Quantcast
Review: Kentucky Route Zero Episode 2 - Destructoid

DestructoidJapanatorTomopopFlixist



Kentucky Route Zero Episode 2  




Review: Kentucky Route Zero Episode 2 photo
Review: Kentucky Route Zero Episode 2

2:00 PM on 06.06.2013

Floor three, please


[This review contains some minor spoilers from earlier episodes.]

The first episode of Kentucky Route Zero absolutely blew me away. Beautiful art mixed with the "I'm not really sure what's happening" atmosphere made for an unforgettable experience. The first episode was short, only worsened by the fact that it raised approximately one kajillion questions and answered none of them.

Episode 2 isn't looking to answer any questions either, but instead ramps up the weirdness to new levels. With that weirdness, however, comes an exciting sense of wonder as new spectacles -- the likes of which I didn't know were even possible in-engine -- unfold on the computer screen.

Kentucky Route Zero Episode 2 (PC)
Developer: Cardboard Computer
Publisher: Cardboard Computer
Release Date: May 31, 2013
MSRP: $25 (All acts)

When we last left our characters, they were staring past a television set and on their way to the Zero. Episode 2 picks up shortly thereafter, though they are already off the Zero and at some sort of business building. Conway, Shannon, and Homer (his name is Homer, dammit) are still looking for that elusive Dogwood Drive address so Conway can make his delivery, and just when they think they're on to something, information gets lost in a vicious cycle of bureaucracy.

The commentary on the business world is pretty overt here, but it is still amusing to experience even if some of the observations are a little tired these days. From here, the group looks to a Doctor to heal Conway's leg, since it seems to be affecting him pretty significantly at this point.

Just as with the first game, Episode 2 isn't about where they're going or why, but is instead about experiencing the actual journey itself. This episode has players actually driving on the Zero, something that I didn't think we'd ever get to experience, as well as taking part in a handful of amazing set pieces. Like Episode 1, these events will cement their positions in the player's brain as nothing short of memorable.

Traversing the Zero has a baseline familiarity of the map system from the first episode, but at the same time is way more bizarre and unique. Here, directions like, "Drive clockwise until the Feather, turn around, and you'll be there," make complete sense, which is absurd. There are some extra places to visit on the Zero if the player so chooses, however constantly navigating the circular "road" can be a bit of a nuisance when trying to visit all locations. I suppose that's only appropriate, but it is quite frustrating regardless.

Visiting these locations, much like in the first episode, triggers a text adventure-esque experience, describing the sights via words rather than the in-game art. When reading these bits while on the Zero, the game's sound began popping. I'm not sure if this is intentional or not, but either way it is very annoying and hurt my ears. The old road map does make a return, complete with new areas to visit and experience. There's even a new way to explore the road map that I won't spoil for players, but manages to be both beautiful and breathtaking while merely exploring otherwise unimpressive lines on a map.

The conversations follow suit from Episode 1: the player acts almost as a theater director of events, rather than only deciding what one single character should do. Choosing what different characters say in the same scene adds an oddly high sense of player agency, even though none of the conversation decisions from the player really matter in the long run.

Just as players from the first episode should expect, interest will be piqued. Weird stuff happens all throughout the episode, complete with symbolism that players may or may not immediately understand. This is a thinking man's game, and one that will have people on forums discussing the small intricacies and nuances of the story for a while to come.

The ability of these characters to find themselves in such weird and bizarre situations and simultaneously have ordinary reactions is what I love most about Kentucky Route Zero. Experiencing each new area is euphoric, especially the latter half of Episode 2. Each new environment employs a sense of wonder, even in the Forest area, a very common and often boring zone in videogames.

There were some hitches along the way, like the Zero being a bitch to navigate, some sound popping, and even a typo, but nothing too game-breaking to really deter the overall experience of the brief second episode. Each scene is a sight to behold and I am anxiously awaiting the next installment of this brilliant adventure. 



THE VERDICT - Kentucky Route Zero Episode 2

Reviewed by Patrick Hancock

8.5 /10
Great: Impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding it back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash. Check out more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.






Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.





timeline following:
Kentucky Route Zero Episode 2





Win your choice of console from Destructoid! in Destructoid's Hangs on LockerDome

reviews

12:00 PM on 07.23.2014
Review: Sokobond

Chemistry is governed by a definite set of rules. Opposite charges attract, like dissolves like, matter is always conserved. There are more rules than just those, but one of the great things about the study of matter and its ...more



11:00 AM on 07.22.2014
Review: The Walking Dead Season 2: Amid the Ruins

The last episode of The Walking Dead was probably my favorite one yet -- and that's including all of Lee's tale from the first season. Clem has made the switch from tough to full-on badass depending on your choices, and ...more



8:00 AM on 07.22.2014
Review: Dark Souls II: The Crown of the Sunken King

2014 has been very good to me, but Dark Souls II is one of my favorite games of the year. Many debates have raged on as to whether or not it's as exceptional as its predecessor (Demon's Souls is better than bot...more



View all reviews






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more