Back to the future episode 5 has been out a while now, and it’s taken me a bit longer to get this review out because to be honest I’ve found it hard to come up with something original to say about the series for it’s final installment.
As with previous versions, there isn’t much difference here other than your varying objectives, everything that was strong in all the previous episodes is once again strong here, the same unfortunately goes for the negative. iPad1 owners will still suffer from poor frame rates and broken audio. The game is also plagued with a reduced texture quality and extremely easy puzzles. I’ve said it before, and I’m going to have to say it once more that the low difficulty level makes sense from a marketing perspective as not all Back to the Future fans will be hardcore point and click adventure gamers, making the gameplay and puzzles simpler opens your market up and in theory results in more sales.
That off my chest, you start the game awoken by a phone call whilst you sleep in young Emmett Brown’s lab, cleverly using the moment to add a comment about Marty not sleeping once in all the days he’s been trying to correct the timeline. Emmett needs you to bring his now fully charged Static Accumulator (anti gravity device to us) to him so he can display his flying car and take first place in the Hill Valley Expo. Once at the Expo, you find that First Citizen Brown and Edna have been working together to try stop Emmett from displaying his flying car by trying to make him miss his time slot in the show, so it’s Marty to the rescue once more. Upon completing the first chapter Edna manages to get hold of the Delorean, travel back in time and wipe Hill Valley from existence. It’s just never straight forward for poor old Marty McFly.
You’re now left with the task of finding a now old Enda in the present time to discover exactly what year she travelled back to and warped the future… err.. present.. past.. It gets a bit confusing, bottom line, Hill Valley is gone, and evil Edna Strickland is the cause. Once you’ve found her it’s apparent old age has got the better of her and she’s gone senile so jogging her memory will involve all your adventure gaming talents through a sequence of dialogues and environment interaction. Next stop: Wild West 1876!
During the course of the game you’ll bump into Willy McFly, voiced by the one and only Michael J Fox, it’s great to see he was able to lend his voice, albeit only a cameo it does make the franchise feel complete and goes to show that he’s one guy that’s not forgotten his roots.
After finally completing your 5 episode long voyage you’re rewarded with what is possibly one of the finest ending cinematics I’ve ever seen in a movie game. I’ll avoid spoiling it here, as it’s certainly something that should be experienced and does leave the door open for a follow up. Although I doubt another season will be made.
If you’ve played and enjoyed any of the previous episodes you’d be a fool not to get the final installment. Those that are yet to touch the series rest easy in the knowledge that episode 5 and all previous episodes are a true fan service for any Back to the Future lover.
Summing the entire episode up, the soundtrack and voicework is as top notch as it’s ever been. The Story is wrapped up nicely, although the more pedantic of you will find a small plot hole or two. The game still suffers from a catastrophic virtual stick and bad camera at points and if you want to experience the game at it’s portable best, it needs to be played on an iPad2. Back to the Future’s score follows the trend of it’s previous episodes, acquiring a mighty fine 3 and a half stars.