Happy Birthday, Doctor Who. After 50 years on TV and a string of middling video game adaptations, how does the franchise's interactive future look?
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Underwhelming Doctor Who adventure The Eternity Clock releases for PlayStation Vita on 10th October.
The PlayStation Vita version includes several changes from the poorly-received PS3 original. Optional touch controls have been added, while in-game puzzles have been reworked to better fit the touch-screen.
Cloud saving and the option to continue playing on PS3 where you left off (and vice versa) are both also new.
Eurogamer scarfs it down.
Doctor Who fans are used to making the best of a bad situation. Even before the long dark days when the show was off the air, relegated to the cupboard of cheesy pop culture ephemera, even when he was crammed into a terrible TV movie for American audiences, even when he looked like Colin Baker, we kept the faith.
Through cheap special effects, hammy acting, clunky scripts and ramshackle production, we excused it all, because underneath was something brilliant: a story about a mercurial, incurably curious, pacifist eccentric with all of time and space at his fingertips. Even at its worst, Doctor Who always offered the broadest canvas possible, a rainbow of narrative colour and a twinkle-eyed madman for a brush.
It's perhaps this daunting universe of possibilities that has kept Gallifrey's wayward son from finding a satisfactory home in gaming. Games skew towards protagonists who favour direct action, those who lead with the fist and the gun rather than intellect and wit, which means that to truly capture the spirit of Doctor Who, a game would have to break out of the comfortable paradigms that have served TV and movie spin-offs so faithfully all these years.
PlayStation Move game Sorcery, two-player scrolling action game Dr Who: The Eternity Clock and huge new squad-based shooter Ghost Recon: Future Soldier dominate the PlayStation Store today.
Time-travelling tie-in Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock launches on PlayStation 3 next Wednesday, 23rd May as a digital download from PlayStation Network.
UK gamers will also be able to buy a boxed version of the game, available the following Friday, 25th May, according to the EU PlayStation blog.
Eternity Clock's digital Vita release won't arrive until 13th June, however. When it does launch the two versions will be able to share saves between platforms.
If you're in the business of turning a beloved TV series into a video game, it's best to start with the very essence of what you're trying to capture. Going after HBO's take on Game of Thrones? You'll want politics and consequence as well as a downtrodden world (and good luck to Cyanide, which is taking on that very task, but it's hard not to wonder what the likes of CD Projekt could have done with the premise). Doing EastEnders? You'll want to preserve the misery and the improbable melodrama (sounds just about perfect for David Cage, in fact).
And if you're doing Doctor Who, you'll want to preserve the lovable if slightly wonky heart of a show that's endured for coming up to 50 years. Sadly, that's something that recent attempts have failed to acknowledge. Recent DS efforts seemed to have forgotten completely that they had the good Doctor to hand, while Sumo's adventure games, for all their charm, fell a little short on quality.
So offer a warm welcome to Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock, a new venture from the BBC that's doing its very best to avoid the mistakes of its predecessors. It's one of the first fruits of a new approach to gaming from the BBC. Outings such as the adventure games were a product of the public service part of the corporation, whereas this is the product of a new commercial arm, and it's one that's very serious about getting games right.
Forthcoming TV tie-in Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock is the first Vita game to be powered by Unreal Engine 3, Epic Games has announced.
The PC version of Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock will still release in Europe despite Sony's announcement of PlayStation exclusivity, BBC Worldwide has confirmed to Eurogamer.
The release of TV tie-in Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock will be limited to the PlayStation 3 and Vita in Europe, BBC Worldwide has announced.
Previously announced for PC as well, it's unclear if the game's PC version will still the light of day outside of Europe, or whether it has been canned completely.
The Eternity Clock stars the voice talents of current Doctor Matt Smith and wife/companion River Song, played by ER's Alex Kingston.
Sony confirms PS3, Vita release.
A new Doctor Who tie-in, subtitled The Eternity Clock, is apparently heading to PC, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita in early 2012.