Back to the Future is a point and click adventure game picking up a few months after the third film. You play as Marty McFly and start dealing with the fact that your best friend -- Doctor Emmett Brown -- is gone after climbing into his time train and sailing off at the end of the third flick with his family.
Yes, this isn't a remake but another chapter in the Back to the Future legacy. I never really thought about life after "The End" of Back to the Future III, but here, Marty is missing his best friend who has been gone for a number of months. At the same time, the city of Hill Valley isn't cool with Doc not paying his mortgage, so it closes in to sell off all his crap. Preventing all of Doc's secrets from being sold off is the player's first real mission in the game. As you guide Marty around the lab you're going to recognize the dog food machine and wall of clocks while as the same time get a feel for how the game plays – click on objects and people, investigate and maybe use an item from your inventory to get a different response or result from the interaction.
Eventually, the DeLorean shows up, we find out Doc is in trouble, and Marty's got to figure out when that trouble is going down and how he can help – and all of that's actually a lot of fun. Telltale's telltale humor is intact here as you're treated to witty dialogue and fun conversations. Remember, you're picking Marty's dialogue responses, so you can branch things in a number of ways.
However, the nicest touch in the game is the love and care the Back to the Future universe is given. I've waxed on about the attention to detail in a previous preview, but the best example from the actual game came when I climbed in the DeLorean to shoot back in time. I clicked to punch in the date on keypad, but Marty couldn't because I hadn't turned on the time circuits via the little handle in between the seats. That is such a mundane Back to the Future detail, but Telltale added it to make the game feel like you're playing a part of this mythos. For a BTTF nerd like me, that's awesome. The game is littered with nods like that. You need the help of a Strictland to figure out the mystery at hand, downtown Hill Valley has the theater and courthouse it should, and you can even bust out a "What the hell is that?!" to get out of a jam. Of course, that also means that the BTTF cliches we know are back – Marty waking in bed, the requisite chase scene, etc. Most (if not all) are welcome, but if you were sick of that formula, know it hasn't changed much.
Now, I'm not the world's biggest adventure game fan. I'm familiar with Telltale's work with Sam & Max and Strongbad, but those weren't franchises I was into, so I didn't give them much time. The puzzles in Back to the Future are clever but a bit simplistic. That's good because the game's going to draw in so many new players, but it's worth pointing out that there was really only one time where I was stumped with a "What the hell do I do now?" puzzle. Still, trying to get people out of the room so that you can root around through their stuff or so that you can build a rocket is entertaining and fun.
That simple feel carries over – in a way – to the art style. Doc, Marty and the other main characters look great and so does their world, but players need to know that Telltale's aiming for a cartoonish theme here so Hill Valley is bright, colorful and not huge. You'll only wander into a few buildings in this episode to complete your quest. Also, lip syncing is only kind of there as mouths tend to just move at random when someone's talking. It's not a huge knock, but the story's being told very cinematically and it's based on a film so it can take some getting used to.
Young Doc is key to saving Old Doc who once was Young Doc.
Lip syncing won't be that big of a deal, though, because Telltale really outdid itself with the voice work. Christopher Lloyd is back to play Doc and the guy playing George McFly sounds pretty good, but A.J. LoCascio is amazing as Marty. Michael J. Fox let the developers use his likeness but not his voice. So, Telltale went out and got LoCascio, and the guy sounds so much like Fox that it is truly scary. There's a point when Marty screams and if I didn't know better, I'd swear it was pulled from Fox screaming on Mr. Strictland's porch in Back to the Future II. The music is pretty much the classic instrumentals pulled from the movies and tweaked here and there, but they do get used over and over. I was OK with it, but having part of it play over and over while I worked on a puzzle did cause a coworker to tersely ask me if they only had that one song.
|out of 10||Click here for ratings guide|
The world you know from the movies has been recreated and put on the screen. The story's cool.
The main characters look great in this cartoon-like world. Hill Valley overall is pretty but simple, and the lip sync did throw me at first.
The voice work for Doc and Marty is great, and the other characters are good. The music is what we love, but it does go on and on.
The puzzles are simple and entertaining, but exploring conversations and being Marty is where the fun really lies.
It's the first of five parts and not too long, but it'll keep you busy for a bit. Even once I was done, I felt like replaying to pick different choices.