Thursday, December 23, 2010

Back to the Future Impressions

The big news for many yesterday may have been the dropping of the Rifts NDA, but for me it was the release of Back to the Future: The Game.  First a disclaimer, I am a big fan of the movies.  So my point of view is liking it by default.  On to my spoiler-free impressions!

If you have ever played a Telltale game before, Back to the Future plays like you would expect.  It is a puzzle game by nature (similar to Kings Quest games of long ago).  You'll be expected to listen to a lot of dialog, look around at a lot of different objects, and try different actions.

So far, the dialog has been decent.  On the plus side, Christopher Lloyd is the voice of Dr. Brown!  The downside is that he seems to be the only cast member they were able to bring back.  Marty's stand-in does an excellent job though and sounds just like the real thing.

The graphics are adequate.  Don't expect this game to test your video card, but it perfectly fine for the type of game it is.  Telltale usually goes for a more cartoony (is that a word?) feel and this is no exception.  The controls are mouse based, but very simple.

I am loving the atmosphere.  There are a ton of details and inside jokes which many Back to the Future fans will appreciate.  The story is engaging so far, but I am not too far into it yet.  You will meet, see and hear a lot of old and new characters. 

Not good at puzzle games?  Telltale built in a configurable hint system in case you get stuck.  They also posted a complete walk-through on their website.  I don't plan on using any of these, but its nice to know they are there.  remember before the Internet, where you would have to call a tip line and pay something like $2.99 a minute?  The alternative was to wait and hope the next issue of Nintendo Power had a clue.

Back to the Future: the Game is episode based.  There will be 5, one each month for the next five (excluding January).  I'm not sure how long each one is yet.  It will also be available on the PS3 and the iPad.

Bottom line:  If you are a fan of the movies, you will probably enjoy this game just based on its setting.