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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

It might seem like a copout to just do a new version of an existing environment, but Reality 2.0 feels like the old neighborhood on acid. There's lots more to look at, the characters are weirder and easter-egg references to old videogames are scattered all over the place - like the floating polygonal save point from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, which actually works.

The rules are a little different, too; if you know what you're doing, you can mess with Sam and Max's height, three-dimensional status and resistance to gravity, all of which are key to solving puzzles and snagging a few familiar-looking gold coins. Reality 2.0 also features the series' first RPG-style fights, which you can pick once you've found the right weapons (sadly, Max's giant revolver doesn't cut it). It doesn't matter that the "fights" are really just another simple puzzle to be solved, or that it's impossible to be harmed by them. It doesn't even matter that they're almost more entertaining to lose than to win. They're fun, and that's what counts.

Another thing that saves the new Reality 2.0 setup from being just a re-skinning of an old environment is that it isn't the only new place added to the game; we won't spoil too much, but there's a cool new minigame, a driving sequence that's markedly different from what you might be used to and even another, simpler virtual world lurking just outside the periphery. All you need to do to find them is to plow through the story.

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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