Full Throttle Remastered (PlayStation 4) Review

By Albert Lichi 04.05.2017

Review for Full Throttle Remastered on PlayStation 4

Many of the LucasArts point and click adventure games have been coming out of obscurity and have be rediscovered by new players. With titles like Day of the Tentacle, Grim Fandango and some of the Monkey Island games getting remastered, it was only a matter of time before Full Throttle got the same treatment and was set loose on current platforms. While it has languished into obscurity since its release in 1995, Full Throttle has aged way better than some of its other LucasArts brethren, and now it has been rereleased as Full Throttle: Remastered on PlayStation 4. Cubed3 discovers meat's many uses...

What is it about bikers that makes them some kind of all-American figure? In many ways they are the modern day pirates; big burly macho men who live a life of grey morality. Sometimes thugs, sometimes guardian angels... the biker naturally makes for a great video game protagonist, yet rarely is. Tim Schafer realized the potential for an adventure game centred on a biker fable with Full Throttle and the story of Ben.

In a time in the not too distant future, the world Schafer crafted was that of a desolate America and where wheels were becoming a thing of the past. Ben and his gang, the Polecats, a gang who refuses to give in to the progress of hover vehicles, get caught up in a corporate power struggle between a CEO of a motor company and his Vice President, Adrian Ripburger. For a Tim Schafer game, the story is unusually straightforward and there is a sense that there might have been a much grander scope for this game, but concessions might have been made due to budget and time constraints. The way the story wraps itself up really quickly towards the end only reinforces this feeling of incompletion.

In spite of Full Throttle's fairly simple story of basically being a fugitive, there is still Schafer's expertise for writing characters and comedy. Typically, this game still falls into the trap that most of Schafer's point-and-click games succumb to, and that is that they have obtuse logic for the puzzles and that the game itself would be better off as some kind of animated movie. However, unlike Grim Fandango, this game has a much better interface that is not clunky and doesn't have such a boring verb menu like Day of the Tentacle. Everything is condensed to a much more logical four-way verb system that pops up around the cursor. What is curious is that this was two years before Grim Fandango, yet that game used a vastly inferior inventory system. As far as point-and-click games go, Full Throttle is much cleaner and makes more sense than most of the competition out there.

Screenshot for Full Throttle Remastered on PlayStation 4

As per usual with the LucasArts point-and-click remasters, there is a feature for Full Throttle Remastered that toggles the classic art and the new HD art. This game sadly does not translate well to the new HD art very well and a lot of the grit and character from the glorious pixel art is lost. The classic art surprisingly aged so much better than expected and has a 90s animation charm about it that gets lost with the HD mode, which looks like some kind of cheap Flash animation from the web. It looks especially poor when anything is animated because Full Throttle used its limits to its advantage and relied on key frame animations, which is less uncanny to the eye.

With remastered art enabled everything just feels jerkier than it should because the sharper art is not accommodating the old animation frames. It is too bad that the only way to play this in widescreen is with HD art toggled on. It is a shame the developers did not take the opportunity to expand the original pixel art to accommodate the 16:9 aspect ratio with the original 4:3 as an option, instead of the lifeless HD art. The only times when the classic art does not hold up is during some wide shots where the camera is so far away from Ben, he resembles a small blob of pixels.

This is one of Tim Schafer's more mature stories and the ending goes to pretty real places that can hit home hard. It is totally appropriate for what is essentially a fable about rugged guys who live on the road and feels really personal. It does get frustrating at times thanks to much of the puzzles being pretty poorly designed and it only has one ending. The replayability is low, which is to be expected for a game like this, but Full Throttle came out in 1995 and around that time the genre was evolving past a linear story. Around the same time, games like Gabriel Knight, Myst, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream and even other LucasArts games like Maniac Mansion were examples of adventure games that had multiple outcomes, which made them more compelling.

Screenshot for Full Throttle Remastered on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

The plot is not as epic as some other LucasArts adventure games, but it really doesn't need it. At the end of the day, it's a story about a guy who is on the run and wouldn't give up his wheels... Somewhere there is an heir to a major company, too. Full Throttle Remastered gets the highest compliment an adventure game from 1995 could get: it did not need to be remastered. It is a pretty short game, which wraps itself up at breakneck speeds at the climax, but it is definitely a ride worth taking at least once. Best to play it in the classic mode and take in the atmosphere from a bygone era. Some parts are a bit of a pain, but it is all worth it for the ending.

Developer

Double Fine

Publisher

Double Fine

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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