Back to the Future Episode 1 Review
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Posted 24 February 2011 - 10:44 PM
Unlike most movie based games, Back to the Future doesn’t just retell the movie in an interactive way. It expands upon the trilogy with additional storyline. The game opens with Marty dreaming about the night when Doc first successfully tried his time machine. However, once Marty wakes up you realize Doc has been gone for six months and the bank is having an estate sale to pay off his debt. Devastated by the sale, Marty goes outside when he sees the iconic flash of light and thunderous boom only to find the DeLorean sitting in the driveway. Inside he finds a note about the DeLorean’s automatic recovery feature, which led the DeLorean to Doc’s house in 1986, and a desperate plea for help from Doc. One need not worry if the story is up to snuff when compared to the movies, as the additional stuff is high quality, makes sense in the Back to the Future universe and even offers character backstory not given in the movies. The story is very gripping and left me wanting more whenever I turned off the game (Which as it turns out, was only twice. That’s how good the story is).
The gameplay is similar to Telltale’s other games and is a point and click adventure, which allows you to play with only the mouse if you choose. The point and click control scheme works really well with this game, but moving and running are slightly awkward using the mouse to point where to go. I ran into this issue several times, especially when the camera angles changed. The game also utilizes an inventory system to store items you will need later in your adventure. Because of the game being an adventure and you may get stuck, the game also has a hint system which is tiered. This is great as it doesn’t completely spoil what you are supposed to do when you click hint. Instead the hints start vague and get gradually more specific, with a maximum of three hints per one action to do in the game. With the gameplay being so simple, the main draw of the game is its story.
The graphics are done in a way, again, very similar to Telltale’s other games. They are done so that they look animated, but do have a fair amount of detail. The sound, however, is phenomenal. Sound effects sound near identical to the movie (like the iconic sound of the DeLorean after it has just traveled through time). What’s equally amazing is the voice acting, with the very talented Michael J Fox sound-a-like Aj Locascio playing Marty and Christopher Lloyd (the actor who played Doc in the movie trilogy) voicing Doc. I only wish the character models had the same expression as voice actors, which completely overshadows the character models.
The game took me about four hours to complete, which is a decently sized game for a point and click adventure. Once you consider that this game is only episode one of five it becomes pretty lengthy for the full game (once all parts are released, it is episodic after all). If episode one is any indication of episodes to come, this game is a great buy for $25 on PC or $20 on PS3 (this one purchase fee includes current released episodes and all of the remaining episodes to come).
Don’t write off Back to the Future the Game as another disappointing movie based game as Telltale has done the seemingly unachievable; making a movie based game that is top shelf quality and downright fun. The story is fantastic, the game offers a pretty good value and the voice acting is some of the best I’ve ever heard.
Back to the Future Episode 1 was played on the PC.
As always, comments and constructive criticism are appreciated.
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