Preview: Perversion returns in Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded

When Leisure Suit Larry first got his start in the 80's, he became a cultural phenomenon, a hero at a time when gamers were looking for a more adult-oriented (note: NOT mature) theme to go on.  However, as of late, Larry's streak has been on a downslide, between the nudity-laden Magna Cum Laude and the horrifyingly bad Box Office Bust for Xbox 360, a game that borderlines on being completely unplayable.  But don't worry, fans.  The creator of the series, Al Lowe, has heard your cries of woe, and he's bringing Larry back to the filthy level where he first got his start.

Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded brings the series back to its humble beginnings, with a point-and-click interface and plenty of interactivity with items in the environment, whether you're having a discussion with a person or trying to touch something in order to solve a puzzle at some point in the game.  The founder of Replay Games, Paul Trowe, walked us through a personal demonstration of the game, showing that the funds that had come from the successful KickStarter game haven't gone to waste.

Leisure

The game features a menu system, but it's at the top of the screen, so not to get in the way of the action that's happening.  Several icons let you do a variety of things, whether it's initiating a conversation, touching something (probably not a good idea with the ladies, unless you enjoy getting slapped) or even unzipping your fly.  But like previous efforts by Lowe and his team, a lot of the sexuality comes from suggestiveness.  You won't find a hint of nudity or actual sex in the game, though Larry will do his damndest to try and get himself a piece of the action.

Reloaded is packed with plenty of humor, whether it's obviously bad jokes or just the way the dialogue plays out.  You can thank veteran developer Josh Mandel for that, as he put together a script that plays out just the right level of suggestiveness, without going too far over the top like Magna Cum Laude was known to do.  There's still a whole lot of tail to chase, including the somewhat snotty girl you run into upon entering the Lefty's bar, but a lot of the challenge comes from solving puzzles and finding tidbits throughout each place Larry visits.

The graphics are colorful, but also emulate the same style of interface previous games had, so you can sense the nostalgia that's coming from it.  The animations are quite good too, with that hand-drawn appeal that you'd find in most PC ware from the late 80's and early 90's.  As for the soundtrack, it's being handled by a real pro – Austin Wintory, the same man who was nominated for a Grammy for his work in Journey.  It turns out that he's a big Larry fan, and jumped at the opportunity to compose the soundtrack when it was offered.  Expect plenty of smooth jazz tunes to go along with the comical dialogue within the game.

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With Lowe and Replay Games handling Larry's return to the spotlight, it should be nothing short of spectacular for lounge lizards and PC gamers alike.  It'll be arriving sometime next month for PC, as well as mobile platforms and OUYA.  Buy yourself a drink and welcome back the real player. 

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Robert Workman
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