The first two seasons of Sam & Max have taken players to some strange places, but in the third season Telltale Games is venturing into what could be the strangest place of all, Max's brain. Kicking off with a simultaneous release across the PS3, PC, and Mac on April 15th, this five episode season titled The Devil's Playhouse aims to do something a little different with the point and click adventure series. Telltale invited us to swing by their booth at GDC to check out what's new with everyone's favorite dog and rabbity thingy crime fighting team.
The first thing players will notice is a brand new approach to control. With interfaces and controls revamped for the PS3 controller, this marks the first time that players will have direct control over their characters. Also new are the "Toys of Power" that give Max strange new abilities, allowing him to teleport through phones for a Pre-Skool like play phone, read people's minds with a deck of cards, and a special kind of Silly Puddy that will let him transform into any printed object he can find. To use these powers, players will enter Max's psyche and see the world through his eyes with a first person perspective. Being the rattled like psycho that he is, this means the player is treated to strange hidden images and subliminal messages they reveal Max's deepest inner thoughts and fragile emotional state. Watching a brief play through of the tutorial area showed how these powers will come into play in a variety of ways while naturally blending in the whacky humor the series the known for. The new season (and new platform) gave the team an opportunity to step up their visual presentation with a visual art style reminiscent of 70's and 80's creature features.
In an effort to get even more people into the series, Telltale is stressing that season three is an excellent entry point into the series and to prove this they'll be including a some impressive pre-order bonuses. A pre-order for the PC and Mac version will let players into the Freelance Police Elite, an online portal that will connect gamers with Telltale creators, downloads, and a few other surprises. In a PlayStation Network first, players will be able to pre-order the season at a special price of $29.99. The Ps3 version is set to include Trophies, one of which can be earned by finding every line of dialog with some form of innuendo attached to it.
While it's the same old Sam and Max that gamers have grown to love over the years, it feels like season three could be a big step for the series. We'll find out for sure on April 15th when the first episode is released.