Review: Full Throttle Remastered

This review is based on the PlayStation 4 version of Full Throttle Remastered.

There was a brief, glorious moment a few years ago when Sony invested in a large slate of indie games & PC remasters. Among this group of revitalized games was Tim Schafer’s LucasArts titles, including the cult classic Full Throttle with a fully revamped set of graphics and audio that brought tough as nails biker Ben into the HD era.

Diving into the world of biker gangs, Corley Motors, the scheming Adrian Ripburger and the overall world of Full Throttle for the first time is a disjointed but oddly captivating way to experience the game. The modern day presentation is paired with classic adventure game navigation, requiring a deliberate approach of carefully scrolling and prodding level elements to progress (and unlock rare trophies). Taking on leadership of the Polecat motorcycle gang, tough as nails Ben’s journey from ambushed biker to fugitive on the run and eventually combating Ripburger for justice and the biker way is a fun ride! The dialogue trees are worth exploring for in-jokes and sly references to biker culture, the exaggerated characters are campy without becoming annoying and the protagonists have a distinctly 90’s mix of earnestness and brash confidence. It’s fun to look at, poke, open and interact with every element to fully explore the world.

Full Throttle Remastered has fully redrawn graphics in the same style and fidelity as the Day of the Tentacle remaster, rather than the inferior upscaling used for the Grim Fandango port to console. The clean lines, thin inks and flat shading feel tonally consistent with the original 1995 version; there’s a toggle between classic and remastered graphics that show the stark contrast after 22 years. I recommend switching between versions at quiet moments to fully appreciate the effort and care that Double Fine invested in the new edition.

It sounds great as well, each voice imbuing their character with a distinct tone that I can still hear clearly in my head. Double Fine used the original master recordings of Roy Conrad, Mark Hamill, Kath Soucie and the rest of the cast to retain the original dialogue flavour while the various punching, motor revving, explosion and other sound effects pop without the bass heavy, exaggerated volume style of many modern era games.

The game struggles with some pain point sequences, I found it frustrating to figure out the rock/paper/scissors type system to weapon swap through an extended Road Warrior bike battle and land stunt jumps at a climactic car battle. I may be spoiled by modern systems with obvious visual hints to problem solve; the grind of determining the sequences and nailing the precise timing to pass those sequences nearly derailed me from finishing the game (but grinding through them was ultimately worthwhile).

Full Throttle Remastered is a fresh, vibrant version of a classic game that everyone should experience. Whether it’s a return visit to a beloved favourite or a new introduction to the world of Tim Schafer, spending a few hours with Ben, Maureen, Ripburger and company is time well spent.

 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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