Warp Hands-On Preview

By Darryl Kaye on April 18, 2011, 8:35PM EDT

It's only recently that anyone has even heard about Warp, a quirky game from the newly formed Canadian studio, trapdoor. It's quite surprising really, as the game has been in development for well over a year, and it's due for release during this year's summer months.

We recently got some hands-on time with a short version of the game, which demonstrated exactly why it's called Warp, but also showcased some of the unique gameplay that's on offer. You control a little alien creature, who has just escaped from a laboratory. Clearly, you were to be a test subject, but fortune has shone in your favour and you're now loose.

Although we're told that there will be more powers as you progress through the game, your initial power revolves around the ability to Warp short distances. This means you can escape closed rooms, by Warping to the other side of the door, or you can Warp through thin walls. That's not all it's about though. Despite your character looking rather cute, and the graphics looking quite cartoony, you'd be wrong if you thought this was a game aimed at a younger audience. Indeed, Warp is a brutal and bloody game, although it conveys it in a rather endearing fashion.

Not only can you use your powers to Warp through walls, you can also use them to Warp inside the bodies of humans. And once inside, you can then use another of your abilities to explode your target in order to create a massive amount of bloody goodness all over the floor/walls. This concept starts off in a rather simple fashion, but as the demo progressed it was clear to see that quick reflexes were rather important.

For example, after Warping through a door, you'll then need to quickly Warp inside a guard before he can shoot you - it's one-hit kill after all. After this, you're tempted to continue progression through a linear path, something which will lead to an instant death. Instead, you need to go to the side and flank your foes, creeping up behind and slaughtering them. There's a certain element of stealth that's involved too, you see.

Next up, was the game showcasing a slightly modified ability, as you were able to quick Warp between different objects. This power was then used to solve a slight puzzle where some guards were watching over a power core.

The demo also highlighted exactly how the AI react to your presence. If you Warp inside a guard, and another guard sees, they won't hesitate to shoot their co-worker in order to kill you too. It's a rather harsh system, but it doesn't seem like there's any room for friendship in this company.

Despite the demo being rather short (only lasting 3-4 minutes), there was more than enough to make sure that Warp should be on the radar for any fan of downloadable titles. It had some top-quality polish, but there will of course be question marks surrounding the game's longevity. It's up to the developers to allay those fears when the game releases though.

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