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Sam & Max return with a virtual reality caper next year

Fuzzy freelance coppers-for-hire Sam & Max are back from their ten-year hiatus. They’re getting a new game, see – and for this case, you’ll need a big plastic headset strapped to your noggin. Announced during tonight’s Gamescom festivities, Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual will let you join the duo as a nameless third wheel sometime next year.

Teased during the Opening Night Live showcase earlier tonight, This Time It’s Virtual’s full trailer aired later with a fuller picture of the crime-fighting duo’s VR capers.

With roots as a comic strip back in the 80s, Sam & Max have a fond place in point n’ click fans’ hearts thanks to LucasArts’ stellar 1993 adventure Sam & Max Hit The Road. A pre- The Walking Dead Telltale Games took a shot at following up the series in the late-00s, but from what I can gather, they never quite lived up to that 90s gem.

This Time It’s Virtual, then, will be the pair’s first case in over a decade – one that flings your headset-wearing self into the mix as an unnamed Freelance Police Cadet. While the writing in the trailer seems fine enough, the play looks a little uninspiring right now, your standard VR sandbox affair of messing around with props in a virtual space. Maybe that novelty would fly five years ago, but I finally got around to Half-Life: Alyx last week and my standards have been set through the roof.

Is that unfair? Maybe, sure. But then maybe I’m just too young to remember the good ol’ days of Sam & Max. The duo’s return is being developed by Happy Giant Games, who seem to have mostly worked on various AR games, though a tweet from the devs notes that “about 5 people” on the team worked on the beloved Hit The Road. And while they’re focused on VR for now, Happy Giant haven’t written off the possibility of a non-VR version down the road.

Sam & Max: This Time It’s Virtual will hit unannounced VR platforms sometime next year.

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Natalie Clayton


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