“Doctor Who: The Adventure Game” by Mr Riddler

A young boy and his father were out playing football when they were caught at the bottom of a giant pileup. Both were injured and rushed to the hospital. They were wheeled into separate operating rooms and two doctors prepped up to work on them, one doctor for each patient. The doctor operating on the father got started right away, but the doctor assigned to the young boy stared at him in surprise. “I can´t operate on him!” the doctor exclaimed to the staff. “That child is my son!” How can that be!?




Answer The Doctor is his Mother…. OK fine that doesn’t make a lot of sense with this review but it uses the words The Doctor. and He’s a huge part of The Doctor Who Adventure Game.

What I Expected:
Doctor Who The Adventure Games Episodes 1(City of the Dalek) and 2(Blood of the Cybermen), in case you don’t live in the UK and haven’t seen it advertised, is an investigation Sci-fi Game for the PC and it’s based on the current series of, that’s right. Doctor Who. Sadly, I JUST found that I can watch Doctor Who instantly on Netflix, so naturally, I watched it up to current time over the last month. After such Whoification I now am a firm believe that I am, in fact, the Doctor. Well not really but I’m really wrapped up in the series now and when checking out bbc.com I discovered the Doctor Who Adventure Game which graphically looked pretty good from the looks on the site. Interestingly enough, I’d never heard of it before so why not? To my dismay, the game isn’t free to us none Brits here in Gotham, so I had to shell out $5 to download the game from direct drive.  Being a new fan to the show I’ve got to say that I was pretty excited to play as the Doctor even if it is the Matt Smith Doctor and not the David Tennant Doctor. However I am also aware that this game is shelled out to pander to fans so they know that American fans will buy it whether its good or not. Hell, if you know what I’m talking about thus far then you probably already own it. It’s only $5. Anyway I went into this with high expectation for story at the very least but not so much for game-play.

What We Got:
Let’s talk missions. Take a second and think of the top 3 missions that you hate to do when you play a game. Whoa whoa. No skipping ahead. Do it!… Odds are that one of those top 3 if not the #1 thing that annoys you is escort missions. I remember back in Sarges’s Heroes for the N64 I would get so incredibly angry at the game for every damn escort mission and how the computer was no where near as good as I was and I had to think for it instead of for myself. That’s the point of the missions I’m sure is to increase difficulty because you’re now teamed with someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing when you do, emulating a possible real life situation. None-The-Less, if you make a situation that’s intended to be annoying, it’s still annoying. The Doctor Who Adventures is like a giant escort missions. If you’ve seen the show, and I know you have, you know that the main character, the last of an alien race called the Time Lords but looks very human and travels through time to stop other aliens with toying or destroying with the past, present future and universal civilizations. In addition to traveling he also carries an entourage with him of friends and love interests. For this game we have the most recent actor to portray the Doctor, Matt Smith, doing his own voice work for the game as well, and we have the most recent love interest, Amy also voice by her actress Karen Gillan (AKA The Human Laser Magnet), to follow him around in the game. She’s there in the show to be the bridge character. She causes more trouble for the Doctor to build suspense as well, of course, but mostly she will follow the Doctor and give him someone to explain things to so that we get our questions answered. Also if she wasn’t there the Doctor would be dry and boring with no one to joke around with. In the Game, She’s just a problem. She’s too slow, stupid AI and annoying to hear speak. She is also a way to remind you what you should be doing, but the puzzles are so simple and short that you really don’t need to talk to her, and her voice is so annoying that you really don’t want to. She’s a bit unnecessary except to increase difficulty and to emulate the show. On the other hand, in the show I have a feeling that the Doctor is also very annoyed at his companion so I’m going to forgive this slightly in the game. She does help you think like the doctor.
Speaking of thinking like the Doctor, The Puzzles. If you read my review on Alan Wake, I spoke of the fall of investigative video games. It seemed like Alan Wake took a great idea for a psychological thriller investigation game and just F@#$ed it all up by throwing out the investigation part and replaced it with 3rd person shooter elements. My theory, they did it because of the popularity of shooter games these days. A terrible process of trading story for mediocre action gameplay. Doctor Who the Adventure Game is more like trading gameplay for Story. The game focuses a bit more on being an episode of Doctor Who than it does on being a video game. It’s fine for me if it was an Episode. In fact, I’d probably enjoy the story of these Games Episodes a bit more if it was just a TV Show Episode instead. The story plays through like you’re stringing together a group of voice-overed cutscenes together with simple puzzles and sneak missions. The game portion of this game is played out as The Doctor needs to Build Object A so there are a few Dalek (Bad Aliens) or Cybermen (Bad Robots) that are looking for you and you need to sneak past them. Then to get to Point B and do a little puzzle mini-game to Build Object A. Rinse and Repeat about 3 times till the end of the Episode. This takes about an hour. It’s nice that they at least new when to stop so that it doesn’t become old and noticeably repetitive. The minigame puzzles aren’t really fun either, but it’s new and interesting and it’s different for each mini puzzle so it’s something to see and pushes you toward the next one. The sneaking missions do not very from time to time. It’s always the same just in a different location. Again, however, the location are new and interesting to look at each time. It’s like watching Avatar. It’s pretty even if it’s not that good so you keep going. I honestly believe that if the concept and game was given to a proper game development company this can be done beautifully.
The story on the other hand is as beautiful as ever. It’s on par with the other episodes of Doctor Who and you get to see locations that you can see recreated int eh real show such as the Dalek home world or Skaro. Also according to Wikipedia this is the first time that the Cybermen from the 1960s show has made a reappearance for one of the new Doctors. To give a brief summary, The Daleks kill everyone on Earth and must be stopped from their home world and the Cybermen have been found on Earth AGAIN and must be stopped AGAIN. It’s the same basic plot for most Doctor Who episode and it’s presented in the game just like an episode. In Episode 2 a bit better than in Episode one since their game development squad seems to have gotten a bit more experience. We’ll have to see what happens with future episodes since this is intended for a 4 episode series. It will hopefully continue to get better in plot.

Multiplayer:
Although it would be nice to have a co-operative play if this game goes onto console, it probably won’t happen. No multiplayer on the PC version for the first two episodes.

Conclusion:
I like this but just like with Aliens vs Predator I think it could be due to the fact that I’m a fan of the show. Other fans will probably be in the same boat as I am and enjoy the game for the story and not the game play since it’s like having more of the show that we already enjoy. From a video game player’s perspective, this gave is sub-par. It’s not something that you will like to play nor really understand if you haven’t seen a season or two of Doctor Who. If they ever decided to develop a proper game, the concept that they’ve started here would be amazing to run with. At least until the Marketing Department gets their grubby little paws on it and chop down the story and give The Doctor a gun and a flash light to fight the Daleks… I shudder at the thought of that.

Overall Rating:

The game is $5 so you can buy it, but Unless you’re a fan it’s probably not even worth the price for you. or if you know your way around a computer and internet proxies you can get it for free by posing as someone form the UK. If you don’t know how to be Britich, I’d say find a fan who bought the game and play it through on their computer.

Want to try out the Game for yourself? You can get it By Clicking on this Picture of David Tennant. Episode 3: TARDiS will be available Aug 27th!

 

Feel Free to leave me a comment down below and let me know what you think, if you enjoyed the review or what you want me to review next. I’ll pay attention. After all, you are my only reader.

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