Review: Back to the Future (PS3)


Back in 1985, Universal Studios released what would turn out to be one of the most classic films of our time–Back to the Future. It spawned into a trilogy, where the audience was truly able to connect to the characters in the movie and become somewhat attached to them. The trilogy is known as one of the greatest of all time, right up with The Godfather, Star Wars, and the original Indiana Jones trilogy. From trips to the past, to the future, to the far past in the old west, the trilogy took moviegoers where they had not yet gone before. It then spawned an animated series, a theme park attraction (which currently only exists in Japan, but was prior open at Universal Studios parks in Orlando and Hollywood, and closed to create The Simpsons Ride), a card game, fan sites, and much more. The series just celebrated it’s 25th anniversary last November, which sparked new interest in the series for a new generation.

At the Electronic Entertainment Expo in 2010, Telltale Games, creators of the hit episodic game series Sam and Max, announced a partnership with Universal to create new episodic games based on Back to the Future and Jurassic Park, with the former being the first to release. The game released it’s first episode in December 2010 on PC, with a console release in February. Every month, new episodes released, leading to the season finale late last month. Instead of trying to retell the tale from the trilogy, the game puts you in a new adventure that takes place several months after Marty returned to Hill Valley in 1985. Marty has not seen Doc since his return, and neither has Doc’s bank, leading them to auction off all of his belongings.

And then the DeLorean returns. Doc Brown is in trouble, and you end up on an epic time traveling adventure in order to save him and make things right with the timeline. In this episodic journey, you’ll travel to the Great Depression-era Hill Valley, to new versions of 1986, and straight back to the old west. You’ll meet new characters. You’ll catch up with characters from the movies. In reality, this game could be considered Back to the Future 4, which fans of the series have long been awaiting.

Story wise, this game lives up to the Back to the Future name and provides a good one. The game really focuses on Doc this time around, where previous versions had Marty in the spotlight. You learn a lot about Doc Brown’s past as he was growing up in his high school days. In the majority of the five episodes, you are tailing “young Emmett,” who has a fear of his family and begins to develop his passion for science. In the game, your goal is to alter Doc’s timeline, which you inadvertently altered in your first trip to the 1930s in episode 1. There are conflicts. There are challenges. But in the end, everything ends up okay…or so you think. There are also, however, several boring moments that just seem like fluff. With knowing what you’re supposed to do, however, you can easily avoid any of that.

Graphically, the game looks pretty good. It’s got a very cartoony feeling to it, which feels similar to that of what you would find in a Sam and Max game. Environments contain those small little details from the films that make them stand out. It feels like a Back to the Future game. And that’s a good thing.

The sound in the game is extremely familiar, though a bit overused. It’s practically all of the sound effects and music from the films, extracted straight from the soundtrack. The voiceovers, however, are where the game shines–Christopher Lloyd reprises his role as Doc Brown. Michael J. Fox could not do the entire game, yet the guy they got to fill the role of Marty sounds just like him. A welcomed cameo from Mr. Fox appears in the final episode of the series, and is much welcomed. It’s definitely good to have Fox and Lloyd working together again, even if it was only for a brief appearance.

The game is extremely easy, which is good and bad at the same time. It’s a point and click adventure, something that Telltale Games specializes in. Can’t complain there, the game is supposed to be more about the story. The game’s puzzles are extremely easy, to the point where it takes extremely little thought to complete them. This is good and bad at the same time. Good, because again, the game is supposed to be about the story. Bad, because each episode is extremely short, and the easy puzzles only make it shorter. If there is going to be a Season 2 (and the finale sequence really makes me think there will be), then I would really like to see a slightly more challenging game. There is also trophy support in each of the five episodes, which may cause you to replay it if you can’t get 100% the first time around.


Controlling the game is not hard either–though, there were some issues throughout the five episodes of the controls not adjusting properly when you would switch to a different area. It’s not too hard to figure out how to fix it when that happens, but it’s slightly annoying anyway. That’s my only gripe about it, everything else seems to be in check.

Overall, the game is good, but could be better. The storytelling aspect of it is absolutely perfect, and the finale answered almost all of the questions I had about the story, while leaving it completely open for a second season. The graphics are good, and so are the voice overs but the overuse of some of the same audio tracks and the lack of challenge brings it down a bit. If you’re really looking to get back into the Back to the Future franchise, play this game. You’ll really feel like you’re in the middle of Back to the Future 4. I give BTTF 4 out of 5 stars, and a Digital Lust Silver Award.


About digilust
I'm 23 years old, hailing from the great city of Orlando, FL. I previously ran the popular variety blog "That One Blog," but became too busy to be able to continue pursuing it. I'm now back and ready to stream awesome new content with my new blog!

2 Responses to Review: Back to the Future (PS3)

  1. I’ve been debating playing this, but it seems that unless you’re a huge fan of the series then many of the quips and references are lost. Is it worth playing if you haven’t seen/can’t remember much of the movie?

    • digilust says:

      Honestly, as long as you have a basic memory of the movies, you should be okay to play it. The game really doesn’t go too much into the events from the movies. The references it makes are non-essential to the plot of the game.

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