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Posted by drew10 on Apr 1, 2011
Back To The Future: The Game Ep 1 Its About Time (TellTale-Games PSN)

Back To The Future: The Game Ep 1 Its About Time (TellTale-Games PSN)

Great Scot! It is kind of ironic that a game based on a film about time travel should arrive sixteen years after the movie. It is curious but one that is very welcome especially here at G4A towers as we are old enough to remember the original and, sadly, we are even old enough to have seen it in the cinema.

For those of you too young to remember Back to the Future, (sob!) it is a crazy trilogy of films about a teenager called Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) who becomes embroiled in a time travelling adventure when his friend and mad inventor Emmet ‘Doc’ Brown (Christopher Lloyd) invents a time machine out of the ill-fated DeLorean super-car. Marty gets transported back in time and ends up with his mother falling in love with him thus needing to make his mother and father fall in love with each other before being erased from history.

The films were a box office smash yet we have never seen them done justice in video game form. Well, Telltale Games have cranked their DeLorean up to 88mph to take us on a whirlwind trip to the past, or is it future?

Back to the Future: The Game is an  entirely new five episode adventure penned by Bob Gale, co-writer of the original trilogy. The game starts off recreating the iconic scene from the first movie where Doc first shows Marty the DeLorean and what it can do. However it soon becomes apparent that things are not going to play out the same way.

Everything about BttF: The Game takes you back in time, not just the subject matter or the fact it is based on a film from the ’80’s but even the style of game is straight out of yesteryear. Telltale are nothing if not masters of their craft and with BttF it is purely a case of ‘if it ain’t broke.’ Point-n-click adventures were once the stable adventure game and one that many of us yearn for, Telltale have always been the masters of this craft and they have used all of their years of experience in the genre here.

You control Marty as he wanders around the famous settings from the films solving puzzles and interacting with characters to progress the storyline. In this modern era the pace of this style of game may deter many of the younger gamers but for us oldies it is a style of game we are still more-than-happy to play.

Controlling Marty around the game-world is pretty standard stuff. You move him with the left stick and use the right stick to highlight the objects or characters he can interact with. Each object will be greeted with a mini-monologue either musing about a familiar memory from the films or containing a clue about the story.

Graphically, Telltale have gone for an exaggerated cartoon look and it is an art-style which suits the game perfectly. All of the characters are instantly recognisable as their real-life (erm film) counterparts. You will get to see all of the main locations of the films setting in Hill Valley all of which look exactly like they did in the films.

The sound is about as good as you could wish for with Christopher Lloyd reprising his role and Doc Brown and A.J. LoCascio performing an impression of Michael J. Fox that would fool even his own mother. These performances, as well as the supporting cast, married to the superb script, really capture the feel of the original movies and provide the player with a credible extension to the Back to the Future time-line, pardon the pun. The music also evokes the feeling of the movies with adaptations on Alan Silvestri’s original and iconic score.

However, whilst the story and puzzles are a joy, the change of control method to analogue stick has caused some issues. The backgrounds are fixed and as you move between scenes you can find yourself pushing left to walk right. It can be cured by quickly releasing the pad as the scene changes but simply put, not enough thought has been put into the way the controls work on a pad and can prove very frustrating. Also, the frantic nature of the films is somewhat lost in the slow nature of the point-n-click game-play but luckily the script manages to off-set this slightly, as does one of the scenes later in the episode. Annoyingly the end of the episode gleefully tells you that episode 2 will be released in 2010, perhaps whoever did the port should have thought about when the PS3 version was being released.

Telltale games are masters of their craft when it comes to point-n-click but we do hope to see some new ideas in the coming episodes. Overall though, this is a welcome addition to the Back to the Future canon and it shows that the boys at Telltale are real fans of the films. Younger gamers who don’t share the same fondness for the films will probably lose interest pretty quickly, but it will keep us oldies amused throughout 2011 as the remaining four episodes are released. Yeah I know its heavy!

 

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