I think Wolverine said it best with "If you cage a beast, the beast gets angry." The same can be said for Zero, the main character of "Warp", a new game from Trapdoor. He's an unfortunate little alien who has been through a mill of science experiments and he's had enough. On the outside he appears to be cuddly and cute, but once he learns how to warp, it's an entirely different story.
The game starts off with Zero going through some experiments with scientists happily spectating. Zero then begins a conversation with a fellow alien telepathically, whose main objective is to get Zero out. Suddenly, one of the experiments goes awry and instantly Zero is gifted with the ability to warp through walls. This is one of his primary skills that will ensure his survival against the science facility's deadly security staff.
So, warping. It may sound innocent enough, but this isn't just any type of warping. Zero can actually warp into many things including barrels, security laser guns, and, morbidly enough, people. Once he's inside these things, he can then either warp out again or cause the person/thing to explode. This turns Warp from a happy go lucky 'Despicable Me' type atmosphere, to a horrifically bloody one. It's quite unexpected for those who are unfamiliar with the title.
But this game isn't just about jumping from people to people. It also sits as a very well constructed puzzle title. Of course, when the game first starts out, you're greeted with easier puzzles that consist mainly of warping. But as the story goes on, the scientists tend to become a bit more clever, causing you to adapt and learn new techniques in order to bust out.
The evolution of the puzzles throughout the game is actually fairly good. You gain skills here and there, like making little doubles of yourself or switching with barrels across the room. As said before, the enemies get a bit smarter as well and begin using things against your warp. For example, water will cause Zero to lose all of his power so the enemies start protecting themselves with massive shields of water. There are also some rooms that are guarded with massive walls of water, which keeps you from simply warping in. The title always manages to catch you out, forcing you to put together a combination of your skills. Say a guard is patrolling the room you're in and you want to simply distract him, by using your stunt double you can cause him to go to the other side of the screen allowing you to warp out unharmed, but believe us when we say; it does get harder.
With that being said, there's also a great deal of stealth needed in order to progress through the game. If a security guard shoots you even once, you will die and you will have to start over. It makes the game a bit more challenging but also rage-worthy at times.
Thankfully, Warp does offer you some olive branches with unlimited lives and an abundance of checkpoints. Some checkpoints you can also use to upgrade your skills a bit by using grubs that you've collected throughout the game. Grubs are pretty hard to come by since most are guarded by side puzzles, so identifying which upgrades are worthy to buy is imperative. One nice thing about these is the fact that although they are there, they aren't needed in order to complete the game. So it's ultimately up to the player whether or not they want to get them.
One of the things that really slows Warp down though are the cut scenes and loading screens. If you die right after a cut scene, you have to go through the cutscene again or hold down the circle button in order to skip it. Why not just have the checkpoint after the cutscene?
Being that this is one of the more moderately priced downloadable, you do really get your bang for your buck especially as far as replayability is concerned. You can try to grab up all of the grubs and complete all of the upgrades, but there is also challenges set up throughout the levels where you can put your skills to the test and go head to head on the leaderboards.
Warp, for what it's worth, is a really good title. One that I think is well worth its asking price. This game literally goes on for hours and can last even longer depending on what you choose to go back to. One of the things worth mentioning is that, although this title may look like a kid's game, there's some cursing and a lot of blood, which makes the title demographically confused. Overall, this title is definitely worth a try.
|The puzzles are fun and interesting and hardly ever boring.|
|A ton of replayability with the upgrade system and the challenges.|
|Warp's difficulty increases and evolves very nicely throughout.|
|Might be a bit of a shock to parents who buy the title for their kids and find out that it's not necessarily a "family-friendly" title.|
|The sound effects tend to get a bit repetitive and annoying at times.|
|Warp's long loading screens are a major bore slowly the title's action down significantly.|