|System: PS3, PC|
|Release: June 23, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Robert VerBruggen
If you've read my reviews of the first four episodes (here, here, here, and here), you know Back to the Future: The Game is far from perfect. The point-and-click gameplay is dated, most of the puzzles are too easy or too unintuitive, and a few stretches of the game have been downright boring. To put it simply, if you're looking for challenging and innovative puzzles, you won't find them here.
What makes it all worth it, though, is the storytelling, which has been entirely worthy of the Back to the Future name. Bob Gale, co-writer of the original film, served as an adviser, and with Telltale Games he created a vivid follow-up to the famed movie trilogy. The voice acting is terrific as well: A.J. LoCascio is spot-on in his imitation of Michael J. Fox, and Christopher Lloyd reprises his role as Doc.
The final episode is a fitting conclusion to this new tale. It's no surprise that the gameplay isn't any more gripping than it has been in the past; you'll solve some easy point-and-click puzzles, and you'll use the hint system when the game doesn't give you any idea what to do next. But Telltale did a wonderful job of wrapping up the various plotlines it had put in motion. This is a must-buy for fans of Back to the Future, even the ones who can't stand point-and-click games. Until someone adapts the game into an animated movie, this is the only place fans can go for a brilliant new story.
I'd highly recommend that you stop reading now and go buy the game. If you'd like some more information about the story, read on, but be warned that there are some minor spoilers.
As you'll recall, at the end of Episode 4, Doc was bummed out. His marriage to Edna Strickland had turned him into an Orwellian dictator, but going back in time to destroy the marriage had been heartbreaking nonetheless. Now, he has a new idea: It wasn't marrying Edna that was the problem. No, the problem was that he'd married Edna without giving up science. So, we find ourselves once again at the 1931 Hill Valley Science Expo, and Doc is trying to keep his younger self from showing off his new invention—a turning point that will launch his scientific career.
To save Doc's timeline, Marty has to solve puzzles related to the exhibits in the Science Expo. In the process, however, he outs Edna as the Speakeasy Arsonist. When the police go to arrest Edna, she escapes—in the DeLorean, of all vehicles. She hits 88 mph, and the time machine's circuits are still out of whack from the previous episodes. She ends up far in the past, and of course her personality leads her to wreak havoc there. In fact, she manages to destroy Hill Valley entirely. This is the main challenge that Doc and Marty face in Episode 5.