Back to the Future: The Game – “Double Visions” (Episode Four)
Welcome back, fellow DeLorean lovers…we’re about to jump into episode four’s plot synopsis and review, but I wanted to give you the chance to head back to chapter three in case you haven’t read it yet. You can find the link here:
In episode three, Marty finds himself in an alternate 1986 due to young Emmett’s change in career in 1931. Under the iron fist of Edna Strickland, Hill Valley becomes zombified police state. With the real Doc and Einstein erased from existence, only Marty can save the day. He manages to talk some sense into First Citizen Brown, but both are arrested by Edna and are scheduled to be rehabilitated.
In the beginning of episode four, Marty wakes up in a cell of sorts and finds punk rock Jennifer in an adjacent cell. The puzzles begin already as you attempt to find a way out, which I actually enjoyed doing. I guess finding your way out of being turned into the Borg is a lot more suspenseful than a guitar duel designed to win over your girlfriend.
So as not to ruin the puzzles, I’ll jump ahead and say that Marty manages to escape with Citizen Brown. Citizen Brown informs Marty that he had the DeLorean repaired, so together, they had back to 1931 to stop Edna and young Emmett’s love from blossoming.
Maybe it is just me, but I was hoping for more timelines and a wider variation of time travel. Every trip to the past has involved 1931…I like the characters and all, but I really would have liked to have seen something else. Traveling back to 1931 was necessary to make the story make sense, of course, so I understood WHY the writers did this.
The goals in this game are very straightforward…stop Emmett and Edna from falling in love. Due to a problem with the DeLorean, Marty and First Citizen Brown arrive farther ahead in time than they had planned. At this point, young Emmett and Edna had enough time already to fall for each other. Marty has to find a way to prove to Edna that young Emmett isn’t the nice guy he portrays…something I’m not sure I could have done in Marty’s shoes.
This is the first time in the entire series that I have seen Marty really take on the role of the bad guy, even though it is to restore the original timeline. He acted out in episode three to get seen by Citizen Brown, but this role has Marty being a conniving douchebag…I’m not sure why, but I felt connected to the Marty character more so in this chapter than in any other.
While Marty was busy trying to break up Emmett and Edna, Citizen Brown finds out what Edna’s life was destined to be in the original timeline (old and lonely) and feels compassion for her. He suggested to Marty that they find a future that they can all be happy with…definately not the Doc Brown we are used to. In an odd twist that I really enjoyed seeing, Marty rejects that idea in an effort to defend the original timeline. Usually, Doc is the one who would be talking sense into Marty…it was refreshing to see Marty’s growth in the field of time travel.
The puzzles up to this point weren’t all that difficult. The player spends a lot of time going back and forth between young Emmett’s lab and the Hill Valley Science Expo. We learn that Emmett’s experiment that he was submitting to the expo was different from the one he submitted in the original timeline, so Marty has to find a way to stop that from happening too. It didn’t help that young Emmett never got to see the movie Frankenstein to help send him in the right direction.
Anyway, Citizen Brown angrily drives away in the DeLorean having been unable to convince Marty to find a third, alternate timeline. Marty finishes his quest to break up Edna and young Emmett, but must convince young Emmett to continue in his pursuits in science. In the meantime, Citizen Brown and a crushed Edna start scheming to derail Marty and young Emmitt…and that is where the episode ended.
Despite not liking that 1931 was dragged back into the main story, I really enjoyed this episode. There was a lot of backstabbing and deceit, something that I often didn’t see in a Back to the Future story. Marty versus an alternate Doc Brown…who would win THAT battle? I was anxious to find out.
I didn’t experience any major graphical glitches, though I did get a little bit of tearing (it only happened once or twice). The sounds and the overall game was stable, just like the previous episodes. The characters continued to be likable, though I missed not seeing the real Doc, who wasn’t present in episode three either.
This particular episode ranked high among the five and the hype that came in knowing that everything would be resolved in the next episode came on in full force. I actually sat down and tried sketching a timeline, trying to sort out all of the things that had happened in 1931 and 1986. Edna’s shoe ended up in the DeLorean in the very first episode…how did it get there? Likewise, how did Einstein end up in the DeLorean? How was Marty going to get his real Doc back without messing with the events of the last four episodes and how was he going to get the DeLorean back from Citizen Brown to do it? Would we ever find out who the speakeasy arsonist was?
Join me next time when I post my review on episode five…coming hopefully soon!
Final Verdict: 9/10