After 20 years Full Throttle remains a narrative video game masterpiece

In examining how gallant, restrained masculinity could function as an action-adventure ideal, the LucasArts game was way ahead of its time

The fact that developer Double Fine Productions has chosen to remaster the classic 1995 point-and-click adventure Full Throttle isn’t in itself remarkable. The LucasArts titles of the mid-1990s are widely loved and celebrated, and we have already seen updates of stablemates Grim Fandango and Day of the Tentacle.

What is remarkable is that the strength of the narrative design, silly gags and beautiful vistas hasn’t diminished at all. Holding a PS4 controller in front of the new version, it’s obvious that the 20-year-old game is 10 times more ambitious than most commercially-made video games today. Not in the action of the game, in which your biker man Ben merely solves increasingly obscure puzzles involving the collection and application of objects to scenery (most memorably illustrated in the classic command “Slam face on bar”). No. What makes its legacy is something much more interesting than how many puzzles the game has, or how difficult they are to solve.

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