Return to Monkey Island

Return to Monkey Island | Coming in 202204/10/2022

Madeleine de Proust… Against a backdrop of modernity.

The younger ones among you might discover the cult series with this new work, but many keep in the hearts of the players fond memories of the first game, which really marked its time. Today, creators Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman have matured, even aged, and their hero has followed the same path. It is therefore natural that this sequel follows the course of time and offers us an adventure borrowed from nostalgia, of course, but still dapper and exciting even for newcomers.

Going back to basics, Return to Monkey Island is an Adventure / Point and Click game. A style of play that has not necessarily been very “trendy” in recent years but that seems to be making a comeback lately, for our greatest pleasure. The regulars will step into their shoes with a story beginning that immediately catapults you into the atmosphere. In addition, you will come across a number of well-known characters: the skilled pirate Guybrush is necessarily present, but not only: Elaine, Stan, Carla, but of course there are also your dear enemy LeChuck.

Fortunately, the game does not end in nostalgia and will give you a whole new adventure, populated by new colorful characters! So while fan service is present throughout the game, it doesn’t stop the new story from flourishing. Loyal players will still be happy to discover, here and there, many nods to their attention. Nothing to lose for newcomers, thankfully! In addition, for those who want to catch up with the wagons (or boats, it depends), an interactive album takes care of telling you about the old adventures of Guybrush to update you. It’s very well done and should please everyone, including fans who will still enjoy reading this story.

During your adventure, and to pass each stage, you will have to observe your environment and collect objects / clues that will allow you to help the different protagonists … Or at least convince them to help you. The game is studded with a multitude of puzzles to solve and good choices to make in order to hopefully progress.

Anyone can get on board!

The game system is much simpler than in the past: no cursor to laboriously move on the screen, here the points of interest are clearly indicated at each table and it is possible to navigate from one to the other with a simple movement of the lever. At times we have been able to do some false manipulations, but the whole thing remains convincing. On the go, it’s even easier since touch is supported. Cheer! Once in your inventory, it’s up to you to determine which item to use at any given time and possibly combine several when needed. Also in this case the association is simple and when this is not possible, a cross indicates it to you immediately.

Likewise, you no longer have to associate a verb and an object / object on the screen as it used to be in the past. Here everything is much easier to do, at the risk of frustrating the diehards who loved trying a thousand and one unlikely combinations. In reality, this doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of the game and should open it up to many more players who might have been put off by the old gameplay.

You shouldn’t even find yourself stuck indefinitely in your progress, since a very well done help system presents itself to you. First, you have a to-do list that gives you immediate goals to achieve. Above all, a book of clues, searchable on request and very well assembled, will help you just what you need to stay on course. This is especially useful if you put the game aside for a few days and then resume it.

Finally, keep in mind that the game offers two difficulty levels: the normal mode should be suitable for the greatest number of people while the hard mode complicates the puzzles and will make the game much more complex. Perfect for beginners!

A singular Artistic Direction… And successful.

One of the elements that may have made the ink flow on the canvas is the art direction. If we allow everyone to make a decision, know that we weren’t necessarily thrilled with the visuals at first sight, but that once we got into the game, we were finally completely seduced. The atmosphere is delightful, the characters well established and the colors and lights make you smile. We can obviously regret that the voices in French are absent, but the voices in English are of excellent quality and reinforce the immersion.

Above all, the whole is accompanied by a magnificent soundtrack, which of course will delight fans from the start but will manage to get everyone on board. Music is really successful and everything finally forms a very coherent whole, certainly atypical but above all unique and suggestive. It’s very simple, it’s like strolling through Adventure Land in a famous Parisian amusement park … And experiencing a respectable enduring attraction there (for once), as you can count on ten hours of gameplay in normal mode. .. And much more in hard mode.

But once you have said all this, you almost forget the essential: the writing! Because all the charm, all the salt of this Return to Monkey Island comes from its earthy, delightfully mischievous dialogues that really give the game its soul. A game that talks about the relationship with the passage of time, the phases of life and above all absurd humor. Of course, Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman have not lost an iota of their talent and we feel their love for this game throughout the adventure that shines through every pixel and every line of dialogue on the screen. As pirate as it is, this game was created above all with love, desire and passion … And it shows!

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