Full Throttle, originally released by LucasArts back in 1995, is a graphic adventure game with a story created by industry legend Tim Schafer. Thanks to the work of Double Fine Productions, the game has been remastered and released on PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and Steam. It tells the tale of main character Ben Throttle who, as the leader of a biker gang known as the Polecats, gets caught up in a whole lot of trouble with the wrong people. While cruising down the street with his gang, he drives over a hovercar carrying some shady businessmen. After some confrontation at the next bar/rest-stop, Ben gets knocked out cold. To summarize and keep some of the story a mystery, he sets out to clear his name of a framed murder and rescue his gang (and the motorcycles they ride on).
There’s a good amount of cut scenes throughout the game. In fact, you’ll watch about a dozen minutes (including the opening credits since that was the norm in the 90s) before you begin controlling Ben at all. I’ll go into further details in the next section, but pressing the touch pad on the DualShock 4 controller allows you to switch render modes from the original graphics to the remastered, and I must have swapped between the them a thousand times in this intro (but more on that later). Once you take control of Ben though, you’ll be taking on everything that is typically found in point-and-click titles. He will walk around where you tell him to (or rather click). The white cross cursor will be include a red square when the highlighted object or point-of-interest can be interacted with.
When this happens you can select from three different actions to perform (usually touch, investigate, or move). Variations in actions may occur such as Ben kicking open a bar door, or trying to lick the sign. For games in this genre, puzzles play an important role, but that facet is a tad confusing here. Some puzzles are decently designed while others will have you questioning if you accidentally loaded up another game because they will fail to make much sense. Investigated everything you can, both big and small, will yield some kind of benefit, even if just reinforcing small plot details. Being a bad-ass biker, Ben will face a lot of action while cruising on his bike. These scenarios where the camera is placed in the front facing backwards will have you punching and kicking enemies from the side, while avoiding a crash yourself.
It's actually pretty slow and boring, but progresses moments nicely if you can avoid letting them drag out. Something about the road scenes in this game made me a little sick though. Not so much the combat ones, but the cut scene ones. You can see the roadside environments quickly running from the shot to the horizon, but every other second it felt like it was reversed. Think about watching a helicopter propeller; as it starts to spin you can easily tell which way it's doing so, but the longer you watch you're eyes trick you to think it's going the opposite way. Maybe I'm alone in this, but I figured it's worth mentioning.
Graphics and Sound
As mentioned earlier, there are two different render modes that you can enjoying seeing the game play in; the original and the remastered. It’s addicting to switch back and forth because of how amazing the remastered actually is. The lines are very bold and sharp, the colors are brighter and shade nicely based on light sources, and detailing to everything in each scene is as expected from a title releasing on modern platforms. It still plays in a cartoon-like drawing. There are no additional animations put into the game; every camera shift or scene is how it was made over 20 years ago which goes to show the vision the developers had for it back then. The remastered version also plays to fit your screen, where as the original plays in the square box.
Audio performs in the same way as the graphics; switching between the original and remastered will result in completely different performances of the same material. You’ll hear a wider range of tones and volumes in the remastered, as well as feel the stress in voices. Ben’s throaty, rough, almost cowboy voice feels like it carries much more weight to it, and you can better sense the personalities of characters. The revving of engines and various other sound effects are crystal clear, which allows the player to feel more immersed into each an every scene.
It's hard to say whether this game should have been remastered to begin with instead of simply re-releasing, but it’s not an unheard of thing. We see older games being carried over to current platforms frequently. I can’t say it offers anything special to the point-and-click adventure games available, but its very charming and fun in its own way and holds a position in the market. The graphics are amazing, and when you swap back and forth the audio has been heavily improved as well. If you’re looking for nostalgia then this is everything you could possibly hope for. With just under several hours of content, I'm sure there's at least something here for all point-and-click genre fans to enjoy, whether that would be the bad-ass Ben himself or the conflicts he faces around every turn.
|+ Huge graphical improvements||– The road cutscenes made me a little sick|
|+ Huge audio improvements||– Combat sequences are slow and repetitive|
|+ Still a good story with great characters|