I haven’t played that version, but from the off, I was dumped in a launderette with dim lighting, and with no indication of what to do or where to go. After randomly opening up all of the machines, as you’ll see from the gameplay, below, where I cut out the faffing about, I eventually found the intercom, used it and Jodie Whittaker‘s Doctor was able to talk at me… or so it felt, rather than to me, since you can’t have a conversation, and if you take a while to complete a particular task – such as finding the safe code, as the first task – she just keeps repeating the same lines over and over, which does get annoying. Give us an option to repeat them, but without making it automatic.
Talking of options, there aren’t any, of note. One thing I need to do in a game is invert the Y-axis. Doctor Who: Edge of Reality goes not give you that, which is a royal pain. The only graphics option is Gamma, and the only sound option is ‘master volume’ – which you could alter by simply turning down the volume on your amp or TV(!) You can’t reduce the music volume away from the main dialogue, which gets drowned out at times.
At least there’s an option for subtitles so I can hear said dialogue, but zero thought has been made to a lot of things with this.
The Doctor makes reference to needing the help of Ryan and Graham, but we know they’ve already left by now. Then again, the game was first released in 2019. However, since you’re just randomly point-and-clicking on things when you enter a room, and given the lacklustre graphics, it feels like a game made about 20 years ago. I can understand far-from-perfect graphics for a VR game, since the key thing with those is the feeling of immersion because the VR is its own reward, but make it a flat game, and everything falls flat.
Once you’ve opened the safe, you retrieve the sonic screwdriver. However, The Doctor is so pleased you have it because she doesn’t want to lose it… even though she said she put a “present” in the safe for you. This doesn’t make sense. Why does The Doctor put her prized possession in a safe to which she doesn’t know the combination, and which she doesn’t want to lose? What if someone else found it? (Not that there’s any other humans about, during my time of playing this)
Annoyingly, Doctor Who: Edge of Reality never auto-saves after you’ve completed every task, and since you can’t manually save, if you have to quit playing for a while for any reason, it will return back to a past moment in time for you to repeat old tasks already completed. God, that’s annoying.
And don’t go thinking that in the age of next-gen gaming, we can just pause the game and return to it from where we left off, that doesn’t apply to this game! So, that’s something else that needs to be patched in.
Oh, and the puzzles make zero sense, such as trying to get the TARDIS controls to do anything the first time you use them, so you can travel. Occasionally, I had to look up a walkthrough to see how to progress, and even then, when it came to this task, I had absolutely no idea!
A bit later, on the planet Lucia Minor, I picked up a torch from a box, but then there’s another box which I’m told to open, yet there’s nothing inside. Huh? I’ve seen someone else comment that if they don’t get the torch from the first box, then that’s why there’s a second… and that they thought it was a glitch that The Doctor keeps suggesting you open a box, even though there’s no reason to do so.
Add in some terrible graphics glitches at times, and there’s a lot of work that needs to be done on this to make it viable as an engaging game. I was going to try and stick with it, but after this point in the game, it had already lost me due to frustration. Therefore, call this a ‘first impressions’ rather than a review if you like, but there’s only so much I can put up with in terms of the glitches. If they fix it and make it more playable, maybe I’ll go back, but if all of the puzzles are as ridiculous as starting up the TARDIS, probably not.
However, if you do stick with it beyond what I saw including Daleks, you’ll also come across Cybermen, the Weeping Angels, and David Tennant pops up at some point as the Tenth Doctor.
Thanks to our friends at Maze Theory Ltd and Just Add Water (Developments), Ltd for the review code for this game.
Doctor Who: Edge of Reality is out now on PS4/PS5 on the Playstation Store and PC/Steam.
- Developer: Maze Theory Ltd, Just Add Water (Developments), Ltd.
- Publisher: Maze Theory Ltd, Another Indie, Neon Doctrine
- Players: single-player, Co-op
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.