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Full Throttle (DOS)

84
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.1
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  אולג 小奥 (168604)
Written on  :  Aug 29, 2003
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars

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Summary

Cool bikes and a lot of attitude can be hazardous to gameplay

The Good

"Full Throttle" is wonderfully cinematic. It develops like a movie, with gameplay sections and cut scenes bearing almost the same importance. You don't only play it; you watch it. It was a great achievement - at that time, such movie-like games usually depended on a cast of live characters (like for example Under a Killing Moon or The Beast Within). Of course, "Full Throttle" doesn't have the same proportions as those games, but it is nevertheless much more cinematic than any other "pure" adventure before.

The puzzles are also more intuitive, more logical, the gameplay much more fluent. You are never stuck too much in one location, and your objectives are smaller, more immediate: of course, you have to clear your name and to defeat the villain, but the puzzles are more concrete, unlike in most adventure games by LucasArts, they don't build a complex structure where everything depends on each other, and smaller tasks reveal themselves as parts of bigger ones; they are modest, realistic, and straightforward. A great addition are the action sequences, which I found absolutely cool (especially fighting with different weapons).

LucasArts made great adventures before, but none of them was ever remarkable because of its story (perhaps with the exception of Loom). "Full Throttle" has a great story, which is simple, but very emotional. There are no stunning plot twists, and the plot is neither too complex nor particularly deep, but it captures the hearts of players with its emotional intensity and brilliant usage of typical situations: one good guy is dead, another one is framed, there's romance, and nobody knows how it will end. And although the ending does resembles a typical "save the world, get the girl" situation, it is not at all about that... the ending of "Full Throttle" belongs to the most touching gaming moments ever.

The characters of "Full Throttle" are not the hilarious undead pirates, tentacles, dogs and rabbits from the previous LucasArts adventures: they are real people, and they are portrayed in such a way we can't help having feelings for them. Ben, the main hero of the game, is one of the most appealing protagonists ever, and Ripburger one of the most hated villains, surpassed in my eyes only by Luca Blight from Suikoden II. There is also a great romance in the game, very touching and unsentimental, that fits the story perfectly.

The Bad

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The Bottom Line

I know this is not a popular opinion, but I'll have to express it, and I'm doing it as a big admirer of LucasArts' work: Full Throttle is a nice game, but it's a far cry from the company's previous stellar works.