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Doctor Who: Blood of the Cybermen (Windows)

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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.8
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5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  RussS (781)
Written on  :  Jan 03, 2011
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
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Summary

A straight-forward adventure for the Doctor.

The Good

The story for Blood of the Cybermen seems to take its cues from the classic horror film 'The Thing'. Out at an Antarctic research station the staff happen across a terrible discovery which over-runs the station, and it's up to the Doctor to sort things out.

Fine so far, a little family friendly horror is normal for Doctor Who and the player starts off rescuing the sole survivor from an ice cave. The game-play is the same as the previous adventure 'City of the Daleks', using a simplified control scheme. Most of the puzzles are of the standard adventure type - finding the right object which just happens to be lying nearby. As before you can only control either the Doctor or his assistant Amy, with puzzles structured to keep them physically separated at key points.

Rescuing the survivor, he leads the Doctor back to the station to find the cause of the trouble – the Doctors old foe, the Cybermen. It feels like they've pulled all the big guns out early on here, Daleks last time and now the Cybermen, what's left for the other two games in the series? Once in the station the game returns to the familiar running, exploring and sneaking of 'City of the Daleks', this time avoiding Cyber patrols as you cross and re-cross the station several times. There's little to tell the Cybermen and the Daleks apart aside from the graphics, they are interchangeable in their behaviour and actions.

I won't reveal the ending, except to say that much like 'City of the Daleks' it becomes grandiose. It actually include a timed segment which is a nice addition to the roster of interaction types in the series.

All said the plot feels a little like the old series of Doctor Who. It's quite straight-forward and you can see the twists coming a mile off, much less convoluted than the predecessor. Again the characterisations are nicely done, and though the voice actors sound like they're in a nice comfy studio it's better than what you get in many games.

The Bad

Being the same game engine as the previous game, it shares the control problems and over-simplification. It's not so pronounced here, maybe as I knew what to expect. The graphics at the grand finale don't feel that grand and you can really see the pixels on the textures.

I would have preferred the story to be a bit more subtle and complex, plus the ending obviously leaves parts unresolved, though maybe this is the plan. It's a linear story which is a shame as I liked the time travel element to the previous game, but I suppose you can't have everything.

The Bottom Line

Blood of the Cybermen is a decent adventure game that again feels like a sprightly single episode adventure. As such the conclusion feels a bit rushed, but it leaves the hooks for a sequel. Whilst much more linear in narrative than the previous game, it still retains the scope and appeal, and is worth playing.