Harder, Better and Darker than PQ1 - 5 stars!
I was hanging out for PQ2 to be released, after absolutely loving the first game. And after playing it for a couple of days it was apparent that it was an even better game than the first.
The graphics were higher resolution and a step up from the first game - the EGA version used dithering to give the impression of a lot more than 16 colours. The artwork was great - each location was lovingly put together with a great diversity of styles - from the lagoon/diving section to the sewers to the police station it was excellent for its time.
The sound was a huge step up, being the first in the series to support the Adlib and Roland sound cards - some great tunes and themes. No decent sound effect support, but it still was very good for PC games of the time.
The storyline/plot and puzzles are the best part of the game. Continuing on from the first game it details the events following the escape from prison of Jessie Bains, the "Death Angel".
As before, the plot escalates in intensity, excitement and difficulty to a perfect scale with a great conclusion to the game. The different things that you have to do in the game are great - the shooting range at the PD is cool, the diving section is fun, and having to investigate crime scenes and put all the clues and evidence together (such as dusting for prints etc) to work out what to do next gives a great sense of achievement, as well as being lots of fun.
Whereas, in PQ1 you were kind of led along by the procedures manual and rather obvious clues, this game requires you to do a lot more conclusive thinking for yourself, making it difficult for non-adventure fans, but a truly classic time for those who love the genre. The story is darker and moodier than PQ1, which was kind've light hearted, but is all that much better as a result. There is still a lot of humour in there too, especially from your partner.
The length of the game - from memory it took me several months to finish (I was 12 at the time) without any hints whatsoever. The sense of satisfaction in doing so was rewarding.
Playing it in CGA originally some sections were hard (such as the diving) as the colours were all blue and red and some obvious clues were hidden as a result. There's not much else wrong with this game, another true classic for Sierra.
The Bottom Line
A classic adventure that is the best game in the Police Quest series - the subsequent titles were actually pretty average. An engaging story with characters that you believe in and make you want to keep playing just to see how everything turns out. If you love Sierra games, then play PQ1 AGI and this through without walkthroughs, and you'll love every moment!