Back to the Future Episode 4 – Double Visions Review

By on May 16, 2011

We’re baack…no wait what?

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First Impressions
My reaction is

When we last left Marty, things had taken for the worse, he was captured, and Doc was to undergo mental correction for getting “distracted” and being interested in the time machine. So what has become of this dynamic duo? We find ourselves waking in a holding cell of the Citizens Plus program where they intend to “fix” Marty, and to make matters worse, Doc is undergoing brainwashing as we speak!

The ending of the previous episode left a rather sour taste in my mouth, and I hope that the remainder of this episode uplifts this dreadful mood. I assumed with the title being called Double Visions that it would mean we are going to overlap timelines in this one, where we perform certain actions, realize a mistake, go back to repeat certain other actions, and try to avoid ourselves. Sadly the game didn’t go in this direction, perhaps in any future games they might take that into consideration, I rather enjoyed the complexity of having Marty and Doc avoid themselves in the movie Back to the Future II so as to allow current events to take place at all.

So now what? Marty has convinced Doc that his place is with science as it should have been and Doc immediately begins work on the DeLorean, and to set things right we must go back to when things went wrong. What does this mean? Yes readers, we are going back to 1931 and get Young Emmet back on the right path. I was particularly excited to see Marty working together with Doc again to restore the timeline to its original state, these two are one dynamic duo that will definitely withstand the test of time (see what I did there?) to be remembered. It has been particularly difficult trying to cope with the fact that everyone Marty cared for, minus his family, were against him or not helping him out in the previous episode.

There is one major distinction to be noted, the Doc we are travelling with now is not the same Doc as Marty knew, and this one hasn’t had any children, or pet Einstein, or adventures with Marty to understand the frame of mind that Marty is in. This was conveyed early on when Marty has to tell Doc repeatedly why it’s important to restore the timeline and what not.

This episode presented itself with a series of puzzles that required some degree troubleshooting to figure out, particularly one that involved Emmet himself. This required me to think an extra step, and I tried to solve the majority of the issues without using hints as much as possible. Sadly this lead to a lot of repetition, and there is one part of the story where they clearly need to give a better idea of what needs to happen next instead of actually using a hint to tell you. Even when that happens the next choices you make weren’t obvious. I don’t want to give away exactly what I mean but if you are playing with minimum assistance from the hints or have hints disabled, you’ll know what I mean.

That brings me to my next complaint, I know we do briefly go to the court, but only TWO places are vivid in my memory, simply because the amount of time spent on just these two set pieces for the majority of the this episode and from the preview of the next episode it seems I will STILL be in that location. C’mon that’s a little annoying to be honest, I want to have at least three or four locations to go in between, and I feel that was definitely one of the strong suits of the first two episodes where there are a at least a couple of puzzle solving areas to be explored.

Overall this episode was great from a character development perspective, but I have to end this on a darker note though. Remember I mentioned the bit about the dynamic duo, well things go from dark to darker. This is not the kind of turn I expected the series to take, and considering what the ramifications this will have and what we need to do to next episode is going to be equally as important. For once I felt a little let down and alone at the end because this is not how I imagined the story to turn out. Kudos to TellTale studios though, for going the extra mile for seeing our characters develop differently and not being afraid to stick to the established roles that we expected from everyone else. Marty notwithstanding, every other character in the BTTF universe was shown from an alternate perspective which really did help solidify character development throughout the series and getting every character fleshed out as much as possible. I really want to see how this series ends considering the climatic cliffhanger we are left with this time around.

The Scorecard
This one is tough, while I did enjoy the puzzles, it was annoying sticking to the two basic set pieces where the main story unfolded.
Clean colors, and great visuals for the series, the return to the 30’s was not expected but its good to see again.
As always, the music is great and works great for the series.
Hints will be needed to get through this episode, and its building up to a great finale hopefully
A darker story, a few tougher puzzles, we lose a point here compared to last time because there really are ONLY 2 set pieces you visit. While it wasn’t as obvious before, it’s just painful here.
This score maintains itself this time, the story took a different turn than expected, now it’s a solid 2 week wait until the climatic finale!!
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