Wii Game Review
There is an inherent problem with transferring Doctor Who from a tv programme to any other media, particularly it seems a video game. Early attempts – like Dalek Attack – did away with any semblance of “this is Doctor Who” to got for a straight forward shoot em up whilst later attempts like the free Adventure Games went more for a scratch your head but not too hard puzzle solver. The games themselves live and die on the strength of the story they tell.
Evacuation Earth follows on from the relative success of the Adventure Games with an adventure for Nintendo on Wii and DS in which the Doctor – or more likely Amy – solve a number of puzzles in a Lara Croft stylee whilst trying to complete a straightforward narrative. What makes this game interesting is the use of a Wii controller (or indeed an ickle stylus) shaped like the sonic screwdriver itself, and the similarities of having the magic wand do sonicky things is indeed quite cool.
The problem comes with its relevance to a Who story – Doctor Who itself isn’t, really, a puzzle solving story, it’s an action adventure in which the protagonist is non violent, and that leaves the games makers with a problem. Where as with Bond or a Superhero adaptation they can have the main man blasting bad guys away, with Who you just can’t, so it becomes a progression of increasingly difficult – or irritating – puzzles to try and circumnavigate to complete the adventure. As “Who” it doesn’t quite work.
Graphics wise too, it isn’t up to things it should be measured against, like Resident Evil, for instance, and it seems a little too cartoony and aimed at younger gamers. This too is a problem, because the game play just isn’t engaging enough for them, with lots of repetition. So unfortunately it falls in between two camps.
The voice talents of Nick Briggs, Karen Gillan and of course Matt Smith are put to good use – it’s interesting to note how quickly Matt has become synonomous with the Doctor in that even his voice is immediately recognisable, but again it’s really not enough to lift this disappointing affair above mediocre.
One good thing though is the sonic screwdriver as controller, and it works very well, however to buy it separately with Amy Pond on the box makes it look like an unfortunate marital toy.
All in all an OK stocking filler for a seven year old Who fan. Serious gamers will not be impressed. Nor, I imagine, play the Wii anyway.