3 Out of 10 Season 2 doubles down on the silliness.
Recently I got the chance to play through the console version of 3 Out of 10, a video game sitcom based in a game development studio. I liked it rather a lot, but bemoaned the cliff-hanger ending that left a lot unresolved. Fortunately, 3 Out of 10 Season 2 was released on Epic Games Store the week after I’d finished, so I went straight in with high hopes of humour and pleasing plot progression.
The second season begins where the previous one left off, with the team investigating the break in that occurred at the end of the final episode. All the previous cast are present, from bungling CEO Jeb to weird, possibly non-human Pylon. Each episode again features a main story with a couple of hints towards the overarching mystery involving Midge and why she’s been sent to work for Shovel Works Studios, who have yet to make an anywhere near competent game. You’ll deal with missing computers, reconnoitering rival game studios, and escaped tentacle monsters through a combination of conversation, item finding, and mini-games.
Just like in the previous season, 3 Out of 10 Season 2 mostly revolves around cutscenes, with you taking control of a particular character as they wander around the environments to find specific items to use or people to talk to. Occasionally you’ll participate in a mini-game which also serves to progress the plot. As before, none of these are desperately challenging, and things can be skipped if something is tricky or you just want to move on quickly. Although, each episode is only around 30 to 45 minutes, so skipping those mini games would reduce that play time quite considerably.
Terrible Posture Games have once more managed to create mini-games that are completely unique to each other, and even to those in the previous season. I’m genuinely impressed that they’ve created so many different styles of play, with you participating in first-person shooters, football games, and even a grid based first-person RPG. None of these games are brilliantly made, but they’re all competent, fun, and brief enough to not outstay their welcome.
You can still earn stars for finding items and completing mini games with good scores, although you no longer earn bonus features for reaching collection milestones. It’s odd to have taken this away as there’s now little-to-no reason to earn those stars. With that said, finding them in the environment can result in some pretty funny dialogue.
And that funny dialogue is once again what carries 3 Out of 10 Season 2. With this being so cutscene heavy, Terrible Posture Games needed to make sure they were as fun and engaging as those they’d previously made, and they’ve continued to knock it out the park. There are genuine laugh out loud moments, and the returning voice cast are as on form as they ever were. Shovel Works’ lead designer Kevin going mad, turning evil, and becoming WaKevin — complete with silly moustache — had me bursting out in laughter, and every episode had at least one moment like this. Every element of the writing and presentation come together to make a fun experience filled with entertaining and endearing characters.
With all that said though, the ending is still another cliff-hanger just as the overall plot seems to get going. It was annoying in the first season and it’s annoying again. I appreciate that the developers want to keep interest for a third season — and possibly beyond that — but the small tidbits of plot that keep me engaged can only do so for so long without some more significant developments. The individual episodes are fun, but if my interest in the main story wanes then I’m not sure that alone is going to keep me coming back for more.
The long and short of this is that if you enjoyed the first season then this is more of what you enjoyed. If you didn’t then there’s no way this is going to change your mind. I’ve enjoyed both and I’m looking forward to a third season of 3 Out of 10, although I expect I’ll have to wait a little longer this time. More gaming culture lampooning — the “elite gamer nightclub” being a highlight — along with a silly, almost Futurama-esque cast and excellent presentation have kept me engaged with this series. Here’s to another 3 Out of 10 release.
3 Out of 10 Season 2 is currently available on Epic Games Store.