You can sign up to get a daily email of our articles, see the Mailing List page!
Support us on Patreon to keep GamingOnLinux alive. This ensures we have no timed articles and no paywalls. Just good, fresh content! Alternatively, you can support us on Paypal and Liberapay!

After playing through Full Throttle Remastered, here are some thoughts

Posted by , / 6246 views
The remastered version of the classic adventure game, Full Throttle, was released on Linux last week. I’ve had some time to play through the fuel-injected experience and have a few thoughts on the game.


Note: A key was provided by fellow GOL contributor and the porter for the Linux version of Full Throttle, Cheeseness.

Full Throttle was originally released way back in 1995 and followed many other successful LucasArts adventure games like Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle. In it, we follow Ben Throttle, leader of the Polecats motorcycle gang as he’s framed for a crime and his quest to clear his name and get revenge. Though I played many other adventure games back in the 90s and early 00s, Full Throttle was one I never got an opportunity to experience. So I was curious to see if the remastered version would hold up for someone who had no nostalgia for the original.

In many ways, Full Throttle is your standard point and click adventure game: you move from area to area, talking to people, getting items and figuring out puzzles in order to proceed with the story. The only thing that stands out in the basic mechanics is the fact that the main character is just as likely to use his brawn as he is his wits. Kicking, grabbing and punching are necessary solutions in a few parts, which is about right for a tough-as-nails biker like Ben. I won’t lie: it was fun to kick open doors or get payback on those who wronged me with some carefully applied violence.

This is a game that’s really focused when it comes to presenting the player with puzzles to solve. The game is broken down into distinct parts and areas where you can travel back and forth, but ultimately are self-contained. What I mean, in a more practical sense, is that the items you have to use almost always have an obvious and near-immediate purpose. I found that I spent very little time scratching my head wondering, just what the hell am I supposed to do with this? and more time actually getting through the story. As things happen in the story and you arrive at new areas, you avoid losing time trying out old items and instead approach every situation with fresh eyes.

With all that said, not everything is rosy about the gameplay. Some parts have aged poorly, namely the more action-oriented sequences. At several points in the game you get into fights while riding down the highway with other bikers and must swing your fist or weapons at them in order to defeat them. It’s appropriate enough thematically, but there’s a part where you need to play a sort of rock-paper-scissors with the weapons you use to get more weapons to defeat other bikers with specific weaknesses and so forth until you get an item needed to proceed with the plot. That felt like a chore. Not a particularly hard one but, because of the movement speed of the protagonist on his bike and some randomness, it wasn’t as fun as I’m sure the developers originally intended it to be. It’s the same with a later sequence where you take control of a car in a competition, the controls are clunky and the actual gameplay not that stimulating.

image

Some areas or puzzles also require clicking on the right place to proceed. This can be a little frustrating as, even with object highlight toggled, some things require you pressing or using an item on a particular place on the object to proceed. The only time I was close to being seriously stumped was towards the beginning of the day where a junkyard sequence involved walking until the screen panned to the side (most scenes don’t have panning of any kind!) and then I could get to another screen. Figuring out how to get to a crane in the same area was also a bit of a crap shoot of clicking and going back and forth. Things like siphoning gas or loosening tires or a fuel line also, annoyingly, also required clicking on the exact correct of an object. Thankfully, this level of precision is only needed a handful of times and didn't sour the experience.

In the grand scheme of things, those complaints are minor. The game is effective at keeping a moving tempo and presenting interesting situations to the player that aren’t too overwhelming. Sure, you can take your time and examine everything, talk to everyone and try to use your items on every object you see but you don’t have to if you don’t want to. The hints on what to do next are well done and nothing ever seemed too esoteric to figure out in a proper amount of time.

I dug the relatively serious tone that the game put out. For the most part you do feel like a rough and tumble sort with a chip on your shoulder and the atmosphere the game creates is wholly appropriate. Not that there isn’t comic relief or lighthearted moments—on the contrary—there’s plenty of fun jokes and situational comedy that is happily understated. It’s always more of a smirk sort of charm that the game has going for it rather than the grin-and-guffaw sort of thing that, say, a Sam and Max game might elicit. Even with all the various LucasArts/Star Wars references, it tends on to be on the subtle side of things.

The level of writing and characterization of the game is also pretty impressive. The story is short and sweet and straightforward but characters stand out not only because of the dialog but also the superb voice acting. There are a few noticeable names from the voice acting community that lend their talents to bring the characters alive and they were all used deftly by the director. A great deal of my investment in the game happened because of how convincingly the world was made alive by both the writing and voice acting.

image

As an aside, this remastered port allows for players to switch to the original graphics of the game at any point by pressing F1 or toggling it in the settings menu. That’s a really neat touch that carries over from other LucasArts adventure games that have been remastered.

Turning to the technical side, the port is rock-solid. Ran just fine on my Arch install with Mesa drivers and there were no problems of any kind while playing through it. No bugs that I could see anywhere. Congrats on an admirable porting job, Cheeseness!

With all that said, I think it’s safe to say that Full Throttle stands the test of time—a few rogue mechanics notwithstanding. I enjoyed the experience and felt a sense of closure at the story’s conclusion even if it was perhaps a little on the short side. I completed the game clocking a little over three and a half hours. I didn’t go out of my way to exhaust every dialog and exploration point but I didn’t really try to blitz through it either. This makes the game harder to recommend for people who are looking for something that’ll occupy them for a long time. Doubly so because there’s not much replay value beyond hearing the developer’s commentary as you play along.

Still, it turned out to be a delight to play. Despite a few niggles here and there, it’s an engaging and outlandish adventure. If you’re looking for an adventure game full of character and soul, Full Throttle is a fun ride.

You can grab Full Throttle Remastered on Steam, Itch, Humble Store or GOG.
13 Likes, Who?
tuubi 6 August 2017 at 11:19 am UTC
View PC info
  • Supporter
The action sequences haven't really aged poorly. They were simply never very good.

Anyway, thanks for this excellent article about an excellent game.
Jahimself 6 August 2017 at 11:59 am UTC
Thanks Liam for that interesting review. I haven't purchased the game yet. But it convinced me to do so. It's not a problem for me if the story is short, as generally old lucas arts point & clic games take quite some time to be completed. It also seems to be quite different from other Tim Schaffer games. Would be also glad to support Double Fine and Cheeseness for his excellent work on linux for the previous ports and apparently this one too.
BTRE 6 August 2017 at 12:35 pm UTC
  • Contributing Editor
  • Supporter
JahimselfThanks Liam for that interesting review. I haven't purchased the game yet. But it convinced me to do so. It's not a problem for me if the story is short, as generally old lucas arts point & clic games take quite some time to be completed. It also seems to be quite different from other Tim Schaffer games. Would be also glad to support Double Fine and Cheeseness for his excellent work on linux for the previous ports and apparently this one too.

I'm glad you enjoyed the review but, just FYI, I'm way more handsome than Liam so it's not that hard to tell us apart
Kels 6 August 2017 at 3:28 pm UTC
The bike combat scenes were always terrible, almost legendarily so. No surprise they're still frustrating.
vipor29 6 August 2017 at 4:11 pm UTC
still one of my favorite adventure games from the 90s.awesome that is now on GOG which is where i bought my copy.i thought it would never be ported but finally it is there
Bladeforce 6 August 2017 at 6:52 pm UTC
Rose tinted glasses were never good for adventure games but as regards the action sequences they were always tough. Great game! I often wonder if newer games are dumbed down so much
Shmerl 6 August 2017 at 8:11 pm UTC
KelsThe bike combat scenes were always terrible, almost legendarily so. No surprise they're still frustrating.
I found them funny, even if quirky.
Jahimself 6 August 2017 at 8:38 pm UTC
QuoteI'm glad you enjoyed the review but, just FYI, I'm way more handsome than Liam so it's not that hard to tell us apart

Lol! Sorry BTRE. Had an heavy week end, did not even checked the writer. Shame on me ^^ Still excellent work and quite a compliment in the end
rkfg 7 August 2017 at 10:31 am UTC
BTREI'm glad you enjoyed the review but, just FYI, I'm way more handsome than Liam so it's not that hard to tell us apart
I wonder why the author's avatar isn't displayed near the title. It would be so much easier to distinguish all of you! Liam's avatar looks too close to that gray&white penguin so it's natural to assume he's the author of every article (and he wrote majority of them of course). I believe distinguishable avatars to the left of the title would fix this awkward situation. Every author deserves recognition.
Cheeseness 11 August 2017 at 12:58 am UTC
Thanks for the kind words, people. I'm glad to hear the game is running well for you all!

Regarding the fighting and derby sequences, I think that they're very much the result of exploring new ground - sometimes stuff works, sometimes stuff doesn't. Full Throttle took a lot of gambles and pushed a lot of boundaries. Mixing pre-rendered 3D assets with sprites, mixing the INSANE and SCUMM engines, getting rid of the verb bar and going full screen, telling a shorter but more dense story, etc. were all gambles. Some paid off more than others.

I personally feel that the fighting stuff could work a lot better with animation tweaks for stronger signaling of attack range, attack duration, and successful/unsuccessful blocks, but I also didn't mind them when I first played the game in the 90s. Different people have different tastes
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on Patreon or Liberapay. We have no adverts, no paywalls, no timed exclusive articles. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

We also accept Paypal donations and subscriptions! If you already are, thank you!

Due to spam you need to Register and Login to comment.


Or login with...

Livestreams & Videos
Community Livestreams
  • GOG Guest Stream: Resonance
  • Date:
See more!
Popular this week
View by Category
Contact
Latest Forum Posts
Facebook