You might be hesitant when you hear about Back to the Future: The Game because a lot of video games which tie into movie franchises are not of a very high quality and just seem to be quickly made in order to cash in on their popularity. However, I’m very happy to say that this is certainly not the case here. I’m a huge fan of the three films and this game provides an excellent continuation of them.
Taking place one year after the film trilogy ends, Doc Brown’s estate is being auctioned off because he’s been missing for after the events of the films and it’s assumed that he’s died. Marty, of course, knows that he’s just off travelling around in time, so he goes there to try and stop it from happening. While there, the Delorean, minus Doc, materialises outside and Marty realises that something’s gone wrong during a trip Doc made to the 1930s and so he has to go back to sort it out. This sets up a chain of events including gangsters, alternative realities, brainwashing and lots of other interesting things too. The story is a very interesting one.
Of course, everything is animated, but the voice acting for Dr. Emmett Brown is provided the original actor to have that role, Christopher Lloyd. Marty McFly is not voiced by Michael J. Fox, however, but worry not, there’s no problem here. Either because of Michael J. Fox’s health, or the fact that he might not sound like a teenage boy anymore, Marty McFly is voiced by somebody named A. J. Locascio who does such a good job. I’d probably go as far as to say that A. J. Locascio sounds more like Michael J. Fox did when he played Marty McFly, than Michael J. Fox does now. Furthermore, Michael J. Fox does provide some voice acting material which appears later in the game, so he was still involved in some sense, which is nice. Marty’s girlfriend Jennifer (who does much more in this game than in any of the films) is also voiced by Claudia Wells (who played her in the first film.) Other than that, every other role has been recast, which is a bit of a shame.
Gameplay-wise, this is a point and click adventure. As Marty you get to collect various items and talk to different people in Hill Valley throughout its history. There are a lot of references and Easter Eggs for the fans, so it’s clear that the writers really cared about the franchise’s history. However, without meaning to sound too critical, the game side of it isn’t that fun. The appeal of this game is it’s wonderful story, excellent cut scenes and the fact that it continues the Back to the Future story, not that it’s really fun to play. In fact, there were one or two bits where it was awfully hard to figure out what to do next (never too hard though.) I also found that it could be rather slow with loading times and things like that (at least on the Wii version) which was a downside. But for fans of the series it should be easy to overlook the few issues.
I’m really pleased that this game was made. Short of a remake, I don’t think there’d be any way we’d get another Back to the Future film, but Back to the Future: The Game gives us the next best thing. It has all the humour, intrigue and intelligence of the original film and with the original actors coupled with a story adapted from scripts left over from an unmade fourth film, this, to me, is the official continuation of the series. Telltale have done a really fantastic job with this and I heavily recommend it to any fans of Back to the Future.
(Don’t miss today’s Finger Puppet Show!)