Poker Night At the Inventory, several superstars from games and TV have made their way to the table, including Claptrap (from Borderlands), Ash (from the Evil Dead series), Brock Samson (from Venture Bros.), Sam and Max, and, as your dealer, GLADoS from Portal. It's a weird combination, but one that works surprisingly well.
There are only two game types in Poker Night 2, but, honestly, you won't be too worried about the ones that are missing. The poker itself plays out rather well, with GLADoS laying out cards and then giving you the option to check, fold, raise, etc., like you would in real poker. It's great to see how high-stakes these matches get, as Ash and Claptrap really have a tendency to go all-in – perfect for their character types. The question is if you've got the guts to call on them.