Doctor Who is all about change. The TV series that we watch now is a very different package to the one that first ran for 26 years. The Big Finish plays have created their own Universe of adventures and even the novels that we read have evolved into very different packages to the Target books that accompanied the series’ original run.
So it would make perfect sense that in the 21st century, Doctor Who computer games would start to evolve into something completely knew and very exciting. Gone are the days of Dalek Attack and Doctor Who: The First Adventure. Evacuation Earth and Destiny of the Doctors seem like dots on the horizon and let’s not even talk about The Mines of Terror.
As from May 2012, Doctor Who has finally achieved something that many television shows cannot; it has released a fun computer game that can be enjoyed by all. Family Guy tried it, The Sopranos tried it, The Shield tried it and that’s only a handful, but Supermassive Games and the BBC have, in this humble reviewer’s opinion, managed to fill the gap in a tried and (mainly) failed market.
Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock is something of a game changer and it’s about time!
Finding themselves in a spot of temporal bother, the Doctor and River meet up (through separate, very clever ways) to unravel the mystery of The Eternity Clock and the trouble that it’s causing time and space. Taking advantage of these time anomalies are the Cybermen, Homo Reptilia, the Silence and, of course, the Daleks. Each segment of the Clock must be found and each is being kept in a different time zone. Past, future and present are all at stake in this rather epic tale.
First of all, gameplay. The motion capture of Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor and Alex Kingston as River Song is truly breathtaking. Cut scenes are utterly realistic and body mannerisms during gameplay are something to behold. When you first whip out the sonic screwdriver when in charge of the Doctor and scan for clues, it’s undeniably Matt Smith, the movements are unmistakeable. The graphics for the game are lovely and crisp, presented in full HD, modern day London looks stunning, as does Victorian and future London as well, it really is a testament to all those involved as to just how good this game looks.
The variety will keep you coming back for more as well, there are three difficulty setting for puzzles (easy, medium and hard) and on the easiest setting it was still no walk in the park to solve some of them. Level progression not only involves running, jumping, climbing and fighting (in the Doctor’s own unique style of course) but elements of stealth to avoid enemy capture. Waiting and timing exact movements is essential at some points of the game and gives it a real mixture.
That’s not to say that everything is necessarily perfect with The Eternity Clock. One part of the game requires you to start part of the level again if you don’t work out how to help River out beforehand (as you can’t go back to help her during the in game character swaps), some of the puzzles can be a little repetitive if you’ve just solved one and then have to do another just like it a minute later.
The real question that you want the answer to, of course, is “should I fork out my hard earned cash to buy this game”?
Well, yes you should. Unlocking doors with the sonic screwdriver will give you a giddy thrill, the plot is strong and effective and will lead to bigger things in years to come. This is the natural successor to The Adventure Games that are free via the BBC’s official Doctor Who website; this is THE Doctor Who game that you should play.
Fun, entertaining and a load to go back to after you’ve finished it the first time, this is not only a great Doctor Who story but it is, for the first time ever, a great Doctor Who game.
Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock is available now via download from the PlayStation Network or in retail shops such as Amazon for the PlayStation 3. The PlayStation Vita and Windows releases are due later this year.