PS3 Review: Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock

Timelord Unvictorious

I will begin by stating that I’m quite a big fan of Doctor Who, I wept during Tennant’s regeneration and it’s a moment I will never forget and Matt Smith has done a great job in taking over the role of the 900+ year old Time Lord. One thing I’ve always wanted has been a great Doctor Who game, one that actually captures the essence of the show and while I knew that The Eternity Clock was a budget title, I still had high hopes for it. And then I played the game…

The story switches between The Doctor and companion, River Song through multiple levels and you’ll face pretty much every enemy that the Doctor has crossed including The Silence, Daleks and Cybermen to name a few. I personally enjoyed the actual story, I thought it was written well and left things open for a sequel, which hopefully will be a lot better than Eternity Clock. It plays like a side-scrolling platformer with the odd stealth section, puzzle section, shooting section and so on.

Unfortunately, none of it feels very good….the puzzles are frustrating and basic things like getting to a control panel become chores. There was an instance where River had to access a computer with Cybermen storming the building, but the computer was behind glass walls that only Cybermen can break, so how to do this? Wait for about 5 minutes for them to walk upstairs, break the glass and then run to the elevator, take it to the 1st floor, wait there for a bit so they walk down and then take the elevator back up to the top floor to access the computer. It’s just unnecessary and complicated, I don’t know how they expect kids to beat this game with the huge difficulty spikes and the many deaths/game over screens you’ll see.

There are long sections of the game where you won’t get a checkpoint either. There was an instance with The Doctor doing puzzles in a lift and after doing them, you switch to a shootout with River. But if River dies, then you need to start all over again. This wouldn’t be so bad if the puzzles weren’t so frustrating like lining up blocks from one end to the other, but the ends have to be matching. I was literally screaming.

Another irritating thing is using your Sonic Screwdriver. Essentially you need to hold down the R2 button while using the left and right analog sticks to match the frequency on-screen, which is very annoying and a real pain to do. There are collectables to be found like diary entries from River’s book or some of The Doctor’s hats, but you can’t wear any of them!!! Why? Seems like a missed opportunity to me. On top of that, you need to complete the level in one go…you can’t stop half-way through and come back to it later, you won’t be given that chance.

In terms of presentation, it’s obvious that The Eternity Clock is a low-budget title. The character animation is poor, the camera seems to have a mind of its own at times and while Matt Smith gives a great performance, it sadly doesn’t make up for the lacklustre visuals. Voice-acting pleased me with great work from Matt and Alex and the music is made up of classic Who tunes.

The Verdict

Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock feels like a missed opportunity. It looks and feels cheap, which is not good for any Who fan. There are some good ideas floating around under the surface, but they just don’t materialise. Let’s hope that the sequel will bring some new life to the Time Lord.