Doctor Who: Edge of Reality is a first-person narrative adventure by Maze Theory and Just Add Water (Developments), set in the beloved universe that invites players on a journey through time and space.
Players get a chance to join two Doctors on a quest to save the universe, all the while facing familiar threats and following the series’ canon lore.
Are you ready for a wibbly wobbly, timey wimey adventure? This is our Doctor Who: Edge of Reality PC review.
First, for a bit of trivia. Doctor Who: Edge of Reality is a non-VR port of a VR game Doctor Who: Edge of Time that was developed by Maze Theory and launched in 2019 to mixed Steam user reviews. In the process, the developers have expanded on what the game offers and now players are in for a journey in the Doctor Who universe where you play as one of the Doctor’s ”helpers”.
Many elements of the game are quite controversial from the get-go. For example, graphics. As you go through the game, it is impossible to shake off the feeling that this is the game meant for VR, which has a certain effect on its visuals. Additionally, while the featured graphics would be alright for a VR title, as a first-person PC game it looks average at best and dated at worst.
The beginning of the game immediately tosses players into the Crucible of adventures in the world of Doctor Who, however, it neglects to tell you how to actually play it. The lack of any kind of tutorial or help is a big minus in the beginning.
In the game, you will get to meet two Doctors, portrayed by Jodie Whittaker and David Tennant respectively. The 13th Doctor’s presence in the story is far bigger than the 10th’s.
Edge of Reality is a collection of puzzles and running/stealthing away from enemies, diluted by small cutscenes and cinematics. Both Doctors communicate with the players through the course of the game, and it is very pleasant to hear their voices – although I wouldn’t have minded getting a few more hints on how to proceed.
The puzzles are just as varied: look at pictures to get codes, find fuses, hack the CyberMan’s head… or shoot Daleks with their own weapons. The title provides players with a variety of gameplay options.
Doctor Who: Edge of Reality is split into several chapters, each taking place at different time intervals. We are transferred between them using the Doctor’s TARDIS while the Doctor is locked away by the villains. We act as her “hands” and try to free her from captivity.
Each chapter is beautiful in its own way, with a lot of references and cameos for the series itself. Those who watched or read the series will have something to cling to in every location such as the city destroyed by Daleks, their ships flying overhead, the voice screaming “DESTROY” that chills to the bone…
Each chapter contains a lot of information about the series, its heroes and technologies, hidden in the notes. The game is very atmospheric, it really does convey that feeling like you are in the series, exploring its surroundings… but not every chapter does it on the same level.
The chapter with the crying angels is the one I loved the most, a true horror showed with beautiful music, sounds, visuals, in all the little details. Meanwhile, the chapter with the spaceship I can barely remember.
Either way, each new arc shows players interesting mechanics and a small piece of the Doctor’s story.
There are a lot of items scattered through the in-game world of the Edge of Reality. Those who paid attention during the series would recognize them immediately: the Doctor’s scarf from the ‘80’s series, Fez and other memorabilia that you may find.
The story follows the classic canon of the series, developing very vigorously and featuring interesting plot twists and a stunning end. The game is worth playing through, but the number of bugs and glitches interfere with the enjoyment and can force you to restart your playthrough.
The story is very interesting, but the way it is expressed is not the best. The Doctor’s conversations are sometimes amusing but sometimes there are too many of them. Spend a few hours in, and the Doctor’s talkativeness would stop to please you.
Bugs seriously spoil the experience while the outdated graphics kill the feeling of being in the Doctor Who universe. The idea of the game and its certain features such as the mechanics of riddles, musical accompaniment, the story of a huge universe filled with detailed lore are amazing, but the realization leaves much to be desired.
Finishing the game fills you with many pleasant sensations, but the residue from the less well-executed elements spoils everything.
Note: The Steam key was provided for free for the purposes of this review.