FULL THROTTLE / LucasArts / PC


Full Throttle is basically an interactive cartoon. It's a GREAT interactive cartoon, but still. The adventure game portions seem kind of hammered in after the fact for the most part, and experienced adventure game vets won't take more than three days at most to blow through it. In fact, it's quite possible to finish it in one day without having any prior knowledge of it.


Yet it's still a very good game, based solely on the great art, sound, voice work, characters and writing. The game takes place in some sort of post-apocalyptic dystopia, though there still appears to be some sort of modern civilization. It isn't really seen in the game though, which takes place in what looks like the badlands of the western United States for the most part. Ben, leader of biker gang the Polecats, gets an offer from the last motorcycle manufacturer in the world, Malcolm Corley, to have his gang escort Corley to the annual shareholders meeting in a publicity stunt. Corley's scheming vice president, Adrian Ripburger, has his own plans that involve seizing the company for himself, and soon Ben and the Polecats get caught up in his scheme. Most of the game consists of Ben working his way through various obstacles and ambushes to get to the shareholders meeting at Corley's HQ and expose Ripburger's evil plot.


The game hews to the LucasArts tradition of not allowing you to die or get into a no-win situation. However, this also removes nearly all challenge from the game. The game is basically broken up into five or six mini-segments separated by fairly long cutscenes, and these segments generally consist of only a few screens and usable items. So the only time there's any real challenge is when the game is being obtuse, like forcing you to pixel-hunt or unfairly hiding an item off the side of a screen that it initially appears you can't scroll any further.


It's such a great ride while it lasts, though, that it almost really doesn't matter. The backdrop art and full-screen animation are gorgeous. The world, setting and tone are equally great, a masterful combination of genuine apocalyptic darkness with overblown biker machismo and physical slapstick comedy. The voice acting is at LucasArts typical level of quality, particularly Ben, voiced perfectly with gruff reservedness and deadpan sarcasm. And the soundtrack is a mix of vet Peter McConnell's usual excellent work with contributions from rock band The Gone Jackals, who ... well, they really aren't very good, but they contributed a memorable rockin' title theme and some good non-lyrical background music pieces that suit the grungy biker ambiance well.


Videos :

* Gameplay Video
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