The return of the Monkey Island series with the aptly named Return to Monkey Island was a welcome surprise when it was announced earlier this year (on April Fool's Day no less). After all, we had not seen a new game with Guybrush Threepwood at the fore since 2009.
However, while we are getting a return, this may not be the start of a new wave of games based in the sun-soaked Caribbean islands. Rather, this appears to be the last one of its kind.
Following its new gameplay trailer yesterday (see above) and the news it will be coming to the Nintendo Switch as a console first, the Return to Monkey Island developers unveiled a new website for the game. It is a great site, with playful interactive options for fans of the series, including the chance to 'chat' with series regular Stan.
However, if you happen to search further into the site, you will come across the text that reads: "The exciting conclusion of the Monkey Island series...". So, I guess, this truly is our one last hurrah on the shores of Mêlée. Welp!
Along with this little nugget of information, the site also tells us more about Return to Monkey Island's story.
"It's been many years since Guybrush Threepwood was last locked in a battle of wits with his nemesis, the zombie pirate LeChuck," it begins.
"His true love, Elaine Marley, has turned her focus away from governing and Guybrush himself is adrift and unfulfilled, having never found the Secret of Monkey Island. Hip, young pirate leaders led by Captain Madison have shuffled the old guard from power, Mêlée Island has taken a turn for the worse, and famed businessman Stan has been imprisoned for 'marketing-related crimes' [insert shocked gasp here]."
Since the screenshots from Return to Monkey Island first surfaced online, many have taken umbridge with the direction the developers have taken in terms of the new art style. However, series creator Ron Gilbert has stood his ground on this, telling everyone that this is the art he wants and therefore this is the art we are getting (which seems fair enough).
Guybrush Threepwood's voice actor Dominic Armato has shared his thoughts on this as well, with a lengthy Twitter thread. Here, the actor said "For my part, I freaking love it. I loved it during my play through in the spring, and it's gotten a TON of polish since then. It's distinctive, it's fun, it feels ALIVE to me... I just adore it."
He went on to say he hopes more than anything is "that those who aren't enamoured of the new look will still be able to let themselves enjoy the game" as there is "SO MUCH AWESOME SHIT in this game."
In all seriousness, it’s always been my preferred MO to just openly discuss things, and I’ve always kind of inhabited this weird limbo space between the team and the fandom, so hey, why not… a few thoughts on the new graphical style :-D… 1/— Dominic Armato (@SkilletDoux) June 29, 2022
Curse of Monkey Island designer Jonathon Ackley also gave his two pence worth, tweeting: "Being criticised for changing the art style in a Monkey Island sequel is a time-honoured tradition. Trust me. I should know" (acknowledging the change in style for the series' third entry).
However, in the words of Monkey Island co-creator Dave Grossman, this is "All part of the fun of game development."
All part of the fun of game development.— Dave Grossman (@phrenopolis) June 28, 2022