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Platform

Playstation 3

Genre

Platformer / Puzzler

Publisher

Electronic Arts

Developer

Trapdoor

ESRB

M (Mature)

Released

March 13, 2012

 

 

- While certainly not on the challenge or quality level of a puzzle-action title like Portal 2, gives just enough of a puzzle-solving complexity with light action gameplay

 

 

- Gamers should expect plenty of replaying many of the puzzles with the “one hit and you’re dead” old-school gameplay
- Even with a map, sometimes can be easy to get a little lost roaming around the facility
- Was it really necessary to have this as a M-rated game? “Human combustions” could have been made less graphic and bloody, and the “mature” language certainly was unnecessary

 

 

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Warp

Score: 8.0 / 10

 

warp          warp

 

In a total reversal of the usual alien abduction tale in the downloadable action-puzzler PSN title Warp from Electronic Arts, it’s the humans that are extracting some revenge for years of probing in not-so-comfortable parts of the body by abducting and probing aliens in an underwater research laboratory. The main alien “victim” in Warp, the little gelatinous space thingy Zero (who bears a resemblance in appearance to Plankton from SpongeBob Squarepants), wakes from his “examination” in an understandably bad mood. And once he discovers that he is no

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longer needed for examination and is deemed “expendable” his mood goes from bad to worse. His only goal becomes to escape the maniacal clutches of the research facility’s commander, who seems, by his extreme hatred of the many aliens being “researched” under the sea, to have possibly had a bad probing experience himself.

Easier said than done by

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the game’s little anti-hero. Despite being able to warp into practically any object or being, Zero has one big problem stopping him: water, which turns out to be his Kryptonite, as it zaps his warping powers and makes it impossible for him to simply warp out of the research lab and swim to the surface to freedom.

Instead, Zero must navigate through the lab to reach a submarine in order to escape, with not only the crazed commander but also his solider minions, alarm-tripping scientists and other not-so-friendly aliens pursuing him with bad intentions.

Warp tries to be somewhat reminiscent of Portal 2 in many ways, providing plenty of puzzles for gamers to solve with action elements thrown in. Instead of portals being the puzzle-solving tool, however, gamers will use Zero’s warping abilities. He can warp into objects and beings, as well as warp through obstacles such as walls and laser beams. Gamers may have to warp into barrels to elude pursuing soldiers or to travel past seemingly impassable areas of the laboratory.

Being that he’s not too happy about being abducted, examined and sent for termination, little Zero also can warp into humans to either hide and evade other humans, particularly the soldiers and their deadly ray guns, or use that warping skill for something more devious and deadly. By spinning the left control stick around circularly, gamers can inflate Zero’s human host and cause them to “humanly combust” into a bloody pulpy mess. A cuddly and human-friendly little E.T.-like alien Zero is most definitely not.

 

warp          warp

 

While stealth when in the “action” aspect of the gameplay is a necessity to pass some areas of the research lab (where many soldiers have a full shield around them which Zero cannot warp through), it’s almost encouraged to warp into the cowering wussy scientists and many soldiers and blow them into messy smithereens. That bloody display of exploded humans is probably the one huge reason that the game received a “Mature” rating. But was it really necessary to have this as a M-rated game? It seems to have missed its appeal to a wider Teen-rated demographic. The “human combustions” could have been made more humorous and less bloody and the “mature” language certainly was unnecessary.

Puzzles are the main gameplay element, however, as gamers must use their wits to solve the many conundrums throughout the isometric layout of the individual levels of Warp, which even with a map feature can be confusing to navigate without getting lost. The puzzles aren’t too challenging, needing gamers to examine all possible solutions carefully, with deadly consequences for choosing the wrong path to puzzle-solving. That is especially true for many puzzles that require near-perfect timing to succeed with no margin for error. There certainly is an added difficulty involved with the “one hit and you’re dead” old-school gameplay, which will have gamers maddeningly needing to replay many of the puzzles, especially the extremely frustrating final boss battle.

Certainly not on the challenge or quality level of the stellar puzzle-action blend of Portal 2, Warp still has enough of a puzzle-solving complexity with light action gameplay blended in to be enjoyably entertaining.

- Lee Cieniawa
lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(April 10, 2012)

 

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