Dr Who The Eternity Clock PS3 Review
Released by BBC
Hands up, then. I am a lifelong Who fan so the idea of a new game with vocal talents of the latest incarnation of the good Doctor made me somewhat giddy at the knees.
There's never been a fully successful Who game released before; sure the BBC have had some online games produced during the last run of the series, but it's never really made the transition to other platforms.
Enter The Eternity Clock.
You play as The Doctor (or River Song in a co-op game) and basically, with the Eternity Clock threatening to rewrite all of time and space, it's upto you and your trusty sonic screwdriver to try and save the day in this side scrolling puzzle solving piece. With Daleks, Cybermen, Silurians and new series villain The Silence out and about during the game, there's certainly plenty for the Doctor to avoid.
And, erm, that's it.
Don't get me wrong; I love the scope and ambition of this game - with Matt Smith and Alex Kingston providing heaps of lines and their voices to the action, it feels like a proper Who game (even if the voices of the enemies aren't in keeping with the show - a minor nitpick for fans) but as a gaming experience, I'm sad to say it's a little flawed in places.
The game's limitations - you can only move left or right - and problems when you team up with River Song (sometimes the computer's too slow to catch her up to you) mean it's not the smoothest playing experience and I think casual gamers won't forgive it those problems. (Though Who fans will likely allow these things to pass).
There are some fan thrills around - a lot of the background work has been targeted at the fans with in jokes and markings on the walls providing smirks) and using the Dr's sonic is fun too (you have to match soundwaves by shining the stick at doors to get them to open) but it's not just not a deep enough gaming experience to engross yourself in.
Not an unmitigated disaster for the publisher or fans - the voice work makes it feel so authentic and canon - but for casual game players, the simplicity of running left and right, jumping, hiding, shifting boxes and collecting hats and pages of a diary may not, unfortunately, be enough of a lure.
Ultimately though The Eternity Clock marks a very solid in road for the Dr Who gaming world; here's hoping that enough will buy it to ensure future games get it spot on as opposed to this very nearly effort.