Where we're going, we don't need roads… but definitely more Back to the Future!
There I was, thinking that I've seen some of the best Telltale had to offer with the first four episodes of Back to the Future, but that changed after I played through Outatime, the closer to this incredible continuation of my favorite film trilogy. Episode Five is the best episode this season and for good reason—it manages to close up all the crazy loops set by the story so far, all the while keeping the same great, if not even better, writing from the films.
Marty and Doc have split paths at the end of Double Visions. Brown couldn't stand the fact that Marty was meddling with his love life and left to follow his own ideas, which he's still doing at the beginning of Episode 5. We get to see different sides to these characters through the writing in this episode, sides of their personalities that were built up throughout the season. Along with the established cast—and a few new additions—Marty has to set everything right in the hopes of getting back home, to 1986, where he belongs.
Sure, he's already been to 1986 this season, but it's not his true home. The story has taken us to just about every important date in Hill Valley's history and Episode 5 is no different. Without going into much detail, it's safe to say it's astounding how far back the Tannens date in the town's development.
Unsurprisingly, Outatime plays exactly like past episodes in the season, giving you direct control over Marty and a very limited inventory system. There's not a lot of combinations or tinkering with items at any point in the game. We do get to see a couple of action scenes that make use of directional controls but nothing too far out of the Telltale norm. Back to the Future isn't a particularly difficult game, but its strength lies in the story.
Michael J. Fox's participation in Episode 5 was kept a secret up until a few weeks before release, and I'm glad to report his roles in Outatime are awesomely portrayed. It's shocking to see Fox's and A.J Locascio's performances side-by-side, showing off how damn good the casting's been for the series.
If you're anywhere near the sort of Back to the Future fan that I am, you'll be just as happy as me after playing this episode. The season closes extremely well and develops the overall Back to the Future mythos in some very interesting ways. I really hope Telltale continues to make quality fiction with this universe, 'cause Great Scott, this stuff is heavy!