Return to Monkey Island looks damn pretty in the first movie

Guybrush talks to a bearded man by the fire on a cliff in a very familiar scene.

screenshot: Devolver Digital

Thanks to this morning’s weird throwaway Nintendo Direct Mini, we’ve finally seen footage of Ron Gilberts Return to Monkey Island. While there has been a burst of information and PR for the game since its announcement in Aprilthis is the first time we’re getting a glimpse of what it’s going to look like when played.

After a bit of in-game art, narrated by returning Guybrush Threepwood actor Dominic Armato, this morning’s reveal moves on to a series of slightly uncomfortably muted clips of the game, giving the characters and their animations a really nice, papery look.

If anything, the art style reminds me of Double Fines very pretty (but ultimately awful) broken ageso we hope it can be given a story and puzzles to match the beauty.

I can’t tell you how worried I am about the anticipation of this game. As is anyone old enough to have the original monkey island Games define part of her teenage years, this swirling mush of memories and nostalgia making them too precious a possession to behold.

On the other hand, we as a species survived the lack of love for the (actually wrongly maligned) Escape from Monkey Island in 2000 and then the tedious mediocrity of Telltale’s 2009 attempts Tales of Monkey Islandso maybe we’re looking for the first one right here Well Entry in the series since 1997, about 25 years ago.

It’s only speculation at this point, but the trailer intriguingly suggests that not only does he play as the powerful pirate Guybrush Threepwood, To return You might also see yourself as Elaine Marley, swordswoman, ship’s captain, and former governor of the Three Island Territory. What this trailer Not Show us how the game is actually played and that’s my biggest concern. Everyone’s so damn afraid of proper point-and-click interfaces these days, and instead are trying to chronically simplify — and thereby render the genre powerless — to run on a single button on a controller. monkey island Creator Ron Gilbert had the confidence to go all the way back to LucasArts’ classic verb-based UI for his final game, 2017’s Thimbleweed Parkbut I worry that no one will be ashamed of letting him do that in this much better known project.

The game’s own website says that there will be “a clever evolution of the classic adventure game controls. Context-sensitive interactions, responsive dialogue trees, and an easy-to-use inventory system, so make of it what you will. It can be anything that’s exactly what I’m hoping forto something that essentially plays the game for you, as in too many recent examples.

The storyline will pick up from the end of Gilbert’s last involvement in the series, Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge, but luckily has the common sense to incorporate the third game’s best addition, Murray the talking skull. With Gilbert and Grossman writing, there’s good reason to have high hopes, although it lacks the Tim Schafer factor that (rightfully so I think) made the second game so much funnier than the first.

There’s no release date yet, just an ambiguous ‘2022’ which of course could very easily flip into a ‘2023’. Due to the lack of audio clips in the trailer, I have a sneaking suspicion that this is further away than I’d like.