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SYFY WIRE Doctor Who

Gaming: 2 new Doctor Who games announced; Apex Legends teases Season 5; more

By Benjamin Bullard
doctor who season 12

The TARDIS is about to rack up some serious mileage. Developer Maze Theory has announced not one, but two new Doctor Who games coming our way next year — and unlike the recent Doctor Who: The Edge of Time adventure, you won't need a VR headset to enjoy them.

In a blog post Monday, Maze Theory said it’s getting ready to grow the gaming corner of the Doctor Who universe, kicking off a franchise expansion “early next year” that will bring a new game to both current and next-gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft, as well as to PC and the Nintendo Switch. A second Doctor Who title developed for mobile, billed as a horror/sci-fi “phone takeover game,” will tie in with the new console game, as well as Doctor Who: The Edge of Time VR (which released last fall) to form an interconnected trilogy.

While Maze Theory hasn’t yet revealed names or even specifics on what gameplay styles to look for, it did tease games that sound plugged in with the current Doctor Who TV cycle: “Fans can expect new adventures, new game mechanics, intriguing subplots and iconic features such as the TARDIS, terrifying Weeping Angels, imposing Daleks and — of course — the chance to collude with the Doctor herself.”

Current Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker already has provided her inimitable voice for the horror-tinged Edge of Time, so it’s totally conceivable that she could also turn up in the two new titles as well. BBC also recently teased a major, multi-platform expansion of the Doctor Who lore-verse beginning this September with Time Lord Victorious, a new story arc to be “told across audio, novels, comics, vinyl, digital, immersive theatre, escape rooms and games.” While the two new game titles aren’t (so far) being teased as part of that spinoff, it definitely looks like the TARDIS is taking aim at 2020 and beyond as the sweet spot for Doctor Who fans who want to get their game on.

Racking up more than 70 million players in less than a year since its February 2019 debut, Apex Legends already has taken its place alongside other free-to-play titles like Fortnite as an addictive time sink for battle royale fans. Fortunately for players, Developer Respawn and publisher EA have kept things super-fresh ever since, speeding through four “seasons” of content updates that give way this week to a much bigger overhaul with the arrival of Season 5.

Check out Loba in the new trailer, which scores bonus points with us for daring to stylishly cover Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf":

The new season takes things further than previous updates, introducing a new playable character (Loba, featured in the trailer), as well as a first-ever “Season Quest” story adventure titled “Broken Ghost” that sets players on the hunt for fragments of a “mysterious” artifact, according to EA.

Season 5 also brings new weekly “Hunts,” missions that let players scour Kings Canyon for those elusive artifact fragments either solo or as part of a team, expediting the “Broken Ghost” questline while also offering up story-themed rewards that unravel more of the mystery — “a secret that the Outlands might not be ready for.” It all goes live beginning Tuesday, May 12, when Apex Legends Season 5 unlocks for free on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

As studios and gaming expos look for pandemic-safe ways to keep momentum going for this year’s new console and game teases, everything on the near horizon is seemingly moving online — including Tokyo Game Show, one of the most heavily buzzed industry events on the annual gaming calendar.

Keeping to the same pattern as other big expos like E3, San Diego Comic-Con, and Gamescom, TGS revealed last week that it’s canceling this year’s on-site event in Tokyo, which was scheduled to kick off Sept. 24, in the interest of public health. But that doesn’t mean the gaming announcements will come grinding to a halt.

Instead, TGS is going digital, teasing an online-only expo whose details will be revealed in the weeks to come, according to VG24/7. As the last major event before Sony and Microsoft introduce their next generation of consoles, that means we should probably keep an eye out for a bigger-than-usual wave of trailers and game reveals just before the PS5 and Xbox Series X show up to cast their spell on the holiday spending season.

Fresh off its own announcement of an ambitious new Assassin’s Creed game made for  next-gen consoles, Ubisoft also is planning an all-digital expo this summer. With no E3 showcase to preview its full lineup of upcoming games, the studio is setting July 12 as the date for “Ubisoft Forward,” teased in the tweet above as “a fully digital showcase with exclusive game news, reveals and more.”

While details are still light, it’s a safe bet the digital event will be the next likely spot to catch fresh info on Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, along with other anticipated Ubisoft games like Watch Dogs: Legion and Gods and Monsters.