The first episode of Viper's Creed grabbed my attention on account of it seemingly caring little for the plot, preferring to just to invoke big motorbike mechas and even bigger explosions to sell itself. Sometimes that kind of simplicity is just what my half-fried brain needs at the end of the day, so in my book it was all the better for it.
This second episode of the series tries to build things up more in the sense of characterisation and storyline, although the entire reason for all of those aforementioned bikes and explosions is given such short shrift at the beginning of this episode that it backs up my feeling that it's secondary to "the cool bits" - In essence, it was summed up as "war is over, civil wars still being fought, terrorists blah blah blah".
The main focus of this episode is to introduce a new member to the Viper unit, thus fulfilling their positive discrimination requirements for the series, as clearly all squad-based action series must have an idealistic young man who is rebelling against his father to avoid falling foul of international law. So, we're introduced to Haruki, who happens to be (you guessed it) an idealistic young man rebelling against his father, who is in fact the President of the company they all work for. Cue Haruki making a beginner's error which leads to a successful terrorist attack, before demanding to carry on with a subsequent mission even though they have been commanded to return to base, and similarly cue the ever-sullen Saiki helping him out when nobody else was interested.
As per the first episode, the action is really where it's at with Viper's Creed, proving to be fast-paced and compelling in the kind of mindless way that somehow reminded me of playing Unreal Tournament, perhaps mainly because of this episode's choice of tight, claustrophobic tunnels for these scenes. Sadly, there's nowhere near as much of this action as we saw in the first instalment, which makes it far less interesting... Let's face it, this show isn't going to win any awards for deep emotions or characterisation. Hopefully it doesn't forget its roots of blowing things up in spectacular fashion, otherwise it might all start to get a little dull.