Nut Load. Mini reviews of games old and new. No fuss. No spoilers. Occasional shock face.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Back to the Future: The Game (2010)

Genre: Graphic adventure  |  Players: 1  |  Developer: Telltale Games

If you're not already familiar with Telltale's brand of graphic adventure, I'll attempt to explain in one paragraph: TT are storytellers. The story is the main event. Because of that, calling it a game is being descriptively generous. The visuals are stuck in the PS2 era. The animations are clunky. The interface is as simplistic as they come, with the player required to interact with people or objects and walk from place to place to find them. Conversations have multiple possible responses, but quite often it doesn't matter which one you choose or in which order because the response will be the same. You don't buy a TT title just for gameplay - you buy it for story because TT know how to deliver in that dept.

It begins on May 14th 1986. Hill Valley. The events in the films are the past. Doc Brown is missing. Marty is with Biff and George, and he's worried. Things seem bad, but they're about to get a lot worse and it'll be your job as Marty to fix them.

The time-hopping shenanigans that follow reference the entire film trilogy but take cues mostly from the structure of Part II (1989). If you know and love the films then you'll spot a HUGE amount of additional detail. The people at TT must really be fans of the franchise. They captured the enduring spirit of the series perfectly.

Not all voices are provided by the original actors, but they sound like they are; the effort made to match them exactly really paid off, with the discernible nuances of each actor's dialogue being present and largely correct. Ironically, some of the original cast sound less like their 1986-selves than the replacements do!

The adventure is split into five episodes, each individually priced, but if you buy the Complete Pack digitally or the retail edition (on an actual disc) then you'll have them all. Play them in the correct order to properly finish the tale.

It gets more and more self-referential each time. Ep III is very talky but also funny, clever and with a high level of satire. The puzzle solving is fun but can quickly slip into being frustrating. Deductive reasoning alone isn't always enough to get you though, so be prepared for much trial and error and seeing multiple times animations that can't be skipped. Nevertheless, it's worth the inconvenience.

3½ scientific predilections out of 5

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