FULL THROTTLE
PC Gamer|November 2020
FULL THROTTLE
LucasArts’ biker adventure still kicks ass.
Andy Kelly

NEED TO KNOW

RELEASED 1995

PUBLISHER In-house

DEVELOPER LucasArts

LINK fullthrottle.doublefine.com

Tome Full Throttle isn’t so much a point-and-click adventure as a point-and-kick adventure. While many adventure game protagonists are usually bumbling, unlikely heroes who make up for their physical shortcomings by relying on their wits to solve problems in their world, square-jawed biker Ben is more comfortable using his fists and feet. More than one puzzle in the game is solved by kicking something, and this refreshingly no-nonsense approach is what sets Full Throttle apart from other classic LucasArts adventures. I mean, why solve a series of increasingly absurd puzzles to unlock a door when you can just boot it off its hinges?

Released in 1995, Full Throttle was written and designed by Tim Schafer, whose name has become synonymous with LucasArts adventure games, from Monkey Island to Grim Fandango. Schafer was influenced by Mad Max and Kurosawa films; particularly the idea of a stoic, tough guy hero who’s never looking for trouble, but finds it anyway. Visually, lead artist Peter Chan took inspiration from Mike Mignola’s Hellboy comics, which is evident in his use of heavy shadows and silhouettes. LucasArts greenlit Full Throttle on Schafer’s assurance that it would be a commercial hit, and he was right. LucasArts adventures usually sold about 100,000 copies, but a million people bought Full Throttle.

Ben is on the run for a murder he didn’t commit, which is bad, but not as bad as the fact that Corley Motors – the last motorcycle manufacturer in the country – is ceasing production of its legendary bikes to mass produce minivans. And so our stubbly, leather-clad anti-hero embarks on a quest to clear his name and, more importantly, save his way of life from being destroyed by soulless corporate suits. Full Throttle is a game about freedom and authenticity, leaning into the romantic idea of an outlaw biker on the road, rather than the grim reality you might have read about in Hunter S Thompson’s Hell’s Angels. It’s bikers as pirates, as wandering samurai, not the shady criminals that you’d usually see.

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November 2020