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E3 2003: Full Throttle II (PC, PS2, Xbox) The Preview

by Andrew "telarium" Langley with Jake and Spaff

“Well Ben is back, and he's badder than ever! Because now we've got 3D!”

We are being demoed Full Throttle: Hell on Wheels. Spaff is crying, Metallus is looking confused, and Andrew is staring at the TV, enthusiastically waving the microphone, demanding more.

“Now, in addition to all the adventuring you could do in the original, you can also do everything you’ve always wanted as a badass biker dude. You can ride a motorcycle. You can ride a motorcycle passed guys that are trying to knock you off your motorcycle. You can avoid them by speeding up, or slowing down, or turning left, or right. You can also try knocking them off their bike once you get sick of them and just turning them into street pizza.”

And thus ended the intro to Full Throttle: Hell on Wheels Producer Dale Geist's enthusiastic and comprehensive demonstration. As he spoke, we watched Ben drive his bike up beside a Rockabilly biker on a fast highway and knock him onto the pavement. This action was reminiscent of the combat from the first game, but with an obvious difference.

“We’ve taken the distinctive look of the original and translated it into 3D,” Geist told us, “and I think that you’ll find that there’s no other game that looks quite like Full Throttle: Hell on Wheels.”

Of course, the biggest question people have been asking is whether or not the 3D technology in this game looks good. We were told that the project is still in its early stages, but with engine technology borrowed from Bounty Hunter and RTX Red Rock, hopefully the final product won’t draw any more comparisons to a PlayStation 1 title.

As the demo continued, Ben finds himself in the Hound Dog’s headquarters where his bike has been stolen during a brawl. To get it back, Ben has to make his way into the gang’s clubhouse. The door is naturally locked, but clicking on it brings up an interface similar to the first game. You can look at the door, hit it, kick it, or try to talk to the people behind the door. When Ben tries to talk his way into the clubhouse using a familiar dialogue system from previous LucasArts graphic adventures, the gang member behind the door says he’s only allowed to let in the leader of the Hound Dogs. On a side note, it seems that all of the Hound Dogs have British accents. Ben’s attempt at faking an accent to gain access to the clubhouse isn’t exactly a success.

Ben finds his way to a concert stage within the headquarters in order to fight the leader of the Hound Dogs. As he approaches the stage, we hear the gang’s band playing some 1950’s style rock and roll.

“What would a biker game be without rock and roll,” Geist asks. “ Not very interesting. Music is extremely important to Throttle. It’s an integral part of the game, and just watch the headlines in the next couple of weeks. We are this close to announcing some cool deals with the best bands out there.”

This, of course, in addition to the original music written by long-time LucasArts composer Peter McConnell. We also learned that the original score will feature performances by Grammy nominated slide guitarist Roy Rogers (roy-rogers.com). Keep an eye out for our upcoming interview with Peter McConnell to find out more about the music for this game.

After Ben reaches the concert stage, the leader of the Hound Dogs jumps off during his performance and engages Ben in an Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb-style fight. Each character has a health meter at the top of the screen for obvious reasons. There is also something called a Mojo Meter. Honest, we aren’t making that up. The Mojo Meter (or “mojometer” as we like to call it) shows you where the momentum of the fighting is going. This supposedly allows for some kind of power-ups or something.

“In addition to several punches and kicks,” the producer continued, “there are weapons sprinkled…all throughout the game, you’ll find pool cues, chairs, and guitars.”

With the Hound Dog leader knocked out, Ben can drag him to the clubhouse, trick his way inside, and get his bike back. Cue the slow motion, bike-jumping animation.

Full Throttle: Hell on Wheels will be out this winter for the PC, Xbox, and PS2.

When?: Winter 2003

What?: Action Adventure, Singleplayer

What with?: PC, PS2, and Xbox

Thumb FT2 at the LucasArts booth. Apparently Dale Geist has seen the ring.
Thumb Father Torque is a trusting soul who leaves his door unlocked even at night. Maybe he's out back tending his luminescent hay.
Thumb The Hound Dogs want to kick your butt. And they rock!
Thumb Waiting around for the fourth guy to get out of the john.
Thumb "Now where did I park?"
Thumb It's 1955 and Ben is locked in Biff's garage!
Thumb "The Zombies" ride bikes like these. Where are the Rottwheelers?
Thumb Bathrooms at the Hound Dogs drive-in bandstand fight town.
Thumb Olde Moldye Roade
Thumb Perkins will turn you into street pizza!
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