It’s great to have Back to the Future knocking around again, especially as we know that we’ve got more episodes to come in the next couple of months. The first episode was a hugely promising introduction to the series and although it served as much as a tutorial as anything else the excitement and humour from the films was very much evident. In Episode 2: Get Tannen the puzzles are still puzzling, the story is still full of twists and turns and the controls are still a nightmare.
This time round we’re back in the 1930s trying to stop Marty’s grandfather Artie from falling into the hands of the Tannen gang and being murdered for testifying against him. Obviously this wipes Marty out of existence, so there’s a race against time to change the events leading up to that fateful moment. In true TellTale style, this isn’t a straightforward task and you’ll need to interact with a wider range of characters including a bizarre coincidental meeting with girlfriend Jennifer’s grandfather, although this does bring about one of the more fun puzzles you’ll find in Epidose 2.
Those of you hoping to jump straight to Episode 2 without spending the time in the first game won’t find it an easy ride. Although you’ll be able to find a brief recap by talking to Doc at the right time, you’ll miss out on a huge amount of backstory which makes Get Tannen all the more fun and interesting. It’s worth catching up, because the story is really starting to get going now, and with this episode everything feels more like the true Back to the Future. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why, but it’s really starting to work well. By the time you reach the end of this instalment you’ll be desperate to play Episode 3, not only to get your hands on more fun puzzles but to see just what happens next; the finale of this game will leave you nearly speechless.
Sadly it’s not all fantastic, and the biggest gripe from the first game is still very much apparent here. There are times when the camera switches to another view and you end up walking in a direction that bears no relation to where you’re pointing with the controller. You only need to release the direction and start moving again to correct it, but it’s a confusing few moments when it happens.
But really, that’s the only issue. The hints system is back in full effect giving you the option of going it alone with just your own brain or, at the other end of the scale, pretty much telling you what you need to do. As I said on the review of part 1, it makes the series far more accessible to a wider range of gamers, and kids will get just as much enjoyment out of it as adults which, if you’ve got kids, is a huge bonus.
So if you haven’t already spotted Episode 2 on the store, go and get it now. If you’ve missed Back to the Future entirely, go and buy the season pass which gives you all of the episodes and start from the beginning. Each episode isn’t all that long (you’ll get through this in one or two sittings), but together this is becoming a fantastic series which looks like it’s only going to get more exciting.