I've got a pretty extensive list of films that I'd like to see get turned into video games and Back To The Future featured near to the top of that list, and after watching a couple of trailers, as well as some interviews with the developers and voice actors, I jumped into this one at 88mph.
The story starts off with bucket loads of potential and it picks up about a year after the events of the third film, Marty's adjusting to life in the present without Doc Brown and the DeLorean, however a familiar sound and light show heralds the arrival of the legendary time machine, which contains a message from Doc asking Marty to help him out of a tricky situation he's got himself in back in the past.
The environments look great and stumbling around the different versions of Hill Valley whilst interacting with the various members of the McFly family and several versions of Doc Brown, certainly helps the game to feel a little bit like the films. The emphasis quickly shifts from saving Marty to saving Doc and it makes for a welcome change. It's genuinely shocking when you see what's become of Doc in one of the episodes and you immediately want to try and reverse the events that have had an impact on him. It's also nice to see a young Emmett Brown coming to realise that science is the path that he needs to take. The first few episodes are quite interesting, but as time goes on plot holes start developing in regards to changes in the timeline, which was something that was carefully watched in the films but seems to have been disregarded in the game, and frankly the ending is atrocious.
AJ LoCascio's voice acting is outstanding, in fact it's so good that if I hadn't been told, I'd have assumed Michael J. Fox had taken up the role of Marty once more, and this point is reinforced when Michael J. Fox makes a guest appearance in the final episode because they sound remarkably similar. Any interactions between Doc and Marty are great fun to sit through, after all what Back To The Future fan doesn't enjoy listening to Christopher Lloyd spouting techno garble as his young companion stares at him in bemusement. Credit should also be given to the voice actor who plays Arthur and George McFly. Unfortunately, pretty much every other character is incredibly annoying to deal with, which is a real shame because it strips away some of the enjoyment from the game.
The gameplay consists of guiding Marty around, whilst pointing and clicking on objects, solving puzzles and interacting with the various characters that you come across on your travels. Some of the puzzles are incredibly easy, however the majority require a little bit of brain power to solve, then again if you use the hint system you won't have any problems at all. Sadly, the gameplay gets a bit repetitive once you get past the first episode because they're very formulaic and you'll find that you try to get through things as quickly as possible to get to the next cut scene. Finally, the Back To The Future moments that take place whenever you get yourself out of a compromising situation are quite exhilarating, especially when the theme tune starts to play in the background and makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.
This is a game that tries to cater to the films' fans, but unfortunately if you're one of them you'll almost certainly be disappointed with the game, I know I am, and I wouldn't exactly say that I'm happy I had to part with money in order to play this one. At times though it does capture a small drop of the magic, which made the films so great, but it's not anywhere near enough to put the game in the same league.
- Christopher Lloyd's back as Doc Brown
- You get to walk around Hill Valley
- AJ LoCascio's voice work
- Repetitive gameplay
- The story falls apart as time goes on
- Irritating supporting characters
The Short Version: At the moment this is the closest you'll get to jumping behind the wheel of the time travelling DeLorean, or casually strolling around Hill Valley, but unfortunately it's a little bit disappointing and the gameplay becomes rather repetitive after a while.