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Sam & Max Episode 5: Reality 2.0 review

Dog and rabbit struggle to understand technology as the world crumbles around them. Hilarity ensues

Pros

  • Old-school videogame gags
  • Bigger
  • cooler environments
  • New gameplay twists

Cons

  • Dialogue plays smaller role
  • Max gets in the way a lot
  • Still over too quickly

They've conquered giant presidents, fibbed their way to daytime-TV stardom and brought down mafiosos in creepy bear masks. Now, five episodes into their six-episode series, Sam and Max face their greatest challenge to date: learning to use the internet. And this time, the very fate of western civilization hangs in the balance.

As Sam & Max Episode 5: Reality 2.0 opens, Max - the psychotic rabbity half of the dog-and-rabbit-thing duo - has somehow managed to hang on to the US presidency after winning a sham election in the last episode. As the country rapidly slides into civil war and chaos under his destructive rule, the pair is alerted to the one crisis that isn't Max's fault: the internet's become self-aware, and it's trapping people in a virtual world called Reality 2.0.

Setup aside, the new episode plays largely like the last four. Once again, you control Sam, with Max following you around and occasionally getting in the way. Once again, you click on stuff, navigate conversations and help yourself to whatever isn't nailed down to solve puzzles that block your progress. So no drastic departures there.

But while previous episodes in the Sam & Max series have each been a little better than the last, Reality 2.0 kicks "a little" to the curb and then writes it an outrageously steep ticket for some made-up offense. The key to that is Reality 2.0 itself; instead of just tacking on a new location for the duo to travel to, the new episode is centered around their familiar, crumbling neighborhood, as well as a bizarre, TRON-inspired version of it filled with cool junk. Sam and Max can instantly shift between Reality 2.0 and the "real" world by slapping on a pair of goggles, which is way more efficient than tooling around in their rusty old DeSoto convertible.

More Info

GenreAdventure
DescriptionVirtual-reality weirdness and a bigger, flashier world make Reality 2.0 the dog-and-rabbit crime-solving duo's best episode to date.
PlatformPC
US censor ratingTeen
Release date29 March 2007 (US), 12 April 2007 (UK)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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