Saturday, 5 January 2013

PC Game Review: Back to the Future - The Game

This review was originally posted on Accursed Farms Forums on July 7th 2011.

Platform: PC (Steam)
Released: 2010
Genre: Adventure
Developer/Publisher: Telltale Games
Buy on Steam
Few movies hold the place in the public conscious like Back To The Future. Since their release in the 80's and early 90's, the Back To The Future movies have captivated generation after generation. There are probably several reasons these movies had such a massive impact and are still being watched today. One reason could be the loveable characters, and another could be that a lot of movies have used time travel as a plot, but Back To The Future was the first to really get it RIGHT.

I personally grew up watching the animated series on Saturday mornings, and watching Marty and Doc travel in time always was such a fun time for me. Then at a later age I watched the movies and they have since become three of my favourite movies ever. So naturally, when I heard there was a game coming out, and it was going to be an adventure game developed by Telltale, who have already been responsible for mostly single-handedly bringing the glory of graphic adventure games, such as Monkey Island and Sam & Max, back to gamers, I was pretty hyped. For some reason I waited until all the episodes had been done, which I don't regret since it made me able to get the complete experience right away.

To best describe BTTF The Game would be to call it a fourth movie. Story-wise, the game remains incredibly faithful to the canon established by the movies and the plot is very well-written and always seem to make sense within the rules established by them, though this could mostly be credited to the team using Bob Gale and Robert Zemmeckis as story consultants, making sure the continuity would never be broken in any severe way as this could really have ruined the game in a major way. I won't spoil the story for those who have yet to play this game, but all I can say is that it really feels like it could be the plot of a fourth movie, and it has enough twists and turns to keep each episode worth playing. A genious twist is that each episode ends on a cliffhanger that leaves you aching to play the next, and even the final episode has a bit of a teaser at the end, leading us to expect another BTTF game some time in the foreseeable future.

Another great aspect about the game is obviously the voice acting. While they couldn't get Michael J. Fox to reprise his role as Marty, they found a very great replacement in AJ LoCascio who sounds eerily similar to Fox. Thankfully, Chris Lloyd is back, great and funny as ever as the old Doc from the movies. It doesn't really feel like he has aged much in the last 20-30 years, and he does a great job bringing Doc back to life, though I doubt anyone else could really have done it. The acting feels natural and unforced and unlike many games where the voices could feel robotic and like they were simply reading a script, the voices in this game really adds tons of personality and flavour to the rich gallery of people that are featured thruout the episodes.

Those looking for realistic graphics though should probably look away from this game. The game opts for a more cartoony style that feels very reminiscent of Monkey Island, another franchise that Telltale has "reanimated". However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing as the animation is great and adds even more personality to the game and gives its a very unique charming style. I did notice some issues with the graphics though, such as black lines appearing randomly, however the game ran perfectly smoothly even with everything maxed out in 1080 HD resolution, so it did not detract too much from an otherwise enjoyable experience.

The controls feel highly reminiscent of a classic point-and-click adventure game where you use the mouse to make Marty look at things and pick them up or examine them. Everything has been simplified to a simple intuitive click of a button and the game feels really easy to play. The inventory screen is easy to use and you can make Marty examine items for clues and such. Another helpful feature in the game is the hint system, which greatly helps if one gets stuck, which often tends to happen with people who rarely play these games or are new to the genre. The game also lets you view what goal Marty has, which in of itself gives you a clue what to do.

Overall, I can't really find anything negative to say about this game. If you like adventure games like Monkey Island, Grim Fandango or Day of the Tentacle, then I highly recommend this. Not only does it continue the BTTF franchise in a way that no new movie ever could, it's also a blast to play and should give the fans of the movies tons of laughs and an overall great experience. Some moments felt a bit tedious, but in total it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience for me.

Story: 10/10
Great story that sticks faithfully to the rules and plot points established by the movie trilogy, with great voice acting from AJ LoCascio and Christopher Lloyd as well as a whole cast of great characters.
Graphics: 9/10
Aside from a few glitches here and there, the graphics are great, colourful and with tons of personality. Has that typical Telltale charm that no one can replicate.
Controls: 10/10
Nothing bad to say as the game offers several control methods and all of them are a blast to play with.
Presentation: 9/10
A few moments in the game felt tedious, which detracted slightly from the overall experience, which was great.

Total score: 10/10

If you haven't played this, but love either BTTF or adventure games, then this is a must-have title.

- Alyxx

No comments:

Post a Comment