Warp Review (XBLA)

The captive alien Warp’s his way onto Xbox LIVE

There are a lot of good games on the Xbox LIVE Arcade, but not all of them grab your attention straight away or become highly addictive. This new game Warp definitely does both of those things.

Now of course different things hold the attention of different people. Personally, I have always enjoyed puzzle games more than any other types of game. But there are those who prefer platform, simulations and so forth. Warp cleverly blends a platform game with a puzzle game so you not only have to get to a certain location by avoiding certain death, you also have to work out how to get there.

Let’s start off with a bit of background, Warp is developed by Trapdoor and follows the story of an alien who is found and captured. He is taken to an underwater laboratory where they attempt to experiment on him to learn about his abilities. However the alien, not surprisingly, doesn’t want to be experimented on and tries to escape. From this point on, you are in control of the alien and you have to find your way around the complex and hopefully a way out.

The alien has some powers at his disposal to help. He has the ability to pass or warp through walls of a certain thickness; also he can warp into barrels or even people. There are certain limitations, and this is where the game gets very interesting. You have to negotiate your way around without being shot by the guards with lasers.  There are also laser guns that will move around in certain rooms necessitating the need for good timing. You can choose to circumvent them, but sometimes they will stand between you and your way out. In this case, you can warp into the laser gun or the guard and then wiggle left and right. This causes a chain reaction that will make the gun or the guard explode.

I know that this sounds a bit gory, and at first it seems a strange way to eliminate something or someone. But it’s very clever and addictive, I found myself warping into things at first and blowing them up just because I could. As the game progresses you need to be careful as some things become unstable if you warp into them, which means you then blow up instead.  Using the warp power, you can go from one barrel to another and through walls without being seen at all.

There are certain barriers to your journey however, one is that the salt water down there doesn’t agree with you and it will sap your powers. Knowing this, the guards have erected walls of water across some of the doors. Its then up to you to figure a way around this problem, it may mean going the long way around or using one of the ventilation shafts instead.

You can also add powers to your arsenal by buying them from the upgrade points along the way, or you will sometimes come across them in one of the labs. The way around as you would expect gets more difficult as you go on, but I found myself thinking, just one more level then I’ll stop…three more levels later, I was still there.

Controls The controls are easy to master, and you have a little guide along the way who helps you learn the different buttons. There is nothing overly complicated, and because they are added as you go along you have time to master the basics first.

Graphics The graphics are very good; there is excellent detail in the characters and the surroundings. The textures like the water and the shading are very detailed and the game loads and runs very smoothly. You can easily distinguish between things you can and cannot warp into as they glow as you move into range. This is very helpful, as sometimes you have to be very quick in order to escape – I’ll say no more.

Sound The background sounds and music are slightly haunting and atmospheric which lends itself well to this game. You also have the voices of the guards and the lab technicians with cries of horror from the latter as they see you approaching.

This is a superb game that should tick the boxes of many gamers; it is easy to get to grips with, fun, challenging and addictive. The only thing I’ll say is make sure you have some spare time when you first start playing, because you will wonder where it’s gone!

Warp is available on the Xbox LIVE Arcade now and on the PlayStation Network and PC from March.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

About the Author

I'm based in the UK and I have been writing about games for quite a while now. I like most types of game which helps, but I especially love management games.