Back to the Future hits its stride just in time for an amazing finale

Back to the Future Episode 4: Double Visions, the penultimate episode in Telltale’s Back to the Future games finally gets it right. Don’t bother trying to start with this episode, as you won’t understand a lick of it. But if you’ve been patient, playing each game once a month since January, this is the episode that truly delivers the sci-fi/character Back to the Future punch you’ve been waiting for.

After escaping from the events of Episode 3, Marty and Doc find their way to the pivotal point in 1931 where their future went awry. Young Emmett Brown, due to interference by Marty, is now in love with Edna Strickland (the antagonist in Episode 3), and it’s up to you to break them up. But as trite as that goal is, the Doc that grew old with Edna starts to gain a broader perspective, and things aren’t clearing themselves up as smoothly as Marty would like. Back to the Future Episode 4: Double Visions asks a number of questions about the nature of time, our futures and happiness as well as weaving a fun sci-fi tale.

As usual, the production values of Double Visions are fantastic. All the actors seem to be in absolute top form, including (finally!) a healthy amount of Christopher Lloyd. The graphics are polished, and there even seems to be more detail in this episode than before. It’s all very well done.

The puzzles in Double Visions are plentiful as well as clever. There’s a lot of item tracking as well as a bit of multiple location multitasking involved, but that’s what point-and-click adventure puzzles are all about. (Don’t worry if you get stuck; the great hunt system is back in full force if you need it.) Many of them result in amusing results, or at least plot-driven ones if nothing else. One grand puzzle has you trying to make young Emmett look like a fool in front of Edna, and it’s a great head-scratcher.

But best of all, Double Visions sets up a conclusion that you genuinely want to see and care about. Tying in the “real” timeline as well as what’s real to the characters in the one you’ve been messing with, Back to the Future Episode 4: Double Visions is preparing for an amazing finale – we hope. If you haven’t leapt into the Back to the Future series yet, particularly with the less-successful third episode, you’d better start. It looks like the payoff is going to be great. If the trajectory continues, Episode 5 is gonna be one heck of a ride!