The War of the Worlds Review
I wish I could forget this game.
H.G Wells classic Sci-fi novel The War of the Worlds came to life as an XBLA game last week, and while developer Other Ocean nailed the atmosphere and environments, they also nailed making an incredibly hard and unforgiving game that becomes less fun with every jump.
Narrated by Patrick Stewart, The War of the Worlds puts you in the shoes of Arthur Clarke, while staying true to the book, in London as he tries to survive the Alien Invasion and find his wife and daughter. The story is told over the action by narration, which is a cool method but since you will die a lot, and the narration repeats itself each time, you will want to kill Captain Picard by the end of the third level.
The platform gameplay of jumping over cars, hiding behind demolished walls, and jumping from ledge to ledge is some of the most unforgiving I’ve ever seen. Arthur will run and jump just fine when you don’t need him to, but when it comes time to jump from one ladder to another or over a downed power line, he just doesn’t always want to respond correctly. Even in the first few levels I died so many times it wasn’t even funny, or fun at all. There is zero room for error when performing actions, and when you die consistently around every corner it doesn’t make you want to keep playing with any enthusiasm, but rather move on to another game.
The game may have a cool black and white look and an art style similar to Limbo on the surface, but it’s nothing else alike. Having great backgrounds and environments can only get you so far and here they don’t get you anywhere. It’s a shame to have such a great story wasted on poor level design and terribly unresponsive controls.
The War of the Worlds is not something I recommend playing unless you are a die-hard, and insanely good platform gamer, and even then you will probably end up just as frustrated as it’s not all due to the difficulty, but also due to the fact that some things are just broken and out of your control.
There are no multiplayer or co-op modes in The War of the Worlds.
This is not a game to go into thinking you will get some easy achievements with ones for beating the game without dying, and completing the game in one sitting without dying being included. The fact that Other Ocean thinks anyone but maybe them are going to complete either of those is insane, and proves they weren’t aware of how hard and broken the game was when they released it.
The War of the Worlds features unresponsive controls and very unforgiving level design. Neither of which are qualities in a fun game, or a game worth recommending. Other Oceans should have tweaked the game to allow for more room for error, dropped the difficulty for another setting aside from Hard and most importantly they should have remembered to add in the required ingredient of fun. Maybe then they would have something worth playing.