Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Amy: "Please get me out of here before you press any buttons!"

Another downloadable game from the BBC Doctor Who website, which opens with the Doctor telling Amy about how he once taught Elvis how to play the guitar, which thematically seems to follow on from the preceding City Of The Daleks.

The arctic layout of Blood Of The Diet-Cybermen is a bit of a deathtrap. Apart from Amy rigging up a live electrical cable and neglecting to turn it off again afterwards, Diet-Cybermen, Diet-Cybermats and Diet-Cyberslaves are all over the place, and out to get you. If you're very lucky then you might just avoid them by slipping over on the ice. I assume the characters' uncertain footfalls are intentional, and not a limitation of the graphics. The Doctor and Amy continue to fade in and out of visibility, like last week, although back then it sort of made sense to have impaired vision.

Amy: "Doctor, did you ever see The Thing?"
Doctor: "The Carpenter Kurt Russell Thing or the Howard Hawks Thingy with the walking carrot?"

Well, so long as he hasn't been watching The Waters Of Mars then! (the mind boggles)

One of the early inherent problems in a Doctor Who-themed mission game becomes evident early on, as the Doctor and Amy have to work out how to transport the injured Chisholm back up an icy cliff edge. The TARDIS of course remains right there, unused, throughout. Is the Doctor being eccentric by ignoring it, or just plain finding it hard to think straight in the cold? I'm impressed that the characters have some condensation on their breath, which is the sort of thing that tends to get missed out on telly.

Another difference in style between media might be some of the highly focussed and helpful dialogue, which honestly made me feel as though I was playing Torchwood: Dark Talk again. That game was also written by Phil Ford, so it's nice that he has a style.

Doctor: "Who's in charge here? Could there be other survivors?"
Chisholm: (over intercom) "Elizabeth Meadows, is the senior scientist. Maybe she's not infected. She's pretty resourceful. If anyone has survived, it's her."

Effective bit of audio exposition there with, as you can see above, no lip-syncing from either party, which happens at other points in this game too. I'm still learning this gaming thing, so I guess it must be a convention for much of the dialogue to appear in subtitles without a voice-over. Or is that just to denote what the character is thinking?

Doctor: (subtitle only)"I'll bet the good professor used her daughter's birthday as the code."

That said, the actual audio direction is curious. There's no escaping that Matt Smith and Karen Gillan are just not in character here, and I couldn't help but wonder if this game and last week's City Of The Daleks represent their first time in the roles. At other points their performances are so sotto voce that it's hard to accept that the other characters are close by enough to hear them.

Hardly a major problem though, and it does make the odd comedy flourish well worth it.

Doctor: "Amy! I'll keep his attention, while you think of a way to overpower him!"

Worthy of the sixth Doctor!

Other minor observations: As soon as Elizabeth is seen with a broken arm we know she's been got by the Cybermats. Amy enters a four-digit code by pressing one button. Both of Chisholm's legs appear to break under his own body weight. The synthesise-the-nano-syrum was a good little minigame.

The cards to collect are a lousy bunch, and arguably to be avoided: The seventh Doctor, Donna Noble, Rose Tyler and… Jacqui Tyler? Mind you, we do also get to find the always-popular eighth Doctor. :)

Blood Of The Cybermen is pretty slow, but for a snowy horror story about the lumbering Cybermen (Diet or otherwise), that's probably a good tempo to go for.

Definitely not one to "Delete-delete-delete!"

Labels: , ,

0 comment(s):

Post a Comment

<< Back to Steve's home page

** Click here for preceding post(s) **

** Click here for following post(s) **