[Disclosure: A review code was provided for the contents of this article]
There’s nothing new or clever about the infrequent, yet perpetual remastering of classic point-and-click adventures, but even so, I find myself drawn to them like a moth to the flame. Perhaps it’s the nostalgia, the fond memories I hold of cramming into my best friends attic and stuffing disk after disk into his old Amiga 1200 before using an ironic cardboard disk as an anti-piracy measure – that’s a Monkey Island reference for you youngsters. Or maybe it’s just that I love to marvel at how far games have come, because if there’s one thing I do love, it’s the ability to switch from the original graphics to the bulkier, better animated and more vibrant remake.
The most recent game to receive the spit and polish of a modern take is Full Throttle, which (ironically considering my introductory paragraph) was the first game I ever purchased on a CD-ROM. Interestingly, the original game featured a talented and diverse cast of professional voice actors, including that Skywalker bloke during his time on the breadline. It also featured a relatively advanced animation engine, as well as full motion video to present quite a lot of its exceptional story.
What this means is that the remaster of Full Throttle is slightly less impactful than some of the other remakes I’ve played, simply because it seeks to fix issues that don’t really exist, whilst failing entirely to address the problems that most older point and click adventures suffer from. At the time of its release, Full Throttle was praised for having a relatively unique and advanced interface, but by modern standards, it kind of does the bare minimum that you would expect from a game in order to be playable. Clicking around is fine, using the control wheel is fine, kicking everything rather than interacting sensibly is fine, but I wish some of the effort saved on visual and aural polish had been spent instead on interface improvements and new content, perhaps.
The game does look and sound fine, but whilst things have been updated for modern tastes, I’m probably most pleased just to report that nothing has been spoiled in doing so. Full Throttle has always had an iconic visual style and a superb cast of voice actors, and it’s great that this remaster manages to capture both the look and the tone of the original almost perfectly. I forgot how funny some of the script (and even some of the licensed music) was in Full Throttle, and it’s fantastic to relive the experience as an adult, with a drastically different perspective on life.
The plot is what will keep you hooked on Full Throttle, rather than the gameplay, because whilst the former feels as amusing, tight and interesting as it always did, the latter is, as I said before, fairly dated. We play as Ben, leader of the biker gang known as The Polecats, and we find ourselves embroiled in a tale of greed, intrigue, gang politics and romance (kind of) across a game lasting around three to six hours depending on how much you explore, repeat and refer either to your own latent memories or one of many let’s play videos already released on YouTube. I’m not ashamed to say I did both, and I even worked a few things out there and then, which should be proof enough that the puzzles on offer in Full Throttle are not too taxing, although there are a couple of infamous ones that defy logic.
To conclude, I feel as if the remaster of Full Throttle is simply a natural iteration of the original game, rather than anything as groundbreaking as say, the very first remake of Escape From Monkey Island. Even as I write that, I feel as if I’m unfairly scrutinising Full Throttle Remastered simply because the original game presented such a massive technical improvement over its contemporary peers, and as such, there is less to remaster.
The story is fantastic, the script, acting and graphics all excellent, and the gameplay, above average. So with those things in mind, any dedicated point and click fan who has not played the game before should dive straight in, whilst those like me who know what to expect might want to think twice, lest their fond memories be spoiled by the march of time.
(Main image courtesy of siminov-89)