Game review: Full Throttle Remastered – LucasArts’ updated adventure game proves that good storytelling never goes out of style
Featuring beautiful updated graphics and sound, Full Throttle’s tale of a biker out to clear his name in a near-future world is a standout entry in a recent flood of nostalgic adventure games
Full Throttle Remastered
Double Fine Productions
Full Throttle wasn’t the first game I ever played, but it was the first that left a real impression on me. Super Mario and the like were fun – bouncy, catchy little games that were all about the points – but here was a game that came with an entire world of its own, together with a truly complete story in which you led the protagonist’s actions, guided his fate, solved mysteries, and had a lot of laughs along the way.
This led to an obsession with LucasArts adventure games – Monkey Island, Indiana Jones, Sam & Max – and it was only later that I understood how truly underrated Full Throttle was. Many of you would likely never have played it, which makes this remastered version (available for PCs) such a treat.
Set in a near future where cars fly and the roads are all but empty, we follow Ben, a greaser biker and the last of a dying chopper breed. Framed for murder by a villain out to destroy all vehicle companies (voiced by the indelible Mark Hamill), Ben has to hit the road to clear his name.
Full Throttle mostly adheres to the puzzle-adventure dynamic created, popularised and all but cornered by LucasArts back in their 1990s heyday, although the game does move away from the template in one noticeable way. It’s actually – shock, horror! – pretty easy, which was ironically a source of annoyance for moody critics back in the day, but has incongruously become a positive in the current ADHD-afflicted gaming world.
The game holds up very well and, combined with the fact that good storytelling never goes out of style, this update has turned out to be one of the best of the contemporary bunch.
Then there’s the remastering itself, an impressive effort from developer Double Fine. The original game exhibited a unique animated style, a blend of Saturday morning cartoons and ’90s comic books. That aesthetic has not only been kept firmly in check, but has also been given a detailed sheen that’s almost a beauty to behold.
The sound too is brilliantly focused, and gamers can effortlessly switch back and forth between original mono and the updated remixed version (there’s no comparison though – the latter is superb).
Recent months have seen a flood of nostalgic adventure games – both the remastered and inspired kind – but for this critic at least, Full Throttle is a cut above.