gdc 2017

Full Throttle Remastered

Double Fine Revisits The Biker Thriller
by Elise Favis on Mar 05, 2017 at 06:00 AM
Platform PlayStation 4
Publisher Double Fine Productions
Developer Double Fine Productions
Release 2017
Rating Rating Pending

More than two decades ago, LucasArts' Full Throttle released. This point-and-click title became an adventure game classic, though it's nearly inaccessible to the public now. With limited copies out there, and the game no longer sold anywhere in stores, most fans have resorted to illegitimate means to get their hands on the game. Now, Double Fine is bringing back the biker thriller to make it accessible to the public again. I was pleased to get a chance to play a short demo of it at GDC.

Full Throttle puts you in the shoes of Ben, a member of the biker gang The Polecats, who finds himself unjustly accused of murder. It's one of LucasArts' more cinematic point-and-click adventures, with a more serious tone in comparison to the likes of Day of the Tentacle. It's not a bad thing, because the story is one you don't want to miss.

During the demo I played, I kicked open a dumpster after being thrown in there by one of the antagonists, roughed up a bartender who was attempting to stall me, and rode off onto the dirt road by bike. I enjoyed the experience, and felt instantly nostalgic as I realized that I remembered some of the puzzles better than I thought I would. 

Gameplay-wise, everything is as is was back in 1995. The puzzles are identical, though Double Fine's Tim Schafer mentioned that small tweaks may be present to smooth out some mechanics. The game will feature remastered audio and graphics, but you can play in "classic mode" with the touch of a button if you want to play with the original's aesthetics and music. It's worth noting that the remastered mode, however, looks absolutely fantastic and crisp. 

During the interview, Schafer brought up that while he's excited to make the game accessible to fans again, a more fascinating aspect of rebuilding the game was its digital archeology. Double Fine made several calls to former LucasArts employees that Schafer worked alongside back in the day. Disk by disk, the team rummaged through old boxes and recovered source files, so that Full Throttle could roar back to life. “The most exciting thing about these kind of projects is the archeology of it, the digital archeology of it," Schafer says. " Line by line we had to hunt for everything, because we wanted everything to be uncompressed, and all the music to be remixed."

Schafer explained that, outside of maybe two missing dialogue lines, they managed to recover what they needed. However, some original 3D bike models were missing, and all of Full Throttle's cinematic FMV scenes had to be remodeled from scratch.

Full Throttle Remastered was a joy to play again, even though it was a very short demo. This isn't Double Fine's first attempt at reviving old LucasArts adventures. Full Throttle Remastered is the third to be remastered, following Grim Fandango and Day of the Tentacle. Similar to those two remastered adventure games, Full Throttle Remastered will also feature a commentary track and a concept art gallery.

Full Throttle Remastered will release later this year for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and PC.

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Full Throttle Remastered

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