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Sam & Max Episode 5: Reality 2.0 Review

GAME INFO
publisher: Telltale Games
developer: Telltale Games
genre: Adventure

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS
PIII 800, 256MB RAM, 230MB HDD, 32MB video card
ESRB rating: n/a
homepage:
www.telltalegames.com/samandmax/reality2.0

release date: Apr 12, 07
» All About Sam & Max Episode 5: Reality 2.0 on ActionTrip


It's time to step into the world of wacky crime-fighting again. We are greeted by Sam & Max, who, once again happily take us on a new virtual journey, where new evildoers must be brought to justice.

Already challenged by mighty opponents (like a seriously disturbed eye fitness guru, a stubborn pink-haired TV show host, the influential toy mafia and even the United States Government), Sam & Max now stand against a foe whose face remains hidden from the eyes of the real world. It's an enemy that's everywhere and nowhere. Actually, it's the Internet. Triggering a great crisis and threatening to control every single being on the planet, the Internet must be stopped somehow. To do that, our two heroes venture into the very heart of the virtual world, where the Internet reigns supreme. Taking the very first steps to solve their new case, Sam & Max realize that a viral video game is holding its players hostage. Facing potential worldwide system failure, the Freelance Police is coming to the rescue. Your task is to make sure they don't fall victim to the awesome power of geekness in the process.

The encouraging twist in Reality 2.0 is the unique aspect of solving puzzles, which different slightly from the previous installments. Rather than having to deal with predicaments in the real world, it's always necessary to consider if the problem may be resolved within the virtual world. Granted, each puzzle doesn't exactly involve any major brainstorming. It's just the opposite. The solution for problem often presents itself. The one thing I enjoyed most in this episode is seeing how well the developers used their imagination and creativity to whip up numerous insinuations to various Internet trends. Once you enter the virtual world, everywhere you look there are banners, pop-ups and other forms of online ads, depicting the things we detest the most while accessing information via the Web.

After experiencing four episodes, it became clear that Telltale Games is decidedly maintaining the series within the boundaries of all too familiar locations. Familiar, that is, to anybody who played earlier editions. So, speaking of locations, Reality 2.0 continues the same tradition, only this time they came up with a cool idea of offering an alternate reality setting, as opposed to creating new locations from scratch. For the most part, this works quite well. It's plain enough that plenty of hard work went into bringing this new episode to life. Everyone from the designers and artists, to the animators and dialogue writers did a decent job. The characters are charming and the dialogue is witty enough to keep you on your toes to the end.

I've rarely seen the spirit of the series falter in terms of humor. Sam & Max are hilarious and after going through five episodes, I must admit I've grown quite attached to both of the little buggers and I'm really curious to see what how the so far unnamed Episode 6 will turn out.

Reality 2.0 is a fun experience crammed with humor. I'd recommend it inexperienced gamers as well as players who are into classic adventure games. Sam & Max Episode 5: Reality 2.0 is available from GameTap as of today and will be downloadable from Telltale Games on April 12th for $8.95. So, once again, for the amount of money you pay, it's decent game overall.

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8.4   Very Good


HIGHS
As always, an original and funny story, cool artwork and imaginative locations;

LOWS
Still gasps for more new characters and a new locations.

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