Return to Monkey Island Trailer Review & Reaction

By Ben Wright (@iamzavagno | www.xgeeks.co.uk)

So, it turns out that we are getting a sixth instalment in the Monkey Island franchise, and I could not be more excited!

An announcement, of a new game, was posted on original creator Ron Gilbert’s blog on April 1st, April Fool’s Day, which caused some initial doubt, but that doubt has since been squashed thanks to an official announcement teaser trailer! So yeah… THIS IS HAPPENING!!

The reason I fell in love with video games was because of Monkey Island! I had the white label combo box with the double CD rom and I would spend weeks of my childhood playing as the bumbling pirate Guybrush Threepwood! The world and characters of Monkey Island have always stuck with me, and as well as being my favourite video game series of all time, the first two games are why I still love point and click adventure games to this day!

I genuinely thought that I would never see a new Monkey Island game ever again! It’s been 32 years since the original game’s release and 13 years since the last instalment, TellTale’s Tales of Monkey Island, so fans have waited a very long time for this!

While of course, I would always get behind any Monkey Island game, getting Ron Gilbert back just makes it one hundred times better! Teaming up once again with Gilbert is Dave Grossman who helped write and develop the original two games, as well taking a big role in Tales of Monkey Island, so I think this is another important factor! We will also see the return of the original series composers Michael Land, Peter McConnel, and Clint Bajakian. So, on the face of it, that is a very strong team that is getting behind this next instalment!

As for the casting, it has been confirmed in the trailer that Dominic Armato is returning to voice Guybrush Threepwood! Armato first took on the role in The Curse of Monkey Island, the third game in the series but the first game to not have Gilbert involved. Armato has voiced Guybrush in every single Monkey Island game, having gone back to add his vocal talents in the special editions of the first two games. I’m very excited that Dominic Armato is back, as I cannot imagine anyone else voicing Guybrush! As seen and heard in the trailer, Denny Delk reprises his role of Murray, the Demonic Skull! We don’t know yet of any other characters involved in the game, so we will have to wait and see if there are any more returning cast members.

In terms of the story, all we know is that Return to Monkey Island is set to follow from where Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge left off! Now, as this appears to be a direct sequel to the first two games, what does mean for The Curse of Monkey Island, Escape from Monkey Island and Tales of Monkey Island? Well, seeing as fan favourite Murray is in this new game, who first appeared in the third game in the series, some of the events within The Curse of Monkey Island must still be canon! This has very recently been confirmed by Ron Gilbert when he Tweeted one fan “MI3 doesn’t go out of canon. We were very careful about that. Murray is in this game.” I’m very pleased about this, as I LOVE the third game, despite the lack of input from Gilbert, so for me, this is a big positive!

So, what about the trailer itself?

Visually, I love the style, how reflective of the final game itself though remains to be seen! Given their work on Thimbleweed Park, it may still go down the traditional route! But if the game style is reflective of what the trailer shows, I am just as onboard because it looks beautiful! The sound design is incredible and hearing a new composition of that iconic theme just instantly drowned me in nostalgia and overwhelmingly happy feelings! With Murray’s arrival and then removal from the teaser, in homage to The Curse of Monkey Island, you feel that the humour, which is so important in this series, has not missed a beat!

As for when the game is released, you can rest assured that we will be recording a full playthrough of the game, so make sure you are subscribed to your YouTube channel!

Return to Monkey Island will arrive later this year and is from Terrible Toybox and Devolver Digital in association with Lucasfilm Games. For more information visit ReturnToMonkeyIsland.com

What did you think of the trailer? Are you excited to return to the Monkey Island universe? Let us know in the comments!

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