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Doctor Who: The Edge Of Reality Review

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Cybermen shuffle in the direction of you want Matt Hancock outdoors Ten Downing Street, arms awkwardly caught out like they’ve forgotten easy methods to stroll. “Delete, delete, delete,” their monotonous voices drone. It’s not intimidating within the least, given {that a} brisk jog is quicker than their clunky marching. If they do catch you, they’ll offer you just a little twirl such as you’re starring in Doctor Who on Ice.

It all begins within the mundane day by day of a laundrette, the Doctor chatting with you of all folks. She wants your assist. You’re a clean surrogate for a companion with none of the build-up or emotional connection a companion often has – it stays that dry and disconnected till the very finish. But all of it begins with time folding in on itself – there’s no person else round, the streets utterly barren and lifeless. That feels much less like a design selection and extra like a funds constraint nevertheless it lends itself to this Doctor Who journey being much more shallow than the sequence that impressed it. That’s exacerbated by the Dalek invasion.


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We’ve seen Daleks invade Earth time and time once more. The very first occasion within the ‘60s had them rolling across the iconic London Bridge. The landmarks in the background that tend to define England made it feel like home. We knew where the Daleks were so their presence was tangible. Here, they’re in a junkyard and there’s perhaps two or

three of them. They aren’t imposing – it doesn’t really feel like a fleet has descended on Earth and conquered it, extra like a few Dalek joes smoking after work.

Edge of Reality Tardis

What’s extra, interacting with them doesn’t maintain the identical weight. In Journey’s End, the Doctor’s companions stumble upon them quite a few instances, Wilfred even firing off a paintball to try to blind one. They get offended, effervescent with unstable hatred, and really feel nearly unstoppable – they even ‘kill’ the Doctor. None of that’s on present right here. They’re comical greater than ever as you possibly can crouch proper as much as them whereas the janky demise animations take away lots of the gusto that comes with their skeletal mild exhibits. It’s one of many weakest depictions since they had been neutered in Death to the Daleks again within the John Pertwee period.

Before you even get into the nitty-gritty, you’re confronted with one of the obtuse menus of 2021. You can’t use your mouse cursor so that you’re caught navigating with the arrow keys and enter button. Although, there wasn’t a lot to fiddle with anyway. You can’t remap controls, customise settings, and even alter audio to your liking – there’s one slider for grasp quantity and music typically drowns out the dialogue. Sure, that’s good in some circumstances like when the Angels begin threatening to eat you, nevertheless it’s hardly perfect on condition that the subtitles hardly ever match what’s being stated. It’s shoddily put collectively, instantly setting the stage for the game itself – because the thirteenth Doctor says, “It makes my Spidey sense start to tingle big time!”

The core concept is pretty fascinating – time is folding in on itself so you’re taking the Tardis to numerous worlds and instances to search out crystals, going through a number of the Doctor’s deadliest foes within the course of. One of the primary locations you enterprise to is Victorian England the place the Weeping Angels are lurking in a collector’s basement – the Weeping Angels invading Victorian England in the course of the start of pictures appears like a incredible episode that might return them to their extra horror-oriented roots. Instead, they’re an affordable try to get fast scares in, utterly lacking what makes the Weeping Angels such an excellent villain. This part has some pretty primary puzzles and a Sherlock vibe to the home, with a polyphon that allows you to swap between previous and future. Again, all of it sounds intriguing nevertheless it isn’t. The puzzles are simplistic whereas an AI companion lays every part out for you. ‘Layman’s terms’ doesn’t reduce it – it’s patronizing.

Edge of Reality Weeping Angel

Meanwhile, the horror parts of the Weeping Angels are undercut as a result of they discuss. They communicate briefly within the present by the voice of a lifeless soldier on an intercom. The reveal itself is harrowing as a result of we’re led to imagine that it’s a human speaking to the Doctor, clinging to life. When the conclusion sinks in, they begin to taunt him. It’s chilling due to how nonchalant and calm they’re, typically tugging at his heartstrings for failing to maintain everybody alive. In the game, they communicate like infants, frantically yelling and spewing insults. One says, “Manfred big fat boy! But Angels still hungry.” I want I used to be making that up – it definitely appears like I’m. It’s not even one thing I might see flying within the present period of the present, not to mention in a video game that needed to get approval from quite a few completely different folks. It’s sillier than the Adipose and people are little blobs of strolling fats.

Going from Blink to Edge of Reality’s depiction is so jarring it gave me whiplash, however what stings extra is that it riffs off the superior story, stealing its greatest second with out incomes it. The Angels being their very own foil, locking one another as statues by going through one another, is a eureka second in Blink. It’s the end result of your complete episode that performs with time journey in a means the present hasn’t achieved earlier than or since. Here, it’s a fast approach to get you again within the Tardis in your subsequent cease. The ambition is sorely missing with every part appearing like a spotlight reel whereas in some way botching the highlights.

As for truly coming face-to-face with them, it’s simply as a lot of a joke. If you look away for even a cut up second, they don’t transfer. Walk into them and also you may clip by them due to how buggy they’re. Blinking doesn’t appear to matter, both, not to mention turning your again, so what was the purpose in together with them? That’s their entire shtick! The ripe potential for intricate puzzles which can be based mostly in your restricted sight is untold nevertheless it isn’t tapped into in any respect right here. Instead, you’re rushed by a bunch of repetitive stone corridors by Angels that rapidly lose curiosity in you. The risk is instantly diminished by the janky gameplay however, even after they do transfer, they aren’t silent killers. There’s a loud scraping noise of stone in opposition to stone whereas bumping into them performs a screeching sound. The subtlety is gone.

Edge of Reality 13th Doctor

But that’s simply because Edge of Reality lacks any subtlety, to start with. The story is specified by big exposition dumps from the Doctor and your AI companion – there’s little in the way in which of emotional storytelling. The finale is likely to be the most important sinner of all of them. In the present, it will be a pivotal second for the Doctor akin to wiping out her personal race on the finish of the Time War. But right here, it’s a blip. She’s supplied a selection between two realities, her outdated one and this new one wherein the Tenth Doctor has settled down with Madame de Pompadour – aye, that episode from 15 years in the past. Remember? I barely do and I noticed it final month. It’s a weird place to construct your plot from, nevertheless it’s additionally weird as a result of it ignores Ten and Rose’s relationship completely. This selection is introduced by the massive boss of the Cyberman, a Frankenstein creation that’s made up of all different kinds of Cyberman. The means they monologue jogs my memory of once I performed with my motion figures as a child – it’s convoluted and falls aside the extra they discuss. Their whole purpose is to show the Doctor has a warrior’s coronary heart by making them commit genocide once more.

But, it’s handwaved. The Doctor will get you to “make the choice” for her however you don’t have a selection in any respect. You are compelled to wipe out this new actuality, snubbing the Tenth Doctor’s joyful ending. There’s lots of ‘tell, don’t present’ occurring with flat voice appearing that solely worsens the issue whereas set items are usually empty and devoid of life. It typically appears like a Garry’s Mod map with NPCs spawned in, one thing I’d do as a child with Doctor Who mods. But it has David Tennant, proper?

Yes, and it’s at all times a deal with to have him taking part in the Doctor once more, however he’s a caricature of the Tenth Doctor that does little greater than spout catchphrases, saying “Allons-y!” a disturbing quantity. What’s extra, you possibly can inform it’s the identical sound chew on repeat. Not solely does Edge of Reality essentially misunderstand Doctor Who’s villains, it utterly fumbles in dealing with the titular character. At that time, it’s inconceivable to salvage. Even the die-hard Whovians on the market will discover little to get pleasure from due to how a lot it blunders within the fundamentals.

Edge of Reality Tardis Interior

There are lots of mechanical issues. Mouse acceleration is on by default with no setting to show it off which means there are occasions the place you’ll randomly spin round; loading isn’t seamless and comes on the strangest instances, sometimes pulling you out the Tardis with out context earlier than actually dropping you into a brand new map; there are not any footstep sounds whereas motion is awkwardly floaty regardless of missing a bounce button – that’s even worse while you consider that there’s a platforming phase on the finish. The saving grace must be that you just get to play as a Dalek at one level, an thrilling prospect. You’re in a temple (which seems like a worse Quake map from the early 2000s) and also you’re tasked with mowing down different area Nazis. However, the gun jams rapidly, there are floating spheres that spam lasers and sometimes fall out of your line-of-sight, and the game often sends too many enemies after you without delay with no means of actually attending to security. You are a clunky, motionless Dalek in any case.

Much just like the sequence in its present state, Edge of Reality is an excessively bold however underfunded journey that depends an excessive amount of on nostalgia for the David Tennant period, missing any substance of its personal. Throughout your complete journey, you’ll be left questioning why you’re not simply taking part in the Doctor. You have a companion and a sonic screwdriver, in any case. But, just like the Three Doctors, we as a substitute get awkward snippets of Jodie Whittaker and David Tennant on a monitor, dumping exposition earlier than fading into obscurity – there’s barely any banter, definitely no grandiose monologues, and no thriller.

Doctor Who doesn’t work with out these three issues – it’s a reasonably bog-standard sci-fi present on the finish of the day, nevertheless it’s mine and lots of’s favourites due to the Doctor. The Doctor is the present’s edge, a lovable fool that’s too sensible for their very own good tying every part collectively, ending up in random conditions and being compelled to work together with strangers to uncover plots of intrigue. We do none of that right here. You go to A, do what you’re informed, go to B, do what you’re informed, till the game ends. Given how quick it’s, you’re higher off watching a couple of episodes from the present, as a result of that is barely Doctor Who, not to mention an excellent game.


Score: 2/5. A PC code was offered by the writer.

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