Content Warning: Mild language (such as hell), references to drinking, and innuendo.
Why did I play this game four years after it was released? That is a good question. I LOVED the Back To The Future trilogy but I own a shabby computer. Playing Back To The Future on my computer wasn’t an option at all when the game was released in 2010 (and I didn’t own a PS3). Years later I acquired a Wii U and was browsing Gamefly’s library of Wii games when I saw Back To The Future. Immediately I placed the game at the top of my que and eagerly anticipated it’s arrival! All I knew about the game is that the story took place six months after the third movie. This alone was enough to make me want to pee my pants with glee. Finally it arrived in the mail and I must say…
This was the best part of the game and it is the make or break factor. There are five episodes total with the first one starting six months after the end of the movie’s trilogy. Immediately I became sucked in as the game starts off how Marty McFly is missing Doc and everyone else has come to the conclusion that Doc is either dead or disappeared (he is in 1885 if you recall the third movie). Suddenly Einstein appears with the DeLorean (how it is not destroyed is beyond me) and your adventure takes place. Without spoiling anything let me say that the first two episodes are the best and felt like a legit sequel to the movies. By episode three everything devolves into what feels like a video game instead of a movie experience. Episode three starts off with a strong premise but falls into what should not be canon (part of the official story). Also, there are incredibly large leaps of logic along with you questioning a lot of how things still work out in the latter episodes. Needless to say, it was still fun but I wished they had visited more era’s besides 1931, 1986, and the very brief visit to 1876. Oh and of course you get great lines like “Great Scott!” and “What the hell is that?” followed by a punch to the face obviously.
Back To The Future is a point and click adventure through and through. There is no decisions to be made, just a linear story that takes you on a journey. None of that is negative mind you. However, the gameplay suffers from Telltale not optimizing the game for the Wii. It seems like they just cranked down the graphics until it could run on the system. This causes frame rate drops and the game to chug when loading. Lucky for me, I didn’t mind as I enjoyed the adventure and the puzzles. Even if you get stuck on a puzzle or what to do next, there is a very generous hint system that makes sure you are finishing the game. Honestly though, the gameplay takes a back seat to the story and adventure.
Graphics and Sound
Oh boy… Let us start with the positives. The voice acting is superb as the guy voicing Marty absolutely nails the impression and Christopher Lloyd returns to voice Doc Brown. All of the music and sound effects from the original movies are here and give you intense goosebumps every time the DeLorean hits eighty eight miles per hour. Now for the negatives. Telltale put little effort in as is clearly shown by the first screen you see. All you initially see is a screen with all five episodes to choose from and no music whatsoever. It feels cheap. When you finish an episode the game does not bring you to the next one. Instead, you need to fumble with the menu until you can back up and select the next episode. It is tedious and a pain in the butt. The graphics here are something I would expect of a budget PS2 game. Not a game that looked pretty good on PC and PS3 and was ported to the Wii. Nothing here was optimized and it really is a shame. Also, I noticed sound clips would end abruptly on occasion which was noticeable and slightly annoying.
If you enjoyed the Back To The Future films then I recommend playing the first two episodes of this game for sure. If you feel like you need more BTTF goodness, then finish the game. But be warned that by the end you will feel like it is has been dragged out and you will wish there had been some actual traveling to the future. If you never saw the films then the story will confuse you immensely.
The Bottom Line