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Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge Impressions - First Look

We take our first look at LucasArts' next special edition of a classic adventure game: Monkey Island 2.


Way back when, the cult-classic Monkey Island graphical adventure series helped put LucasArts on the map as a development house that didn't just make Star Wars games. And perhaps in recognition of this fact, last year, the publisher brought back the very first Secret of Monkey Island in a "special edition" that contained both an updated version of the original game with new graphics and a new, in-depth hint system. And now the second game, LeChuck's Revenge, will get the same treatment in a new special edition packed with even more features.

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Who's Making It: The new game is in development at LucasArts with input from some of the game's original creators: Telltale's Dave Grossman, Doublefine's Tim Schafer, and Deathspank creator (and Monkey Island creator) Ron Gilbert.

What It Looks Like: Like the previous special-edition game, Monkey Island 2 can be played with a brand-new graphical interface with colorful, cartoon-style 2D graphics that have several animated details, like fish hopping in the ocean below a bridge across which Guybrush walks, and moths circling the bridge's lantern. However, just like in the last special-edition game, you can switch back to the "classic" view in all its pixelated 2D glory.

What You Do: As Guybrush, you walk, talk, and interact with environmental objects to solve the puzzles that are immediately in front of you to progress through the game. All of Monkey Island 2's original humorous gags and puzzles are intact in this edition, including the memorable scene of stealing Wally's monocle.

How It Plays: The game can be played with the thumbsticks on a standard controller to directly control Guybrush's movements, though if you prefer, you can also use the classic point-and-click interface with a mouselike pointer to click on your destinations and any characters or objects with which you want to interact. While using the "new" control scheme, not only can you avail yourself of the game's stepwise hint system (which gradually gives you successively deeper hints on what to do next until it eventually reveals the full solution if you keep using it), but you can also immediately locate the nearest character or object with which to interact by pressing your controller's right bumper, which helpfully highlights the person/thing in question. Once you have your target selected, you can then pull up an easy-to-use radial menu that lists every single available option--though again, if you prefer, you can use the original point-and-click option menu.

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In addition to offering both versions of the game, this special edition includes an in-game commentary mode that pulls up silhouettes of Grossman, Schafer, and Gilbert at the bottom-right corner (not unlike the presentation of Mystery Science Theater 3000) and the creators' witty commentary in text form at the top of the screen. Plus, the game also includes a concept-art gallery that lets you view the sketches that the LucasArts team used to create the graphical overhaul for the "new" version of the game.

What They Say: Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge has all the great content and gameplay of the original game, updated for a new generation of game players with new graphics, a hint system, and some fun extras.

What We Say: Yeah, sure. That sounds about right. The game will ship later this year.

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