Doctor Who: The Edge of Time is coming to VR and I was able to get a sneak peek!
Just last week developers Maze Theory and publishers PlayStack announced a new Doctor Who adventure where you can be the hero. This will not be a normal video game but one that utilizes virtual reality headsets.
Armed with the Doctor’s classic tool of choice, the sonic screwdriver, you will be able to fly the TARDIS through time and space in order to retrieve a special set of time crystals in order to save our favourite Timelord, defeat the enemy and even save the universe and time itself!
At this year’s MCM London Comic Con, Maze Theory and PlayStack unveiled the game for the first time to the general public with a very brief demo but one that gives you a sense of how it will play. The playable sequence that was available, as I was informed, was taken from just after the initial tutorial.
You find yourself in an alleyway, a large space between houses, the current Dr Who, as played by Jodie Whittaker, is communicating with you. She needs you to build a device that will bring in the TARDIS so you can escape as a danger is rapidly approaching. NOTE: This was played at a busy Comic-Con event and I couldn’t quite hear everything the Doctor was saying to me.
The alleyway you find yourself in is strewn with rubbish of all kinds and it doesn’t take long for you to find the items needed to make the unique device in question.
The Doctor asks you to find a radio and an old 1960’s style radio can be found on an old stack of shelves. You pick it and place it on a nearby workbench.
Next, she asks for a power source. Looking around didn’t reveal anything obvious to me. The Doctor then points you towards an abandoned car in the corner. I had to admit to cheating here and it was only due to waiting in line for my turn and watching others play.
For reasons unknown, possibly explained earlier in the game, you already have the Doctor’s famous Sonic Screwdriver hanging from your belt. Looking down at your belt will reveal the device and you can pick it up with your right hand.
Trying to open the aforementioned car bonnet with your hands will not work, you will have to point and use the Sonic Screwdriver. The bonnet flips open and you can use your free hand and pick up the battery. This you will then place next to the radio you found earlier.
The radio is going to be tweaked to broadcast a special signal to the Tardis so a dish of some kind is needed. Another dose of helping advice from the Doctor leads you looking for an aerial. Being of an older age I started trying to retrieve an older style analogue aerial from the rooftops. What I really needed was a satellite dish and I accidentally knocked one down whilst trying for something else.
Combining the satellite dish with the car battery, radio and a blast from the Sonic Screwdriver starts the signal transmitting, however, it’s not just the TARDIS that can pick up this signal!
Two huge UFOs appear overhead and the evil crackling voice of the Daleks can be heard, they’ve found you and are preparing to exterminate you.
However, just in time, it seems the makeshift device has worked after all and the TARDIS starts to materialise accompanied by the famous and welcoming sound. Another boost of power to the transmitting device from the Sonic Screwdriver and the TARDIS lands fully materialising.
The TARDIS door pops open and you get inside to experience the “its bigger on the inside” effect with the infamous control panel tantalisingly out of reach. Unfortunately, the screen faded to black and I was treated to the games opening titles, the demo had come to an end.
Graphically the game looked very nice with everything having a realistic level of detail, the only downside was that the level was very brown but this was admittedly due to the location and time of day the demo took place. i.e. a dirty back alley.
The sound was very atmospheric especially when the Dalek UFOs turned up and of course with Jodie Whitaker reprising her role as the Doctor.
My only concern was that the Doctor does seem to take you by the hand and almost walk you through the level and solve all the puzzles for you. However, I was informed by the producer that this was intentional for this Comic-Con demonstration as they didn’t want people spending too long in the experience creating large queues.
The final game will last for approximately three hours and will feel like a feature-length episode of Doctor Who. Not only do the Daleks appear but there will be new adversaries created just for this game as well as the return of a fan favourite, the Weeping Angels.
In fact, when I spoke to the developers, they revealed that due to the strong positive reaction from the appearance of the Weeping Angels in the first promotional trailer, this section of the game is being tweaked and will run for slightly longer.
I was very impressed with what I saw and even though I consider myself a casual fan of the Doctor Who franchise, this is a game I definitely look forward to playing in the future.
You can watch some (low quality – sorry) footage of the game that I recorded with my phone here.
Dr Who: The Edge of Time will be released in September for PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, HTC VIVE and VIVE Cosmos.
Don’t miss the second part of our Doctor Who: The Edge of Time feature where we got to interview the game developers and ask them more questions about the final game and the process involved in making it.