"We wanted to bump everything up presentation-wise for this season," said designer Chuck Jordan, drawing attention to the Telltale engine's impressive -- nay, tight -- visual enhancements. The Penal Zone, the first of five monthly episodes comprising Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse, features noticeably improved lighting, real-time shadows and more expressive facial animation. As Jordan pointed out, "an expression can sell a joke for the first time."
Based on the demo I saw at the Game Developers Conference, it's also apparent that the improved graphics do make a difference to that potted plant. Because you transform into one. "When you finally get to control Max," Jordan said, "it's really weird." Like, really really weird.