Taking place six months after the events of Back to the Future Part III, Telltale Games’ episodic graphic adventure somewhat daringly sets out to provide a continuation of the original trilogy that many hold in such high regard.
Originally available on PC, Mac and iOS devices, Deep Silver now bring each of the five episodes to Wii owners across Europe within this single-disc retail release.
When the DeLorean Time Machine materialises with only Einstein in the driving seat, Marty McFly discovers a tape recording from Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown explaining that the car would reappear as a fail-safe measure for if he was ever in trouble.
Such fears are confirmed when it emerges that Doc has been imprisoned in 1931 following accusations that he burned down Kid Tannen’s illegal speakeasy. Consequently, if Marty doesn’t save him, Kid is poised to murder Doc on the steps of Hill Valley’s courthouse, forever altering the future.
However, to save Doc, Marty must team up with a conflicted teenage Emmett Brown, caught between his dream to become an inventor and his father’s wishes for him to pursue Law. Such storyline tentatively exploring the relationship between the duo, delving deeper into the background of Doc’s character.
The involvement of Bob Gale, co-writer and co-producer of the original trilogy, ensures that the narrative sufficiently aligns, largely exploring the repercussions of interfering with events in the past.
Telltale Games have taken a commendable deal of care to ensure that Back to the Future: The Game is as faithful to that which it is inspired by as possible. Character likenesses are instantly recognisable to their real-world counterparts, and Hill Valley, in particular, sees an accurate representation.
More significantly though, is key members of the original cast return to lend their voices. Christopher Lloyd (Doc) and Claudia Wells (Jennifer) contribute throughout, whereas Michael J. Fox provides a cameo role within the final episode ‘Outatime.’ The talented AJ LoCascio also provides a ridiculously uncanny voice to Marty McFly. He sounds so much like Fox, it’s unreal.
Those familiar with Telltale Games’ other output, whether it be Sam & Max, Tales of Monkey Island or Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures, will largely know what to expect from the game design in Back to the Future: The Game. In the role of Marty, you’ll navigate environments, conversing with characters, solving puzzles and generally soaking up the humour.
You use the Wii Remote for control, which proves unnecessarily awkward alone, but making use of the Nunchuk for movement allows Back to the Future: The Game to feel far more manageable. The on-screen pointer easily replicates the freedom of selection granted by a mouse, yet inventory menus feel lamentably cumbersome which is problematic considering how frequently they must be used.
Whilst it’s clear that a great deal of effort has been taken to accommodate Back to the Future: The Game on Wii, the port falls noticeably short in comparison with the standard set by other versions. A despairingly inconsistent frame rate and delayed transitions during dialogue sequences detract, with textures and graphical detail noticeably lacking. It’s an inevitable shame, as the script brims with humour and overall game design is well-structured.
Although issues are present, Back to the Future: The Game grants an experience that the trilogy’s legions of fans will surely enjoy. If you know your Flux Capacitor from your Gigawatts, you must certainly won’t want to miss out.