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SNK 40th ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION Launch Trailer

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Doctor Who: The Edge Of Time

Posted by GG Goblin On November - 25 - 2019

Trust me, I’m a doctor.

 
Considering the popularity of BBC’s Doctor Who television show, there are surprisingly few Doctor Who themed games, and none that really make use of the potential or the massive amount of lore to be found in the long-running show. The reason for this would require the Doctor to work out, but while we wait for them to show up, Maze Theory’s Doctor Who: The Edge of Time is more than willing to take Whovians and the mildly curious on an adventure in Virtual Reality. While VR is still a niche interest, surely this would be the best possible platform to recreate the adventure of Doctor Who and give players the ultimate experience.

 


 
Even among those who do not class themselves as fans of Doctor Who, there are certain aspects of the show that have become universally well known. These are the things that will instantly appeal to regular gamers as they take their journey through The Edge of Time, and there can be no denying that first stepping into the fabled TARDIS or hearing for the first time the well known sound of a Dalek are truly epic moments that will thrill anyone. VR is, by its very nature, more immersive than any other medium and so these moments will be all the more exciting. But this is a game, not a collection of wow moments, and so there is a lot more going on, with varying success.

 
The player doesn’t get to actually control the Doctor, rather taking on the role of a companion created especially for this game who will find themselves dragged into a universal threat while the actual Doctor is stuck elsewhere. As is often the case with many of the episodes of the actual show, the story here is quite light, but still manages to give the player a good reason to go bounding through time and space, visiting a variety of different levels including an alien planet and Victorian London.

 
There is a huge amount of fan service in the game that will ensure this game is a hit for the fans of the show. For those who are just fans of VR experiences though, it is a bit of a mixed bag. There are limitations to the PSVR headset that prevent the game from ever looking amazing, but the different set pieces are impressive nonetheless. As already mentioned, entering the TARDIS for the first time is just as exciting as you would expect, and each of the levels are designed with an eye for authenticity and level of detail that possibly even go beyond the shows.

 


 
When it comes to the gameplay though, this is were things get a little more ropey. The majority of the gameplay revolves around puzzles, and most of these are quite simple as though dumbed down for a younger audience. There is not a huge amount of originality here, with the likes of redirecting lasers or reworking wiring being something that has been seen plenty of times before. Getting to use the Sonic Screwdriver is an obvious highlight, and there are a few surprises in the gameplay that will thrill players and offer some variety. Then there are the Weeping Angels, those evil angelic statues that move when you are not looking at them. This sequence, although short, makes for an almost perfect VR experience and is almost worth the price of entry in itself.

 
But this doesn’t last long and then things are back to being uninspired. Something that doers make the game even more difficult to enjoy is the speed with which the player moves. There are options to tinker with regarding the speed of movement, including the option to teleport, but no matter what the player does, they will be doing it at the slowest pace possible. If I had to guess, I would say that the developer is playing it safe to avoid any motion sickness concerns in a game that is, in true Doctor Who fashion, suitable for the youngsters and fans of the show that have never experienced VR before. The problem is that this slow movement takes away much of the urgency that is often found in the TV show, diminishing the experience.

 
In fact, much of the Doctor Who flavour has been missed out in The Edge of Time. There must have been some cleverer ways to make use of the Sonic Screwdriver when it comes to puzzles, and the ability to travel through time could have been used to make some really interesting puzzles. Even the TARDIS itself feels underused and should have been packed full of mysteries and diversions.

 


 
Doctor Who: The Edge of Time will be an obvious purchase for any Doctor Who fan that happens to own a VR headset, and it is those fans who will get the most from the game’s impressive fan service. For those who are not so bothered though, the slow movement, unoriginal puzzles and filler story will make a dent in the experience. On the other hand, the levels are very nicely made and nothing can compare to Looking into the TARDIS in VR, even for the non-fans. Doctor Who: The Edge of Time is a fairly good VR experience, just not a very good game. Go in knowing that, or just being a fan of the show, and you’ll probably have a good time.

 

 ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ 



 

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