Before Double Fine Adventure and before Brutal Legend, there was Full Throttle. A Tim Schafer created game that was both Classic Adventure and Heavy Metal? Yes, it is as awesome as it sounds.
Released in 1995, it was not Schafer’s first foray into the classic adventure genre, having previously worked on Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion. However, it was the game that solidified him as a persona in the game industry for a lot of people. It was also his first homage to his beloved heavy metal, which he would attempt again later in Brutal Legend.
For those of you unfamiliar with Classic Adventure genre, this is as good a place as any to get started. It’s where I did in 1995, and since then I’ve gone back and enjoyed plenty of other classics and many of the newer entries in the series. Maybe it will even motivate you to look into his new Double Fine Adventure project, in which he aims to show to the world that Classic Adventure games are neither dead nor niche.
These games have a very simple gameplay style. They tend to involve exploring various environments and solving logic puzzles. This is usually performed through dialogue with NPC’s and collection various items found in the environment. Full Throttle also added a combat mechanic, allowing you to fight with various weapons while on your bike, in the vein of Road Rash.
However, the biggest draw to Classic Adventure games has always been their writing – always very well written and full of humor. A good adventure game was always measured by the sharpness of its wit. Full Throttle is no exception, and to add to that it also had a great voice cast – especially the villain, who was portrayed by none other than Mark Hamill himself. It likely helped that this game was published by LucasArts. Still, he does a superb job as does Roy Conrad in the role of Ben, the games protagonist.
The games plot revolves around a gang of bikers, a sinister corporate plot, and their fight to maintain their freedom and way of life. It’s all set to an awesome soundtrack by The Gone Jackals and in a great futuristic rundown world in the middle of nowhere. Plenty of colorful characters and great dialogue make for a truly memorable experience worth checking out. If you’re interested, you can pick it up online still in disc form on eBay or Amazon. You just need to run it in an emulator known as SCUMMVM. It’s a small bit of extra effort, but I can guarantee it’s totally worth it.