'Poker Night 2' Ups The Ante

April 30, 2013

Playing poker with your friends is a great way to spend an evening, but what happens when your "friends" only exist in different realities? Poker Night 2 continues its quest to try to answer that question by bringing together characters from Borderlands, Sam & Max, The Ventures Bros., The Evil Dead, and Portal to belly up to the table with you. If you think you have what it takes to go all in against Brock Sampson or Ash Williams, then it's time to ante up in Poker Night 2.

Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
The twisted minds at Telltale Games are only ones really qualified to conceive of such an off-kilter creation. This is the second multi-franchise, poker collaboration from Telltale, and builds on 2010's PC and Mac only release Poker Night at the Inventory. The original featured an assortment of characters from Team Fortress 2's Heavy Weapons Guy, to Stong Bad from Homestar Runner, to Tycho from Penny Arcade, and even everyone's favorite unbalanced rabbit, Max from Sam & Max. Known for their spot-on writing, Telltale manages to take the beloved game of poker, and make it the least interesting part of a poker game.

Brock Sampson, Claptrap, Ash Williams, and Sam sit down at a backroom poker game hosted by Captain Reginald Van Winslow, with GLaDOS as the dealer. While it sounds like the setup for a bad joke, it's actually the setup for a host of good ones. Poker Night 2 offers players the chance to play Texas or Omaha Hold'em against some of the biggest names in video games, movies, and animation - voiced by some of the original talent, like Patrick Warburton and Ellen McLain.

Poker Night 2 expands beyond its PC roots, and lands on both Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network, in addition to Steam for Windows and Macs. Each platform comes with its own unique set of rewards that can be enjoyed outside of the game experience, like Xbox Avatar items, or PS3 themes, so choose your platform wisely. However, no matter where you grab the game, you'll be privy to some pretty sweet Borderlands 2 unlocks.

Poker Night 2 is so much more than just five friends sitting around a table making small talk and playing some poker; it's about going tête-à-tête with some of the biggest personalities in all of nerdom, and then (when you lose) watching them play against each other. While the poker games themselves are pretty straightforward, just sitting there listening to Claptrap question Sam about what it's like to be a dog, or watching Brock overreact to everything makes for some very entertaining moments. As an added bonus, Poker Night 2 is likely your only opportunity to win your own Spike VGA - you're going to have to pick up the game to find out how.