From The Archive is a series that takes articles previously written by Jennifer McMurray and presents them to a new audience. The Abe Lincoln Must Die review was originally published at The Adventuress on May 22, 2010.
The fourth game removes the feelings of deja-vu, and brings the series to new heights.
In this episode, the duo must investigate a situation where it seems that the president of the United States has been hypnotized. Things don’t turn out the way Sam & Max expected, and soon an emergency election for the president of the United States is launched. The giant statue of Abraham Lincoln has been brought to life, as the general feeling is that the original Abe is the one man who the public would never vote against. Sam & Max need to stop this, so it’s decided Max has to run for the president of the United States against the giant Abe Lincoln.
The new location of the White House is a lot of fun. Telltale has also thrown in an Easter egg in this location, so feel free to try to find it if you like. It’s a pretty clever joke. The previous locations still are the same, and the running gags are still here, but thankfully the locations now have different descriptions for the objects you select. So, the feeling of deja-vu is lessoned a lot with this episode. The funniness factor is also upped a lot here. The running jokes with Sybil’s new jobs were becoming tiresome, but her new job here and the lines written for her were pretty funny. Bosco is still imitating accents from other nations (poorly). His actor always gives a great performance with the lines he’s given, and they are funnier here than ever.
The last episode had excellent music, but this episode tops that one in every regard. The musical number in this one is even more brilliant than the last, and is so catchy it will be stuck in your head long after you’ve played. It’s an excellent bit of absurdity that fits into the Sam & Max universe perfectly. The voices are also great here. Bosco is great as always. The voices of Sam, Max, and Sybil seem to have hit their stride as of this episode. The dialog seems to flow more naturally than before, and it sounds less like Sam & Max are trying to imitate the Hit the Road characters and more like they are taking the characters in a new direction. Which is an excellent thing, since this series has a different tone than LucasArts’ game, so the different interpretation fits well.
The writing has improved, the puzzles are excellent, and the voice actors are beginning to hit their stride. The musical number is the funniest one yet in a Sam & Max game. Now that the episode is free on the PC, this episode should be played by everyone. It’s the turning point of the first season, and one of the best episodes the Sam & Max series has to offer.
4½ out of 5