Developed by Other Ocean Interactive, The War of the Worlds is a throwback to old school platforming games. The game is based on H.G. Wells’s novel of the same name and is narrated by Patrick Stewart. When it comes to presentation, this game is amazing. Fans of the novel or the movie will feel that this is a true adaptation of that story.
The gameplay is pretty much what you would expect out of a side-scrolling platformer. That being said, it is also punishingly difficult. Most of this game needs to be played in a trial-by-error fashion meaning that you are going to die…a lot. Dying every once and awhile from some new obstacle that you would have no chance of avoiding unless you already knew it was there ahead of time is okay but it consistently happens in this game.
Seeing all the different kinds of deaths can be amusing at first but it soon becomes very tedious and hearing the narrator say the same lines of dialogue fifty times because you keep dying gets annoying, even with Patrick Stewart’s regal voice speaking it.
The controls are not as good as they could be. The main character runs far too slow. At one point there is a crowd of people running away from an attacking tripod and everybody else runs faster than you. Jumping is also fairly clunky which really gets to be a problem considering the game is a platformer after all. Each jump needs be lined up perfectly or else you’re dead. Oftentimes a jump that doesn’t even look that far will lead to you barely managing to cling to the corner of the opposite ledge if you make it across.
Considering that Arthur Clarke (the main character) is meant to be a scientist of some sort, he obviously isn’t exactly a great athlete. One has to wonder if the poor controls were used on purpose to make the character more realistic or if they were an unintended side-effect.
If falling to your death by missing jumps or getting electrocuted and set on fire by natural hazards isn’t enough pain for you, the aliens will also add several hundred deaths to your total. Being that the entire premise of the game is that Earth is being invaded by aliens, you will of course run into many of them throughout the game.
Your first encounter with a tripod is exciting, scary, and frustrating all in one. You need to avoid the tripod’s heat rays while also moving fast enough so as to not be scooped up by their tentacles. As Patrick Stewart narrates, one missed step means you will be lost. He’s not kidding. If you stumble for even one second, the tripod will snatch you up. Trying to speed through a gauntlet of perfectly timed jumps and rolls with these controls is exceedingly hard.
Overall, The War of the Worlds is a fun game but it is definitely not for everybody. If you are a fan of old school platforming with a high degree of challenge, then you’ll probably love this game. Finally getting past one of the puzzles after multiple deaths provides a great sense of accomplishment. If you’re just a casual gamer, however, you might want to just watch the movie for your War of the Worlds fix instead.
Final Score: 3 / 5
(This review was based off a review copy of the game).