Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded preview – with Al Lowe Q&A!

Most gamers over 30 who grew up around personal or home computers (remember those?) have probably played the original Leisure Suit Larry at some point. Just ask them, and what they may have denied back then has now turned into a fond memory. Larry, always looking to be a hit with the ladies and falling short of the mark way more often than he’d like – surely is one of gaming’s classic characters. Now, Replay Games is releasing Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded, an HD remake. With Al Lowe on board, this is Larry’s return to his roots. Read on for our preview, including a short Q&A session with Al Lowe himself.

Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded comes out for Mac and systems running iOS or Android, but we played around with a beta build of the PC version. And although the game has been majorly reworked (with high resolution artwork, hand-drawn animation and fully voiced characters), it feels instantly familiar. So much so, that I felt myself reaching for the keyboard ready to type in some of those familiar commands from back in the day. Alas, that is no longer required, as Larry is now controlled using the mouse (or, on other devices, atouch screen interface).

Revamped inside of Lefty'sThis instant recognition is a good thing. Larry wouldn’t benefit from fancy swirling cameras or complicated control schemes – Larry is all about the dialogue, the narrative and – most of all – the humor. All of those elements are intact, wrapped in a fancy new package that includes a musical score by Grammy-nominated and BAFTA-winning composer Austin Wintory.

So all the ingredients are in place for a new Larry game that does the franchise justice (here’s looking at you, Box Office Bust and Magna Cum Laude). How does it all pan out? You’ll have to wait for our final review later this month, but I’ll tell you this, Larry: Reloaded brings back memories instead of spoiling them, and that’s long overdue.

We caught up with Larry’s designer Al Lowe just before this month’s E3 (go meet him there – and check out http://www.allowe.com as well) and were able to ask him some quick questions regarding Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded. Here’s what we found out.

Can we consider this the first TRUE Larry game in about 15 years?

Yup! And I guarantee you’ll notice a difference!

Within the generation of gamers that experienced the release of the original Larry in ‘87, many learned or improved their English just to be able to get uhhhh…. further in the game. How does that make you feel?

Like a proud teacher – which was my original profession, you know. Learning is all about motivation and what pubescent isn’t interested in …uh… success.

Has game development changed much since the original series?

I’m proud to say that we kept this team small and tight, with highly skilled people in every role. So, basically, no difference for us. But, the tools? Wow, there have been vast improvements there.

Taboos seem to have shifted since the original Larry. How does this impact the upcoming Larry: Reloaded?

Not at all. If you liked the games back then, you’ll like this version more. If you thought they were lame, you’ll think this one is even more.

You had talks in the past about creating a Larry movie. Who could you see playing Larry these days?

We’ve already had a Leisure Suit Larry movie – except that I didn’t get any royalties and they changed his name to Duece Bigalow! <grin> Wait. Didn’t Steve Carell also do Larry? Was Larry the original 40-Year-Old Virgin?

How does it feel to be in the final weeks before a big release again? Pun definitely intended.

It’s like birthing an elephant – only there’s less stretching involved!

Our thanks to Al Lowe for freeing up some valuable time in his schedule leading up to the E3!

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