Great voice work
Lots to see and experience
When I heard the news that Telltale Games had released Sam and Max Episode Four Abe Lincoln must die as freeware, I was shocked to say the least. The good kind of shock mind you, I thought at first maybe this was some promotion that Gametap was doing to promote the start of Sam and Max Season 2. That was not the case, as I soon discovered and learned that the game was being released as freeware, period, no exceptions or crazy rules, like some companies tend to do when they release a commercial game as freeware, no strings attached basically. This amazing gesture by Telltale Games to release one of the best episodes from Sam and Max Season One was just fantastic and I applaud them for this. How many companies in the video game industry release a fairly recent game as the Sam and Max series, as freeware. It is extremely rare, and that makes this release much more special.
Of the six episodes in Season One, Episode four is my favorite, no question. This was the title I felt that really did a superb job with not only telling an intriguing story, but also came complete with a lot to see and do in Sam and Maxs world, a decent challenge in terms of the puzzles, the same great music as earlier episodes and of course the stellar voice acting from not only Sam and Max, but from all the characters that play a role in this particular game, all around Episode Four, set the gears in motion of what type of game Telltale should be aiming. The company had been tweaking here and there trying to find the right formula in episodes one, two and three. In Episode four they nailed that formula and made an excellent title that is easily one of the standouts from Season One, with the possible exceptions of episodes five and six, which also were on the same level of quality as episode four.
If there would be one episode that I would recommend to anyone who wanted to jump into the Season One library and wanted to see how Sam and Max made the jump to 3-D, Episode Four is that game. Anyone who has enjoyed any sort of adventure games over the years definitely need to play this game, and see the magic that is made.
Getting onto the story of this particular episode, which I do not want to spoil with too many details, especially considering this is the fourth episode and a lot of the meat of the overarching story has been playing out for gamers who have played through episodes one through three. Sam and Max while enjoying a relaxing afternoon of crank calling, soon learn of a crisis that is sweeping the United States. It seems the suspect in this particular case, is the most powerful man in the land, the president of the United States, who has been enacting crazy sorts of laws, but the worst one that not only shocks and horrifies Max, our crazy little demonic rabbit hero, is enacting Gun Control. So Sam and Max set off to stop the president, by any means necessary and you know that means there will be mischief and funny gags along the way. There is more that could be set about the story but I will leave the more specific details for you to see in action.
You take control of Sam, our heroic, noble and sometimes law biding canine, and you are accompanied by your partner Max, our psychotic, furry, and cute little rabbit creature tags along, to aid you whenever necessary or simply provide his opinion or observations to the situation that you are encountering. All movement is handled by the mouse as you simply point and click where you would like Sam to move within the world. As well, any actions such as looking at an object, or attempting to use an object, or even talking with any of the characters is accomplished with the left mouse button. That is all you have to remember for this game.
Once you enter the world of Sam and Max, you will definitely be in for a surprise. If you have just played Sam and Max Hit the Road from Lucasarts, you will be pleasantly surprised at what you find in this game. Areas have been added, new characters have been introduced and there is plenty of dialogue and observations provided by the freelance police themselves Sam and Max our psychotic, furry, and cute little rabbit creature, who might seem on the outside to be the oddest partners you have ever seen, but once you see the way they interact not only with each other and with the world around them, you will understand how these two make one of the best crime fighting partners, ready to strike against any evil that threatens the world.
The world itself is filled with different areas ranging from Sam and Maxs office, to the actual White houses oval office, to places such as Sybil Pandemics ever changing office and even Boscos Inconvience, where you will be able to shoot the breeze with the ever paranoid personality of Bosco and his intriguing ideas. While it may not seem that there are a ton of areas to see on your journey, there is plenty of content in each of these areas to keep you entertained, from not only observing what comments Sam and Max have to say, but with the different objectives you have to complete as well.
The music and sound effects in this game are also top notch. From the different music compositions that you hear in each different area, they seem just as fresh and uplifting even when you come back to these areas several times during the game. If you have played the earlier episodes, then the music is still the same with the exception of the new areas, but I enjoy hearing each music track and the new ones for the White House and other areas fit perfectly.
What makes Sam and Max also stand out, is the excellent voice work provided from all the characters in the game. You never really feel that any of the characters have sub par voices or performances from the actors and actresses because each instance when you hear the characters speaking, the voice work is so superbly done. Sam and Max themselves have some of the best voices in the game, with a slight edge being awarded to Max for his crazy and shifting personality within the game, once you hear Max for the first time, you will be shocked at how good he sounds.
What else can be said about Sam and Max Episode Four is that you must and I mean you must check out this gem as it is one of the best games to come out in the last few years, bar none it can easily rank as one of the best adventure games as well. Props should be given to Telltale Games for releasing one of the most popular episodes and most universally liked episodes from Season One as freeware and hopefully with this release it can also bring more gamers to see Sam and Max in Season Two. So go forth and download this game and see all the hard work and effort that Telltale has done to make this one of the best episodes in Season One and maybe pick up Season One after that if you really like this game.
Review by: DeathDude
Language, some content
Safe for ages: 13+
Windows XP or Vista
32MB 3-D-accelerated video card