PS4

Review: Doctor Who: The Edge of Time – PS4/PSVR

I’ve never been a massive Doctor Who fan. When Christoper Eccleston brought the beloved franchise into the 21st century with his take on the famous Time Lord, everybody seemed to get a case of Doctor Who fever. I didn’t. I was still in school trying to be cool, so I dismissed everyone who liked it as a “nerdy wanker” and refused to even watch one episode.

Now, nearing my 30s with nothing good going on in my life, I’ve actually binged them all! And they’re alright, for the most part. But once I finished the last series I had available to me, I wanted more. Thankfully, there’s a game where you can actually step into the Doctor Who universe and keep the adventures going. Don’t be fooled, though, this isn’t as action-packed as David Tennant’s final episode.

Doctor Who: The Edge of Time is a PSVR game through and through. You’ll need a headset to play. Without one, you’re stuffed. There have been some great deals on PSVR headsets and bundles over the last couple of weeks, so if you’re reading this then you’re probably already in possession of a headset. Good for you. But did you get two PS Move controllers? No? You’re a knobhead, but you can use a DualShock 4 on this occasion. Personally, I used two Move controllers because I’ve had them since the days of the PS Move on the PS3.

Doctor Who hasn’t had a great history when it comes to games. There have been some attempts to bring the uneducated Doctor to the world of games, and unfortunately, they’ve all been a bit crap. This one? It’s not great, but it’s not terrible either.

The best way to describe Doctor Who: The Edge of Time would be to say that it’s an escape room game dressed up as a longer than usual episode of Doctor Who. You go from one location to the next, solving puzzles along the way. There are some really cool moments throughout the two-hour runtime, but it’s a rough start.

The game begins with you (literally you, as you don’t actually play as the Doctor) in an English launderette. That’s a laundromat to you Americans. Everything is rosy until it’s not. Suddenly, time warps and the laundrette turns into something reminiscent of the Upside Down from Stranger Things. The washing machines that were once empty are now occupied by slimy beings. Then the TV turns on and Jodie Whittaker’s distorted face appears as she tells you that you need to get out of there quickly before the slimy monsters bust out of their washing machines. It’s silly but completely on-brand.

The first problem is that there’s no obvious instruction. The controls aren’t explained and you’re left fumbling around trying to figure out how to move around. After a couple of minutes I figured it out, but then the next problem appeared: what do I do? Thankfully, the Doctor was on hand to shout instructions. Unfortunately, these instructions are canned audio bites that repeat themselves endlessly. I knew I needed to go into the back and open the safe, and yes, I knew I needed to have a rummage around for clues to the safe’s combination, but the Doctor wouldn’t shut up about it. Every minute or so she would bark instructions at me. Instead of letting me take my time to get adjusted and to figure it out myself, I felt like I was being pushed and prodded.

This continues throughout the game, and it’s annoying, to say the least. The puzzles themselves are relatively simple and easy to figure out, and a couple of them stand out as brilliant, but the constant yammering in my ears was nothing short of infuriating.

The game is split into several locations, each one housing new puzzles and classic Doctor Who enemies. Given what the developers were working with, I think they did a great job of bringing the game’s world to life. The environments were well detailed and worth having a poke around, which in turn made the simple puzzles a touch more enjoyable. The monsters, while never being truly terrifying, were well done and felt true to the game’s source material. It’s just a shame, then, that the gameplay never really pulls out of being an escape room puzzler with an annoying amount of pushing from the Doctor. I’d have liked a little more freedom and time to explore without having my ear chewed off by an impatient Doctor.

Despite its shortcomings, Doctor Who: The Edge of Time is definitely worth a look if you’re a self-proclaimed Whovian. There are tons of references and inside jokes for fans of the series, and stepping into the Tardis for the first time is brilliantly realised in a way that can only be done with virtual reality.

Doctor Who: The Edge of Time PSVR Review
  • Overall - Very Good - 7/10
    7/10
7/10

Summary

Doctor Who: The Edge of Time VR is definitely geared towards the Whovians. There are some spectacular moments spread thin throughout the game’s short run time, but the majority of the game is puzzle solving. It does it well, to be fair, but the game’s tendency to constantly push you forward rather than let you work things out for yourself is a definite low point.

Pros

  • Puzzles are intuitive enough, with some bordering on brilliance
  • Graphics are fantastic on PS4 Pro, though some areas look a little less polished than others.
  • Feels like it belongs as part of the series, like an extra long episode where you get to take the starring role.

Cons

  • You can get five minutes of peace without the Doctor pushing you to solve the next puzzle.
  • The run time is on the short side, and there’s not really much reason to play again once you’ve finished.

Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy. 

Reviewed using PS4 Pro. 

For more PSVR reviews, be sure to check out our Reviews section, as well as our friends over on VR Game Critic.

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