With a new season of Doctor Who that has already premeired it’s time to review a game that came out over the summer for PS3 and vita alike that ties into the the show called Dr. Who and the Eternity Clock.
Dr. Who the Eternity Clock is a single player 3D side scrolling adventure game, with the option of two player local co-op, based on the hit BBC television series of the same name. The game stars Matt Smith’s incarnation of the Doctor who is at this point the eleventh to hold the title of the Doctor. Matt Smith provides his own voice which is a nice touch and to make it even better he is joined by River Song who is played Alex Kingston who also provides her own voice.
The game is not very long in fact you can beat the game in less than five hours which makes this game really short for its price tag but most Who fans will have no qualms about shelling out the bucks for this game. Upon starting the game the familiar soundtrack of the Dr. Who series came flooding through my speakers and made me grin because I am a huge Who fan. With that said this game kind of depends on a niche audience and by that I mean people who are already fans of the show, if you have no idea who The Doctor is and have never heard of Daleks, Cybermen, The Silence, have no clue who Rory and Amy are or even know what a Salurian is then this game is not for you at all.
In a lot of ways this game is for fans only and with all games made for fans it provides that most precious commodity, fan service. Now this is not to discourage the average player who doesn’t have a clue about the adventures of The Doctor and his Companions from playing the game it’s just a caveat. There is so much reference to past episodes and events and the dialogue depends entirely on your understanding of the characters that the average player would be lost and would find little to no delight in the interplay between the two onscreen characters.
So like with everything Doctor Who this game revolves in some way around time and the unimitable TARDIS, which for those not in the know is an acronym for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space, which is just a fancy way of saying a time machine that looks like a blue police box that is bigger on the inside than the outside. The Doctors time machine is stuck in the middle of a time storm or as he calls it a “temporal maelstrom” and you and river song have to travel backward and forward through time collecting pieces of something called the Eternity Clock to help you unravel the mysteries surrounding the storm, the clock, and how your TARDIS came to be in the dead epicenter of the storm. All the while battling your way past armies of Daleks, Cybermen, Salurians, the Silence and even human guards. Much like the TV show however the Doctor is against violence and armed only with psychic paper and your trusty sonic screwdriver have to sneak by most guards and solve dastardly devious puzzles to save the day.
The puzzle were for me the worst part of this game, while in the beginning the game provides you with a tutorial for basics after that it decides you don’t need any more hand holding and drops you into puzzles with no clues or tutorials on how to solve them first, luckily with each puzzle there is a button you can press that will tell you the basics on how to solve said puzzle but I found it out because in most games these days the tutorial is provided automatically and does not require the player to ask for one. Luckily the game is very forgiving of mistakes and if you die in the pursuit of the solving of a puzzle will put you back close to where you need to be.
While above I did mention the score of the game is a treat for any Who fan it can get grating when you are replaying the same section of platforming or puzzle for the past 30 minutes, with that said the platforming can be wonky especially the controls which at times can be frustrating luckily the enemy detection is just as wonky and you can often depend on it to be less than average.
All in all this is a Dr. Who fans game with the classic score, fantastical enemies from the series and all the banter you would expect from the Doctor this is for every die hard Who fan. As for the average gamer with no connection to the Whoniverse I would honestly suggest you give this a pass, this game is not for you, and believe me it pains me to say this, but with wonky controls, less than average enemy AI, and the history of the characters and all the references and in jokes they would be so utterly lost. As a who fan I kind of wished for more but at the same time was fine with what I was given, but to be perfectly honest this is a game only a fan would love.