I was really excited
about this game and being a huge Doctor Who fan, it seemed that all
my Christmas' have come at once. Unfortunately I was knocked for six
and flushed down the Dalek toilet to boot. But where did this all go
wrong? Ironically, the story of Doctor Who: Return To Earth is actually very well written, thanks to
the support from the
official BBC scribes and to add another element of realism, Matt
Smith and Karen Gillan lend their excellent voices to the game.
however is where all the excellence ends because in terms of
gameplay, Doctor Who: Return To Earth is notoriously bad
and I don't mean that in a Cybermen or Dalek way. And yes, I
do understand that the game has been created for the younger player
in mind but unfortunately some things just don't mesh.
Before we get to the
gameplay, lets have recap of the story... this Doctor Who tale begins with the
Doctor and his companion Amy boarding a "ghost" ship called the
Lucy Gray which has been responsible for transmitting a strange
signal across the galaxy. As our good Time Lord investigates, he soon learns that this was
man's first colonist ship to the stars and upon further
investigation, the notorious Cybermen are mixed up in this mess plus some more
classic Doctor Who villains... but I'll try not to spoil this
game for those who actually want to play it...hmm...
For gameplay, Doctor Who: Return To Earth is an adventure game minus
the action and some parts remind of Metal Gear Solid because there's
quite a bit and I do mean LOTS of sneaking around. The majority of the gameplay requires the player to
search for coloured crystals which are guarded by Daleks and co. You
need to sneak up to the Daleks and then steal the crystal in order
for them to be used with your sonic screw driver.
by using the crystal with your sonic screwdriver, you can interact
with various objects in the game to further your quest such as
opening door or activating levers. This parts kind of works but
there is just not enough variety. Also, if you want some added realism, a
sonic screwdriver holder wiimote is available that
does add some well deserved FUN to this game. This does not come
with the Doctor Who game but can be purchased separately.
As mentioned, there are a variety
of coloured crystals to collect and each has a different ability but
that's probably the most challenging aspect of the game. The wiimote
does become a little annoying as well which is due to the lack of
accuracy of it so the majority of time is spent attempting to match
the crystal with a particular colour. Lots of pointing to the screen
and running around.
As Doctor Who does not condone
violence, you spend most of the game hiding from robots and other
Doctor Who nasties and if you do get caught or spotted, the game
restarts you at the last checkpoint. Fortunately there are quite a
few checkpoints around. You even get to swap between the Doctor and
Amy but in actual fact, these characters don't add anything new to
the gameplay and the doc's companion actually has the ability to use
his items too! With such a cool premise, you would expect more
wiimote interaction but it's actually quite limited as if the
gravity gun which these mini-games revolve. So close yet so far.
Graphically, the title looks a little dated on the Nintendo Wii with
some lack of detail. The characters who have been taken from the TV
series are fairly reminiscent of their real-world actors or BBC special
effects but considering that this is the first flagship of the
Doctor Who series on the console world, it definitely looks like a
first generation Wii title.
The game is just lacking the
that other Nintendo Wii games have and considering how long the Wii
has been available for, you would hope that the developers of this
title would have the gist of how to create a good game. The saving
grace of the graphics is the music and the voice acting, thanks to
the Matt Smith as the Doctor and Karen Gillan as his sexy companion,
In the end, this is
one game that most of you should avoid and even though it was created for
the younger gamer, there are far superior games available at the
moment. Was the game rushed? Was is due to alien radiation? Who
knows! But there is one thing I do know, this game does not do the
Doctor Who franchise justice! Even with the voice talent of Smith and
Gillan plus the writing of Ollie Smith, a scriptwriter for the TV
series, the game just doesn't come together.
So that's is, Doctor
Who: Return to Earth should be labelled, Doctor Who: Return to Store
but don't fret because there is actually one game that does pay
homage to Doctor Who on the console world. That game is Doctor Who:
Evacuation Earth which is available on the Nintendo DS. I did manage
to play this game and by Galileo, it's far superior than this title
and my son thought the same. I gave this title 5 out of 10 and
that's because I'm a fan of Doctor Who.