Episode 2 expands the Back to the Future story and has us chomping at the bit for number 3!
Continuing where the first game left off, Back to the Future Episode 2: Get Tannen! is the next chapter in the new saga of Marty McFly and Doc Brown. What you’re getting with Episode 2 is more of the same but different. Don’t play Episode 2 without playing Episode 1 first, though, or you’ll be completely lost. If you’re okay with that, read on.
For a recap of the quality found in Back to the Future Episode 2: Get Tannen!, feel free to read our review of the first game. It’s the same story here: great graphics, solid voice acting (even Christopher Lloyd seems a bit more energetic in Episode 2) and soundtrack taken from and inspired by the films. The dialog has been fixed here to make it feel more organic to the world, and less like a game – something that interfered with the first one. Episode 2 feels much more like the Back to the Future films than before.
So what makes Episode 2 different? The plot – and thankfully it’s better. The first episode got us reacquainted with our old friends while tepidly introducing new characters. Since this game ties up all the loose ends from the era Doc and Marty were in during the first game, we’re given a chance to learn a lot more about them, and how the McFly, Tannen and even Parker families (Jennifer Parker is Marty’s girlfriend, for those who may have forgotten) are intertwined throughout history. Without giving away too much, the story revolves around Biff Tannen’s grandfather, a local crime boss, murdering Marty’s grandfather for testifying against him, thus wiping Marty out of existence. Through a complex – and hilarious – set of circumstances, Marty, Doc, Marty’s grandfather, Jennifer’s grandfather and even parallel Marty and Doc all have to work together to make things right. If it seems a little complicated, it kind of is.
As the game explains it, every choice you make is going to affect the timelines of the universe. In Episodes 1 and 2, we’ve already made five timelines. Back to the Future Episode 2: Get Tannen! doesn’t really give a synopsis of events (again, why you need to play Episode 1 first) unless you find the right bit of dialog with Doc Brown. It’s not hard to find, but would have been nice to give the player without searching.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Telltale game without some puzzles. Back to the Future Episode 2: Get Tannen! has them, but they’re more fetch quests than anything else. There are some very fun action sequences peppered throughout, including a great escape from a speakeasy and the ultimate shootout with Kid Tannen. Most of the time, it’s about arranging items and circumstances to get characters to do something, or retrieving something for a character to proceed. It’s a little less complicated than Episode 1, for better or for worse.
Thankfully, the hint system returns in Back to the Future Episode 2: Get Tannen! This time, it’s even more customizable. You can choose how far the hints can go, from a mild assist to full-on “here’s what you have to do.” The accessibility this gives Back to the Future Episode 2: Get Tannen! ensures that gamers of all skill levels can enjoy the game.
Back to the Future Episode 2: Get Tannen! should take only a couple of hours to complete assuming you don’t do too much in the way of talking to people more than you have to. You’d miss a lot of the depth of the characters, and some great writing. It’s worth it to take your time. The set-up for Episode 3 is a jaw-dropper, too.
Back to the Future Episode 2: Get Tannen! is a worthy follow-up to the first episode, showing a lot of promise as to how far the story can go. The potential shown in Episode 1 is just starting to reveal itself. Hopefully, Telltale Games will continue this upward trend. We’re already chomping at the bit for Episode 3.