Return to Monkey Island gameplay trailer showcases its new art style (and it’s on Switch)
Return to Monkey Island was confirmed for Nintendo Switch during today’s Nintendo Direct Mini, along with a gameplay trailer that showed off plenty of fast-paced action snippets and the game’s new art direction. Return to Monkey Island will be released on Nintendo Switch and PC later this year.
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The trailer goes back and forth from moment to moment, with series protagonist Guybrush Threepwood – voiced once again by actor Dominic Armato – seeking the secret of Monkey Island once and for all, but also in a way that doesn’t really spoil the series timeline as this game takes place directly after the second game.
Other series favorites will return including Elaine Marley, LeChuck (of course), Murray the Evil Skill, Carla the Swordmaster and more. Of particular note, Elaine appears to be a playable character, which is a first for the series.
The art style found in the game has been a bone of contention for some fans of the series who would live and die by the sword of pixel art, as this is the game they remember playing in the early 90s. Ron Gilbert is back to direct this game, just like he did the first two, and in May defended the new direction, saying “Returning to Monkey Island may not be the art style you wanted or expected, but that’s the art style I’m looking for.”
New art direction came from Rex Crowle, and it’s clear to see the lineage from his previous games, Tearaway and Knights and Bikes. The game is crisp and hand drawn with a layered look and feel. Of Crowle’s work, Gilbert said, “Rex is an incredible creative force and we have an incredible team of artists, animators, sound designers, programmers and testers who all put their souls into this game and it’s beautiful to see, play and listen to. .”
Personally, I rather like it. Gilbert previously relied on the retro aesthetic of pixel art for Thimbleweed Park, but this game was a deliberate homage to the classic point & click era. Changing things up for this game shows how much they want to not just retread old ground, but push this popular franchise forward once more.
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