The original Full Throttle was released in 1995, over 20 years ago. Tim Schafer saw fit to remaster and re-release the game in 2017. As a fan of the original, I couldn’t be happier one of my favorite classic adventure games had gotten a modern overhaul and I picked it up as soon as I saw a Mac version was available.
In Full Throttle, you play as Ben, leader of the biker gang The Polecats. Shortly into the story you are framed for murder and must go on the run to clear your name and bring the real villains to justice. Your adventures will take you across multiple locations, solving puzzles, cruising the highways, beating up rival biker gangs and interacting with various characters.
Gameplay is what you’d expect from a classic adventure title. You control your character around the screen, interacting with or observing various objects and characters. While the puzzles in this game are relatively straightforward, some are tricky and always fun. Ben’s gravely quips are frequently amusing, as is his animations. Some solutions require the use of Ben’s mighty boot or fist. You are a badass biker after all.
There’s no way to fail in the game, and even in some timed sections, you’ll just reset if you don’t complete them in time. Which means with enough tries, you can figure out anything, and even some items will reset if misused. So all in all this is a very forgiving adventure game, making frustration all but moot.
Other than some scenes of violence, for a game billed as “a heavy metal adventure,” this one is slightly tame. There are no hints of adult language or sex or anything of the sort. Still, Ben is frequently in rough and tumble situations and the storyline has some darker overtones. I managed to finish the game in 3 hours, though I remembered how to solve most of the puzzles, with only a few of them stumping me. Someone brand new to the game would likely add an hour or two to that length.
So what does the remastered version offer? Updated graphics, of course, is the main draw, though the original audio and music have also been upgraded. A handy button allows you to toggle between the original and the remaster, letting you see just how different they are. The smooth animation and sharp colors make this game stand out, and the voices are loud and crisp. The old school rock/heavy metal music doesn’t hurt either. Last, but not least, there’s an optional developer commentary you listen to as you play the game or from the main menu.
My only real complaint about this game is its relatively short length and easy puzzles. But the original setting and heavy metal/biker aesthetic make this one stand out. Gameplay is entertaining, and the story is satisfying. I would highly recommend it to those who have played the original for the nostalgia factor, and to newcomers who can see what was so unique about adventure games of yore.