Killer robots spouting disco lyrics, teenage rats with Tourette’s syndrome, the dark lord Satan reduced to an ineffectual middle manager - what’s amazing about the second season of Sam & Max’s adventures is its power to surprise and delight, long after you would expect the writers’ funny supplies to have dried up. Its finale, What’s New, Beelzebub?, also proves that they had planned out this season’s overarching story line with an unassumingly meticulous style. Even the smallest throwaway from previous episodes makes sense in the end.
Beelzebub picks up immediately following the conclusion of the previous episode, Chariots of the Dogs. Gruff shopkeeper Bosco’s soul has gone to Hell, and our heroes follow the trail to convince Satan to return it to its earthly owner. What they find is that the fire and brimstone Hell is really a soul-crushing office cubicle hell, staffed by the now-deceased characters they’ve encountered in previous episodes.
Now that they’ve been to the North Pole, the Bermuda Triangle, zombie-filled Stuttgart, and the far reaches of time and space, Sam and Max going to Hell seems to be the logical next step. In fact, the writers appear to have approached this season with a zestful, take-no-prisoners attitude, almost as if, Season Three be damned, they’re willing to use up all their best ideas in one five-episode arc. Though not quite as genre-pushing as Chariots was, Beelzebub masterfully ties up every single loose end left dangling in the first and second seasons.
Because this episode entangles with its predecessors so tightly, I recommend playing at least the preceding four episodes first. Beelzebub can be purchased from Telltalegames.com solo (for $8.95) or as part of the Season Two bundle (for $34.95), or through Gametap.com as part of your monthly subscription.
PC Gamer scores games on a percentage scale, which is rounded to the closest whole number to determine the GamesRadar score.
PCG Final Verdict: 90% (Editor's Choice)
May 7, 2008