Sunday, June 27, 2010

Blood of the Cybermen Review

The second episode of Doctor Who: The Adventure Games is now out worldwide.  As with the first episode it is available for free to residents of the United Kingdom, as part of the programming paid by the BBC licensing fee, and for $2.50 US as part of a package with episode one by those outside the UK.  The last episode proved that it had the story and presentation worthy of the Doctor Who title, but the gameplay and voice acting wasn't quite as good as it could be.  This episode corrects some of the short-comings of the first, but it still isn't as good as it has the potential to be.

The story and presentation are once again top-notch.  This game finds the doctor answering a distress call in the arctic.  Once there, he finds an archeological dig taken over by cyberslaves, human beings whose cells were converted by nanomachines to mimic the cybermen, who they serve.  The creature behind this conversion is a Doctor Who enemy who has not been seen since the Tom Baker era.  The episode once again opens with a non-playable cold opening that reveals the enemy and cuts to the real-time version of the series five credits.

The music is once again great, and fits the scenes perfectly.  The voice acting is the sore point again in this episode.  It hasn't really improved from the last episode, but once again it's not so bad that it's not listenable.  The line reads of the Doctor and Amy are just lacking in emotion, and really aren't up to par with the way the characters sound in the television series.

The puzzles here are designed better.  There aren't any maze puzzles this time, and the puzzles all really seem like something the Doctor would actually do to solve a problem.  There is one returning puzzle from the previous game, but thankfully it is one of the better ones.  It only appears once, and it happens near the beginning of the game.  The block pushing puzzles return, but they do fit into the story, so I didn't find them at all distracting.

The stealth gameplay returns later in the game, and it is as well done as it was in the first episode.  It doesn't make up the majority of the gameplay, and even most of those who don't like action in their adventure games shouldn't be too turned off by it.  Like Full Throttle or Broken Sword: The Angel of Death, if you mess up in the action sequences you don't get a game over screen.  You just restart the section again as many times as needed.

Blood of the Cybermen keeps the high level of excellent story and presentation of City of the Daleks.  Unfortunately, the voice acting still leaves a lot to desired, and the repetition of puzzles still mars the experience somewhat.  This episode improves upon the short-comings of its predecessor a little, but there is much room left for improvement.

Final Verdict:

3½ out of 5

1 comment:

seneru said...

Jennifer,

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My apologies for posting this as a public comment. Please feel free to delete it. I just didn't have an e-mail address I could use to reach you.

Regards,
Ugur