Doctor-Who--The-Eternity-Clock---PS3-Review Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock - PS3 Review

   03/06/2012 at 13:49       CF       2 COMMENTS. - Score 2/5
 - Doctor Who, Eternity Clock, Daleks, Cybermen, PS3

Doctor Who’s Eternity Clock represents a brave step for the BBC. Following 2010 and 2011’s series of free adventure games, the last of the Timelords has arrived on PSN, Playstation Vita (available June 13th with transferable saves for PS3) and PC (date to be announced). And with a price tag to boot. For £13.99/€17.99 you can fend off the might of the Daleks, the unstoppable march of the Cybermen and if you can remember them, The Silence – but is it worth your time?

The Eternity Clock is a 2D platformer in a 3D environment, similar to Xbox Live Arcrade’s Shadow Complex, though unfortunately, less successful. You control the Doctor and River Song across Elizabethan, Victorian, present day London and beyond . The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to manipulate objects and unlock doors whilst River can stun enemies for a short time with her pistol. Co-operative play is possible, but not online and quite jarringly, not available for resuming as a single player. So if you’re playing with a companion, you’ll need them for the length of the game.

Making a game in the Doctor Who universe is always going to be a challenge as no foe can really be killed and this problem manifests itself early in the game – the much maligned stealth level. Players are tasked with helping River Song escape the Stormcage facility using only her hallucinogenic lipstick and an eye for darkened doorways . Flash-game like puzzles break up the platforming throughout the game with mixed results and somewhat stilted controls. Though mostly fairly checkpointed, the game requires you to do a puzzle involving opening and closing gates from red and white orbs to build up a power bar. Even though the puzzle follows the exact same pattern each time (as all puzzles do in the Eternity clock) it is on an extremely tight time limit. Red orbs deplete more energy than white replenishes. Closed gates appear to sometimes let red orbs pass regardless whether it’s open or closed at times. And the puzzle has to be done three times with no checkpointing to progress. It’s worth mentioning this was on the hardest difficulty, and I’ve since read that normal is the same puzzles with a more lenient timeframe.

And yet... there’s an undeniable charm to the Eternity Clock. Matt Smith & Alex Kingston’s voice-overs and charming script are enjoyable for any fan of the eleventh Doctor’s adventures. Facing off against the Doctor’s adversaries is a novelty, even if it’s essentially disabling, hiding or running away from them. Considering the game’s flaws, modest length and price tag, it would be hard to recommend it to anyone other than Gallifrey’s most dedicated fans. However should the price drop and the prospect of wielding the sonic screwdriver appeals to you, then Geronimo.

User Comments:

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evilashchris - on 03/06/2012 at 17:12 wrote:
Nice review cf!

Sillothian - on 03/06/2012 at 17:27 wrote:
I'm enjoying it so far, but some of the checkpoints are very harsh and with the tight time limits for some of the puzzles it can be frustrating to have to redo large sections of a level.

The voice work, music and graphics are spot on and really capture the atmosphere of the show. It certainly helps that they got to mo-cap Matt Smith for all the Doctor's animations. The controls are fine and I'm having no problems in getting the Doctor to navigate the multitude of platforms he encounters!

In other forums people have complained of your ai buddy continually getting stuck, but for me this has happened just once. One complaint I have is to do with the collectables. It would have made sense to let wear any of the hats you find for the Doctor. You also collect pages of River's diary, but they are extremely hard to read because you can't zoom into the text!

So far I would say this is an average 3/5 platform game. It is a nice bit of fun for anybody who is a fan of the Matt Smith era Doctor Who :-)

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