Review by Kitty and Suzanne
Tiny Rebel Games has finally released their highly anticipated Doctor Who Infinity game on Steam. The Lady of the Lake is the third story, and first DLC available for purchase and features the Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler as they find themselves uncovering what’s behind a recent string of deaths in the wildlife of a small town. Can a local dab hand help the two unravel these mysterious happenings?
To give our readers a more thorough perspective, this DLC is being reviewed by not one but two members of our writing staff.
The tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler find themselves pulled into a thematic retelling of a legendary Welsh tale whilst visiting the Black Mountains of Wales.
A dense fog, as well as a full blown alien war have descended on a small village. Luckily the tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler have just arrived on holiday.
As a piece of alien weaponry poses an existential threat to mankind, the Doctor has to team up with a local poet as they try to unravel the mysteries of why a lady has been seen walking over the surface of Llyn-y-Van Bach Lake, and why all the animals nearby have been dying at Midnight.
K. Starr’s Review of The Lady of the Lake
As a fan of the tenth Doctor and a lover of dark and creepy stories, I was looking most forward to this story, out of the three that were released upon the debut of Doctor Who Infinity. The questions on my mind were whether this will really feel like a tenth Doctor story and as DLC, is it something fans will feel is worth a second purchase after they’ve purchased the initial game.
It didn’t take long after starting the story for me to fall in love with it. The story telling in the beginning of the game is great and Celyn Jones’ voice work is superb. He voices a former professor named Geraint who moved back to his home town of Llanddeusant, spending his days with his trusty metal detector, searching for coins to get by on. He is constantly quoting old poems such as The Blackbird (Y Fwyalchen), Counsel in View of Death and other Celtic classics, which I found charming and intriguing.
As the Doctor and Rose show up, they are driving down an old country road in Bessie. Old Bessie isn’t at her best and upon meeting Geraint he helps the Doctor fix her up so they can get to town before a mysterious fog rolls in. Thus the Bessie driving puzzles begin. Honestly, as cute as I thought it was to drive Bessie and avoid potholes the first time, by mid game I was a bit tired of it. There doesn’t seem to be quite as much variety in the puzzles as I expected. That being said, there are several different types of puzzle styles and strategies involved in this story that are not seen in the first story. This makes playing the DLC feel like a new experience which is important.
The Doctor was well written all the way down to fiddling with trying to get his sonic to work properly, mentioning the Time War and telling Rose to stay behind while he rushes off. Upon finding some Ogron alien activity in the forest he comes back to warn the townspeople who are having an insult battle with Rose who, as an outsider, they don’t want in their town. The insults are in the form of a puzzle where the player has to deflect the insults back at the townspeople by matching special deflect gems with matching colours in front of their insults before they hit Rose, which I found a bit odd. I personally would have preferred to have just seen the engagement acted out instead, but hey, this is a puzzle game.
The plot shifts from the Ogrons to the mysterious Lady of the Lake about half way through the story. I actually hadn’t realised they weren’t coming back until the game ended and I was left thinking ‘Wait… what about the Ogrons?’ I felt like more could have been done with them. Though they briefly explained why they believed the Ogrons were there the story involving the Ogrons just wasn’t fleshed out enough for me. I like my endings wrapped in pretty bows.
The player gets one stage to play as the Lady of the Lake and oh my goodness is she powerful! The Lady of the Lake character was interesting and her backstory felt very Doctor Who in nature, as did her dilemma. Fortunately, the Doctor comes up with a solution that is pretty true to his character. However, there were more story elements in this part of the game that bothered me. For example, upon diving into the water (in scuba gear with an air canister) to follow the Lady of the Lake, the Doctor has an issue and is low on air. Another character goes into help him and upon solving the issue the two do not go back up but deeper into the water, sharing the air. If one person’s air is low upon getting as far as they did, how did another person with no air canisters get that far? Then how is there enough air for two people to share if the air was already low for just one person? Then lastly, how on Earth would anyone get back out of the water afterwards? Perhaps I am just overthinking things. It did bother me a bit though.
The game ends after only 38 puzzle stages which I found surprising after playing 51 stages in the first story. However, I have been informed by Tiny Rebel Games that the first 13 stages of the first story are considered free content since it will be available for free in the app store, allowing players to choose to pay after stage 13. That means this DLC has the same amount of stages as the first story if you only count the ‘pay stages’. Though I had enjoyed the story to that point I did feel a bit disappointed that it seemed so short. It took me only 5.7 hours to complete the third story DLC.
In conclusion: I really liked the story though the writing did feel a bit rushed at times. I loved the main character to pieces. His back story, his voice actor, everything worked together amazingly. I enjoyed the eeriness of some scenes. I found the phone box puzzle to be especially creepy and wonderful. The sound effects during that stage really added a lot to it. The voice acting was spot on and the imagery was brilliant. I also really liked the introduction of the new types of puzzles, even though some were quite difficult.
My main complaints with this story is it felt too short, a few questionable plot points and too much repetition with certain puzzle types. I do think fans of the tenth Doctor will enjoy this DLC, though I do fear they may feel themselves wishing the story was a bit longer.
Suzanne’s Review of The Lady of the Lake:
I would like to start by pointing out that the 10th Doctor isn’t one of my favourite doctors… It’s important because it actually says a lot about how big a positive impression The Lady of the Lake made on me and how greatly I enjoyed it.
The visual arts
They are a perfect match to this story. Everything, from the drawing to the choice of colours seems to have been carefully chosen to become a proper part of the story. Take the story as a whole and the visual arts work like a charm.
As I said before, I’m not very fond of the 10th Doctor, so to be entirely honest, while I was expecting to have a good time playing The Lady of the Lake, I certainly didn’t anticipate liking the story as much as I did!
The Lady of the Lake has so much poetry in its narrative and still manages to explore serious topics, such as being a stranger in town/on the planet, being hunted, being lonely, searching for a purpose in life… It is quite amazing to see how close this story is to an actual Doctor Who episode. It might be a video game, but it contains all ingredients to be a powerful story. I found myself fearing for the characters’ safety, or moved by what happened to them (no spoilers here!).
The voice actingThe voice acting strongly contributes in making this story great. Celyn Jones, Katy Manning and Marilyn Le Conte make the characters feel real and I can only imagine how brilliant an audiobook version of The Lady of the Lake would be with them! In fact, if I had a request to make, I’d love an audiobook of this story to complete the game. Pretty please?
After having played The Orphans of the Polyoptra, I found the puzzles in The Lady of the Lake very easy… But since The Orphans of the Polyoptra puzzles were so challenging, I might have got the proper training in order to crack any puzzle from now on! But don’t worry, like in the previous stories, there is a variety of puzzles, providing the game from being repeating itself and you will still feel like playing chess at times!
A note for my fellow colour blind gamers: this time I struggled with the brown, green and red balls. Since the balls match the colour of the cinematics, it’s still a little challenging at times! But hang on there, the story is so worth mixing colours from time to time!
Conclusion: Well, sorry Twelve, sorry Missy, but “The Lady of the Lake” is my favourite story so far! I’m giving it a 9.5/10, but only because the ending felt a bit rushed (it might be because I loved the atmosphere of the story so much, I wanted it to last a little longer…). And Ten might actually grow on me thanks to Doctor Who – Infinity!
We hope you enjoyed these reviews and found them helpful. The trailer for the third story The Lady of the Lake can be viewed below.
Doctor Who Infinity is now available on Steam, Humble Bundle, Green Man Gaming. The game launch for iOS and Android will follow later this month with mobile game pricing to be announced at that time. PC pricing options to include:
- PC Bundle: Includes stories 1 and 2: $11.99 US / 9.29 GBP / 9.99 Euro
- PC Large Bundle: Includes stories 1, 2 and 3: $14.99 US / 11.99 GBP / 12.49 Euro
- Story 3 and subsequent story launches: $5.99 US / 4.79 GBP / 4.99 Euro
The Gallifrey Times has also reviewed The Dalek Invasion of Time and The Orphans of the Polyoptra, which are the first two stories for this game. Be sure to subscribe to and follow us on social media to ensure you never miss an update!Twitter: @GallifreyTimes