While traversing the many galaxies of fandom crammed into the massive halls of San Diego Comic-Con, I stumbled upon everyone’s favorite Doctor and decided to join her on a virtual adventure in the new Doctor Who VR game.
At the official BBC Studios booth at Comic-Con, we got to sample the brand new virtual reality game “Doctor Who -- the Edge of Time” and it was mind-blowing to say the least. In the game, though this may come as a surprise to some Doctor Who newbies, you don’t play as the Doctor. Long time fans know why -- The Doctor is a character that one doesn’t simply inhabit. There are things going on in their mind(s) that normal humans couldn’t possibly comprehend. And, of course, the next best thing to watching the Doctor’s adventures, is joining them on one of their journeys as a companion. And that’s what you are in this game. With the precocious voice of the latest Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker, in your ear, she sends you on an adventure through time and space, facing off against classic villains and solving mysteries that will undoubtedly save the universe.
In the demo I received, I basically experienced the new user tutorial, learning how to interact with the world, picking things up, opening doors, and most importantly, making use of the sonic screwdriver, a very useful deus ex machina that all Doctor Who fans are familiar with and incredibly important to the mythos. It was actually a real thrill to be able to virtually pick up and control the “sonic” as it’s nicknamed, triggering effects in certain machines all around me. With the Doctor as my guide, I was able to assemble a transmitter to summon the most iconic item in Doctor Who world, the TARDIS. Stepping inside is something breathtaking to behold for a fan like me. And while the demo didn’t go beyond that, it was a nice achievement, making me want to experience more.
I don’t currently on a VR rig at home, so I’m still not quite used to VR gaming just yet. It took a moment to get my “sea legs”, fearing that I might fall over in certain situations, even just looking around for clues and taking in the sights all around me (especially when taking in the menacing Dalek ship hovering above me). But the controls were easy to pick up, including the handling of the sonic screwdriver, which worked like a charm. I want to go back and experience the entire adventure now. The big question now is just deciding which system to try it on and whether I should sit down (or buy a new coffee table) the next time I join the Doctor in the TARDIS this September.
Until then, check out this behind the scenes developer diary from the makers of the game:
Here’s everything you need to know from the official BBC Studios press release:
You don’t have to be part of the TARDIS team to help the Doctor save the universe! New and returning fans visiting the BBC AMERICA booth will be among the first stateside to demo the upcoming virtual reality (VR) game Doctor Who: The Edge of Time, releasing in September 2019.
A feature-length VR experience, the game will transport fans into a globally-beloved world of monsters and aliens, mystery and wonder, letting them embark on a brand-new and fully-interactive adventure, inspired by the show’s 55-year history and starring the Doctor’s current incarnation, played by Jodie Whittaker.
Doctor Who: The Edge Of Time will launch on PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, Oculus, HTC Vive, and Vive Cosmos in September. Doctor Who: The Edge of Time is a Maze Theory production for BBC Studios.