Fans of nerd culture, look no further. Whether you’re the champ who leaves the table with all the chips or the chump who leaves all the chips on the table, this is the gaming experience for you. Poker Night 2 plays like an all-star poker event. It’s a gathering of five video game, movie, and television celebrities, and you get to play poker with them. Even though this game does not feature multiplayer, you’ll feel like you’re playing with friends.
We won’t go over the rules of poker here, but poker newbies don’t need to be afraid of this game. A quick tutorial will introduce you to both Texas Hold’em and Omaha-style poker. You also have access to a cheat sheet during every hand to help you figure out whether you have a flush or a full house. The game is a $20,000 buy-in tournament, and the player with all the cash wins the tournament.
The real appeal of Poker Night 2 is the poker buddies. You, as a nameless and voiceless player, get to sit down and play in a poker tournament with four celebs and a guest dealer. Your opponents are Brock Samson from the Venture Bros., Claptrap from Borderlands 2, Ash Williams from Army of Darkness, and Sam from Sam & Max. GLaDOS from Portal is the dealer. Not only do you get to play against these characters, but you also get to hear them chat during the game.
At first, you might think this odd mix of characters would be an awkward mish-mash, but the chemistry between these characters is phenomenal. The writers of this game have put together tons of dialogue, and though you may hear some lines get repeated, it’s still hilarious every time. These characters will have fun lines to say on their own, but the real treat is when two or more characters chat. The interplay between these players creates a relaxing environment where you feel like one the guys.
Since Telltale Games didn’t have to reinvent the wheel with poker, they added amazing details to everything else. As in actual poker, each character has their own behavior ticks, or tells, which you might be able to pick up on. Tells can show if a player is bluffing and betting all their chips on a bad hand. These add to the realistic atmosphere of the game, where you now have to analyze behavior as well as the cards.
You earn tokens during each game, whether you win or lose, which you can use towards purchasing new table felt, cards, or chips. You can also use these tokens to buy your poker buddies drinks, which can influence their behavior.
With the focus on personality and humor here, it’s hard to find things to dislike. Our only issue is the game’s lack of multiplayer. Since Poker Night 2 has such an emphasis on making it seem like you’re playing with actual people, it wouldn’t hurt to play with other actual people.
Even though you may have never thought about what Ash Williams and Brock Samson would talk about, the idea of playing poker with them is nearly irresistible. With the dialogue between all the characters, you’ll feel like you’re really at the table. As a result, you may just play each hand more seriously.