Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust review

Take away the smut and what do you get?

GamesRadar+ Verdict


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    "Hilarious" movie references

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    "Sexy" character models

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    look! It's Larry! Um...


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    Frustratingly bad controls

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    Nasty-looking graphics

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    Not even the "smut" is satisfying

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“I ’d f--- a cliff,” says Larry Lovage, in four words perfectly summarising everything about this abysmal third-person action adventure mess. Unsubtle, moronic, and making no sense, this second attempt to reprise the Leisure Suit Larry games of the ’80s is disastrous.

Although there are plenty of risqué references, this isn’t depraved. It’s just dreadful. It’s an open-world platform game, limited to a small film studio and occasional forays into fantasy worlds. Lovage, working for his Uncle Larry’s movie business in Tinselwood, can now double-jump, shimmy along ledges, and drive battery-powered carts.

Your first task is to scrub graffiti off some walls. Your second is to collect some lost script pages. The third: delivering packages. Ho boy, the sexy fun! Eventually this does lead to nonsensical scenes in which you can talk giant-breasted women into sleeping with you (not shown – Larry’s become all mouth and no trousersnake for this outing, hiding all sex off-camera). Also: extended dream sequences where Larry robs banks, fights baddies, fires guns – all appallingly designed and bafflingly woven into the main story.

Using an unrecognisable Unreal engine, your movement about the cartoon world is a cluster of glitching clips and barely functioning interaction, the spasmodic camera regularly flipping itself 180 degrees for no reason, hurtling Larry off a ledge and sending him to his death. It’s agony to control – the platforming sequences, fight scenes and shooting galleries are so poor there should be support groups for people who’ve tried to play them.

All of which makes it a great shame that Team 17 pulled together such a grand cast. Great actors such as Jeffrey Tambor and Jane Lynch are on board, and decent comedians such as Tom Arnold give strong performances. But the words they’re saying are gibberish. The opening line, “Who are you calling afraid to f--- himself?” sets the tone. And we’d have been happy to get through life without having heard Jane Lynch say, “A man whacked out enough to tongue another man’s taint.”

It’s misogynistic, the assumption being that if you lie to women they’ll want to sleep with you, but this is all so poorly executed that it’s hard to get worked up over. The hideous quality of the writing is far more offensive than the endless references to ‘muffs’ and ‘tards’. Jokes about Katrina and the Holocaust come and go, mostly ignored because the game just threw you off a roof forcing you to repeat the last hideous 15 minutes of mindless idiocy. When you finish a challenge there’s a lingering grey screen that declares, “You Succeeded!” It never feels like you did.

May 5, 2009

More info

DescriptionAwful graphics and frustrating controls make this game a bust of box office proportions.
Platform"PC","Xbox 360","PS3"
US censor rating"Mature","Mature","Mature"
UK censor rating"16+","16+","16+"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)