Monday 29 April 2013

Full Throttle Review (PC)

This somewhat overlooked classic from Lucas Arts was one of their most ambitious projects. To add a more epic feel a band, the Gone Jackals, were brought in to supply the rock soundtrack and the cut scenes display a far more cinematic approach than ever before. Mark Hamill also adds his voice to the already impressive cast. Full Throttle follows the story of Ben, leader of the Polecats biker gang, as a chance encounter with Malcolm Corley, head of the last biker manufacturer in the country, ends up with him being framed for murder.

The world of Full Throttle is wonderfully original and it's like has not been seen since. The cast of back water hicks and bumpkins can't help but raise a smile as they spew out line after line of insanity. The script, as we have come to expect from Lucasarts, also never misses a beat and it helps to layer the game with an amazingly enjoyable atmosphere.

While most games of this type use a similar control style, the system was given a bit of an overhaul for Full Throttle. Instead of having a list of commands at the bottom of the screen you now bring up a menu in the shape of a burning skull between a fist and a boot by holding the left mouse button. This allows you to grab, look, speak and, erm, kick doors in. Clicking the right mouse button brings up your inventory. It works very well, with the only minor problem being that it doesn't actually display the name of what you are looking at unless you use the look icon. Instead your cursor will simply turn red to indicate something of interest is under it.

Graphically, the game really looks good. While it continues the cartoon aesthetic that other Lucas Arts titles have it retains its own, very distinct, personality. The artists have done a really fine job in portraying a dusty back road world and the game is all the better for it. Thanks to its use of music, cinematic shots and art design, Full Throttle is arguably the most distinctive title to ever be produced by the studio.

All this greatness does come at a price though. Full Throttle may be big on presentation but it is pretty short on length. Anyone used to this type of game should sail through it in under three hours. There is enough there to warrant visiting it again but every time you play you can't help but feel that the end comes around way too soon.

Puzzles, though requiring some thought, are nice and logical and there aren't any solutions that will seem completely bizarre. This may make it a little easy in places but we would much prefer that to having to try and solve something through constant trial and error. As well as the puzzles there are a couple of mini games such as fighting other gang members on your bike in a style similar to road rash. Even here you need to keep thinking as though it may seem like a simply action section there are still puzzles to overcome.

Overall, Full Throttle is an undoubted classic of the genre. Few over games have tried so much and succeeded so well. The game may be short but it is so enjoyable that you will want to come back to it again and again. It's a shame that the sequel was cancelled as there is certainly more that could have been done with the game world. The fact it stands out so well today is testament to the effort put in by the develop team and this really is something that every fan of point and click adventures should enjoy.


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