Monday, July 11, 2011

Back to the Future: Double Visions Review

Back to the Future: Episode 4 – Double Visions
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Genre: Point-and-Click Adventure
ESRB Rating: T for Teen
Platforms: PC, Mac, iPad, and PlayStation 3

It was December 2010 when the first episode to Back to the Future: The Game released. Five months later, the fourth episode, Double Visions, is available. At the end of Citizen Brown, Marty was captured by Edna Strickland after finally convincing Doc to fix the time machine and head back to the 1930s. Episode four picks up immediately after, starting with your escape with help from Jennifer Parker. Meanwhile, Edna tries to use Doc’s mind-reading machine from the first film (now a brain-washing machine in this timeline) to reprogram her husband back into Citizen Brown. Marty frees Doc and they travel back to the 1930s for the third since It’s About Time, a few months after young Emmett Brown started dating Edna Strickland. The majority of the episode is spent finding a way to douse Edna and Emmett’s relationship, and reignite Emmett’s love for science.

The time spent in alternate 1986 is confined to a small building, starting in a small room where Marty is held captive. You never venture outside the building, except in a cutscene and small conversation. The limitation is welcome, because venturing outside would only wear out the appeal alternate 1986 had in Citizen Brown.

The return to the 1930s was a disappointment for the same reasons, at first. After the retracing we did in Get Tannen, I dreaded to see the same locations and the same people. However, it looks like Telltale learned from their previous episodes. With the exception of a small two minute sequence, Double Visions’ visit to the 1930s is completely new.

Unfortunately, by the end of Double Visions, you only travel to three locations: the high school’s front lawn, Emmett Brown’s lab, and the clock tower in a scene reminiscent of the ending of the first film.

You don’t notice this until the end of the episode, simply because of the way Double Visions is structured. The high school’s front lawn serves as your main hub, where different characters will give you goals to complete or ask you to bring back items to them. These goals end up feeling like shopping list. Search for this item, grab that, bring back to person and you’re rewarded with the story moving forward.

This episode feels more like filler than anything. There are some important parts to it, like Edna and Emmett breaking up, but the majority is just spent moving from one location to another collecting items and bringing them back. This is an episode I would recommend skipping, but because of the way the episodes are sequenced, you almost need to play Double Visions to understand where you start in the next episode, OUTATIME.

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