Maze Theory, BBC Studios, and Just Add Water have announced Doctor Who: The Edge of Reality, a first-person adventure sequel to the virtual reality title Doctor Who: The Edge of Time, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC. It will launch in spring 2021.
Join Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker and Tenth Doctor David Tennant on a quest to save reality in a new console and PC game.
Doctor Who: The Edge Of Reality reimagines last year’s VR experience with brand-new gameplay, new monsters and new worlds to explore.
Wield the sonic screwdriver on a quest to save the universe, guided by the Thirteenth Doctor, voiced by Jodie Whittaker, who is this time joined by the Tenth Doctor, voiced by David Tennant.
– A Console and PC adventure across Space and Time – built with current and next-generation consoles in mind, Doctor Who: The Edge of Reality features new worlds to explore, new puzzles, new challenges and new gameplay.
– An Original Doctor Who story – uncover a universe-spanning threat as you seek to save reality from a series of time-breaking glitches. Continue the story that began in The Edge of Time and partner with the Doctor to unearth a greater mystery.
– New Enemies and AI – come face-to-face with classic Doctor Who monsters including the Daleks and Weeping Angels. Experience the metal-clad terror of the Cybermen and more foes yet to be revealed.
Also revealed was Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins, a new game for mobile and Switch. For this game you will be heading back to Wester Drumlins, the spooky house from the classic Who episode “Blink”. You get to team up with a familiar face, Petronella Osgood!
Review code used, with many thanks to Renaissance PR!
The Suicide of Rachel Foster is an ambitious story that attempts to handle two very delicate subjects- grooming, and suicide. While the game does what it can to drive home the severity of these topics, One O One do not seem equipped for the seriousness of the situation they created. A disclaimer at the start of the game pops up urging people experiencing similar situations to reach out to others. The game is a mixed bag, with the first half building tension and getting the player accustomed to the massive hotel and the second feeling like a soap opera.
The story was engaging and interesting enough to have me complete it in one sitting. It suffers from some lulls and the story can be clumsy and convoluted and times, but ultimtately kept my attention throughout, although the climax and ending left me cringing and uncomfortable. It took me roughly 4 hours to get through, including getting lost a few times in the massive hotel and long corridors.
In the Suicide of Rachel Foster you play as Nicole, an estranged daughter who is returning to her family’s hotel to sell it, hoping to free herself from her ties with the Timberline Hotel and all it’s secrets. Ten years earlier, Nicole and her mother fled the hotel after Nicole’s father had an affair with the 17 year old Rachel Foster, who ended up taking her own life and the life of her unborn child. With the intention of auditing the Timberline before selling it, Nicole ends up trapped by a blizzard.
The first couple of hours I really enjoyed; it’s main focus is tackling the huge space that is the hotel. Luckily, you have company through Nicole’s radiotelephone with a FEMA agent named Irving who offers tips such as the location of the pantry and how to restore power when the lights go out. Irving became akin to a friend, offering Nicole help and sometimes just someone to talk to when the story took a dip.
As the game entered it’s second half I hoped it was heading more into ghost story territory. However, rummaging through the items left at the hotel and putting together the pieces is where things start to get convoluted and problematic. This is where the game starts to delve into the relationship between Nicole’s father and Rachel, warranting the disclaimer at the beginning of the game. The real crux of the problem is that this relationship between student and mentor is seen as romantic and the story begins to spiral into a drama.
At one point Nicole stumbles across a room that points to obsession for Rachel on her father’s part. Her reaction to this is a puzzling one; her anger and dispair is not aimed at her father for doing such a thing but at the room itself that it dares to exist. This is one of several instances in the game where the issue at the core of the game- the “relationship” between Rachel and Nicole’s father- is glossed over. This becomes more apparant when their dynamic is described as “love, nothing more, nothing less”.
The Suicide of Rachel Foster is ostensibly a walking simulator. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; walking through the hotel’s long corridors and listening to the wind howl and the hotel creak is great for the atmosphere. As you explore the hotel, finding secret passages (which I delighted in) and clues, you check in with and run theories by Irving. This is made more interesting as you’re given options for how Nicole interacts with and responds to Irving and the clues you find.
The game has a certain rustic charm which made me like it almost immediately. It’s the little things that make all the difference, such as pulling up a map and to-do list instead of pulling up a screen to navigate the map, which fits in nicely with the early 1990’s setting. It also helps to be able to pull up the map and tasks when you inevitably get lost.
While there are items you can only pick up through story progression such as a dynamo flashlight to light dim hidden passageways and a parabolic microphone to chase whispers through the hallways, you have free reign of the hotel almost immediately. Not only does this give the game a daunting feel while you try to get to grips with the massive Timberline, it’s also eerie when you revisit an area or room and find a clue that was definitely not there before. At one point in the story, you consolidate all the information you’ve collected so far in a police like evidence board which was fun to talk through with Irving.
Graphics, Sound, and Performance
The game is a pleasure to look at – great effort and attention to detail has clearly been put in to create the Timberline, as is to be expected from the Unreal Engine. From the large and grand ballroom to the decrepit and mould ridden second floor the game looks great, even when it’s supposed to look melancholy and gloomy. The lighting in the game, whether natural or artificial, looks fantastic.
Not all of the Timberline is pretty and well lit, however. Some rooms and corridors are dark and dank, with mould running up the walls or faded patched in wallpaper where painting once hung, giving the hotel a truly abandoned and uncared for feel. Simple things like mouldy food in the pantry add to this. The subtle exposition in certain rooms is also appreciated.
The sound design in the game is errie and atmospheric. The creaking of the hotel amps the tension and what sounded like faint footsteps in the background had me looking over my shoulder more than once. Rachel Foster was made to be played with headphones and playing it any other way would be doing the game a disservice.
The voice acting in the game is solid, with Irving and Nicole both sounding believable, but a few lines get lost in translation. One thing that did disappoint me is that Rachel has no voice of any kind. There are no flashbacks, notes or diary entries. To say that the game is centred around Rachel, I know nothing about her except her name, age and situation. It would have been intersting to hear (or read) about Rachel’s situation and feelings from her point of view and not just what Nicole and Irving speculate.
The game is not without it’s issues though. While I didn’t encounter any visual issues such as lag or texture pops, I did come across a few sound issues. Some voice lines would not be voiced or would sound like a stuck CD. Relaunching the game resolved these issues and I didn’t encounter them again. At another point the game froze before crashing. Like the sound issues, this only happened once.
The game has no difficulty options as would be expected from a walking simulator. It can be hard to know what to do next as there is not always an objective on the to-do list. This can be frustrating, especially on the occasions where your next objective seems to be time-based. More than once I was left aimlessly wandering around looking for what to do next before Irving chimed in with my next point of interest or task.
It’s also easy to get lost in the Timberline, especially at the beginning of the game. This isn’t helped by the fact that your position is never marked on the map and some rooms can only be accessed via hidden passageways.
All in all, the game has an interesting, if sometimes cumbersome story. The atmosphere is solid and evokes unease and paranoia, which I really appreciated. As much as I enjoyed the atmosphere of the game, and thought that the hotel looked great, this is all bogged down by the relationship between Rachel and Nicole’s father. The fact that this is romanticised leaves a bad taste that I simply can’t look past and ruined the experience for me.
Verdict A mystery game with a solid atmosphere spoiled by the mishandling of sensitive topics.
Hello, once again another week of what we have been playing this week!
Been playing a bit of Star Wars Squadrons and Super Mario 3D All Stars. Great games!
This week I’ve been playing Man of Medan. I really enjoy the fact that your choices can effect the fate of the characters.
ACNH: Pumpkins! Really loving this new feature and I’m starting to decorate the island for Halloween. PKMN Shield: Getting ready for the Crown Tundra. I’m really looking forward to it!
Animal Crossing: Loving the Halloween stuff, getting the island ready for the party. Nexomon Extinction: Playing with the newest patch, loving the story and Mons.
What I’m playing this week: Star Wars Squadrons with intermittent bouts of Super Mario Bros. 35 and Alien Isolation.
Ys Origin has taken up my week, and deserves it! It’s a simple but addictive game that shows everything good about the genre (except cutscene graphics). What free time I’ve had has gone into Collar x Malice, a visual novel with a cool premise and interesting cast of characters.
Share with us what you been playing this week in the comments below!
The Director of BALAN WONDERLAND, Yuji Naka, has given us an in-depth look at BALAN WONDERLAND, discussing some of the characters, gameplay and features we can expect.
BALAN WONDERWORLD is a new action platformer based around the wondrous Balan Theatre. You’ll be helping two young heroes adventure in the bizarre and imaginary land of Wonderworld.
There are 12 different stages and each is filled with traps, tricks and enemies. There are also over 80 customes to find, which give your character special abilaties.
You’ll meet several characters on your journet. Let’s meet our two heroes: Leo Craig and Emma Cole. Leo is 15 years old and a bit of a lone wolf. He’s always trying ot act cool. Emma is also 15 years old and quick to smile, but that’s masking her insecurity.
Other characters include Balan and Lance. Balan is your guide to the weird Wonderland. And Lance traps visitors to Wonderworld inside their own hearts, creating monsters out of their own negativity.
When you first arrive in Wonderland you’ll be at the Isle of Tims. This place serves as hub for Leo and Emma’s adventures, from which they can explore the 12 Worlds Inside Hearts.
The Isle of Tims is inhabited by creatures called: Tim. These creatures are created from the happiness felt by people in the real world.
The more people’s heart experience positive emotions, the more Tims are born. But if people’s hearts become affected by negativity, there will be fewer Tims and it would lead to the end of Happiness Time. And that would be very bad, because the end of Happiness Time means the end joyful memories and emotions…
Tims come in different colours and have their own personalities. And they can aide you on your adventure if you take them with you into the Worlds!
While exploring the 12 Worlds Inside Hearts you’ll be able to collect drops. These drops help Tims grow, change colour and acquire new attributes. For example: red Tims attack enemies, while pink Tims find items.
The 12 Worlds Inside Hearts are born from the hearts of 12 tormented inhabitants of the Wonderworld. Each filled with traps, enemies and challenges.
One of those enemies are shadowy creatures called Negati. They are the manifestations of the worry and weakness in the hearts of the inhabitant whose heart is trapped. They’ll do whatever they can to stop you from completing your journey!
You’ll also find the inhabitants themselves, who have possessed by the Negati. Use your customes and abilities to free their hearts!
And when you succeed in freeing their heart there’ll be a celebration, with a musical number!
BALAN WONDERWORLD supports local 2-player co-op. One player will take on the role of Leo, while the other plays as Emma. Working together allows you to pull off interesting maneuvres, by combining skills and opens new paths!
That was it for this in-depth look at BALAN WONDERLAND. The game is set for release on March 26, 2021 for Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Steam.