Doctor Who has been running for fifty years this year, and throughout time for something like 900 years according to series chronology. He's seen off Daleks, Cybermen, Nestenes, Draconians and even the terrible Zodin. You know the one thing he's never been able to defeat? The curse of terrible Doctor Who video games.
The history of Doctor Who is long and scattered, but one thing has remained constant; whenever there's a new Doctor Who video game being hyped, you can bet on it being ordinary at best — and sometimes even that requires careful recalibration of what you consider ordinary to actually be.
It feels like I've been waiting for a new Doctor Who game for a very long time. This makes me very, very sad; I can remember as a much younger Alex salivating over the box for Doctor Who: The Mines Of Terror. The only problem there? The only retail copy I ever saw brand new was for the C64… and we had an Amstrad CPC 6128. Then again, if I had scored a copy, I would have ended up with… this
Things didn't get better later on, with titles like Dalek Attack
Or Destiny Of The Doctors. I've still got the press release for Destiny Of The Doctors somewhere. Printed on actual paper, which shows how long ago that was. At least the filmed bits with Anthony Ainley hamming it up were fun, I guess
Things went very quiet after that right up until the new series, which has given us, variously, an awful Wii game, an awful DS game, an ordinary PSN game, a boring Top Trumps game, ordinary iOS game and some passable adventure games for PC and Mac. The Adventure games are nicely scripted and scored, but they're not the most challenging of things.
Why, when you've got fifty years worth of foes, and all of time and space to play with, is it so hard to get a good Doctor Who game?
Yeah, I was never likely to be editor at Kotaku and not do at least one Doctor Who story. Some things should just be seen as natural.