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Sam & Max Prepare For The Penal Zone

The third series of Telltale's Sam & Max games is due to see its first episode arrive this Thursday, and to remind us all of this there's what's described as a "smidgeon of gameplay" to be watched, below. The first episode is called The Penal Zone, and it's safe to assume no opportunity to snicker at "penal" will be missed. In fact, as the footage below shows, it's safe to assume an awful lot has changed since season two, with a new inventory, new conversation system, new features such as a notepad, and most of all, the ability to play as Max using his new-found psychic powers.

Also different, as this footage demonstrates, is the quality of the graphics. The backgrounds look enormously more detailed, and the characters have more expressive faces, more detail on them. And most of all, their voices no longer sound like someone's hitting a stick against an electric fence - something I've been screaming to be improved for a long time. And hoorah! It's done!

The footage below is a little flat and out of nowhere in the story (I'm cleverly concealing the fact that I've already finished the game, but can't yet share my opinions of it, by the tense of my writing, but here I'm giving up) - it makes a lot more sense in context. It usefully shows you Max using one of his new powers, teleportation, which not only ends up acting as a useful quick-travel, but is also the basis for a number of puzzles.

The game's available Thursday, but it's unclear at this point whether you'll be required to buy the whole five-part season for $35 then, or if that restriction is only on those pre-ordering. Telltale haven't really found a pricing policy they've stuck with yet, so it's a little unpredictable at this point. Still, from the improvements and the details below, this one's looking promising.

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John Walker

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Once one of the original co-founders of Rock Paper Shotgun, they killed me out of jealousy. I now run buried-treasure.org

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