|System: PS Vita, PS3|
|Dev: Supermassive Games|
|Pub: BBC Worldwide Digital Entertainment|
|Release: March 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
You would think that 2012 would be a great year for fans of Doctor Who. Season 7 kicks off this year, and with it comes the biggest milestone for the series—its 50th anniversary. Showrunner Steven Moffat has promised fans a stellar storyline that sees the departure of Amy Pond, the return of River Song, and plenty of new monsters for the Doctor to face. However, there is one big problem: The new season doesn't air until late summer/early fall. What's an impatient Whovian to do? Well, if you own either a PlayStation 3 or PS Vita, you can join the Doctor on a virtual adventure this spring.
Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock takes most of its cues from last year's highly successful Adventure Games and plays like a "lost" episode of the series. The action takes place during Season 6 and sees the Doctor teaming up with fan-favorite River Song for the first time in a game (companion Amy Pond has been the only other companion to appear in a game). As you might expect, the Earth is threatened once again, and it is up to our dynamic duo to swoop in and save the day.
Plot details are understandably scant at this point, but one thing we know quite a lot about is which monsters we will see in the game. And fortunately, I think pretty much every fan will be happy with the inclusion of classic villains like Daleks and Cybermen, as well as new villains Silurians and the oh-so-creepy Silence. The only big name missing from this list is the Weeping Angels, but I wouldn't be surprised if they are worked into the game's narrative somehow considering their popularity.
The game's format will be a lot like the PC Adventure Games and revolve mostly around solving environment-based puzzles. However, with the transition to consoles, the folks at Supermassive Games have made more of an effort to give the game a lengthier structure and have added "boss" battles that revolve around defeating big baddies. I doubt the Doctor is going to going to engage in hand-to-hand combat (it's just not his style) but since gun-toting River Song is our co-star for this adventure, I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see some fireworks when it comes to these battles.
Another area where fans can expect some exciting moments is in the game's overall narrative. Unlike The Adventure Games, which features a stoic, linear narrative, The Eternity Clock will finally give players a true time travel experience where actions performed in one time will directly affect those in another. The result is a multi-layered story which can take multiple paths before it reaches its inevitable destination. Multiple endings have not been confirmed yet, but the fact that causality and relativity are finally factors in a Doctor Who game is enough to give this game some decent replay value.
One big area where The Eternity Clock should differ greatly from The Adventure Games is in production value. Though The Adventure Games series was fun to play, character models were lifeless and animations often jumped around the screen or made characters look like they were on roller skates. However, for the Eternity Clock, the development team has been hard at work getting the details right and creating an experience that was worthy of the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita consoles. Of course, the visuals aren't the only technical area where The Eternity Clock is going to excel. Actors Matt Smith and Alex Kingston will be providing full voiceovers for the game, which should make it that much more enjoyable for fans of the show.
Though we have to wait at least another six months for a new episode of Doctor Who, The Eternity Clock should at least placate fans for a little while and give them an exciting story with gameplay to match. Much of what we can expect from the game is still shrouded in mystery, but we won't have to wait too much longer to check this game out as it is scheduled for a release in the U.K. in early March and a U.S. release shortly after. Time may always be getting away from the human race, but at least we won't have to waste much more of it in anticipation for what should be a great springtime adventure for Doctor Who fans.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
Senior Contributing Writer
Date: February 9, 2012