BRR: Warp Demo Impressions

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I have always said to be a man open to new ideas and to be a lover, not a hater.  I want everything to be likable, and don’t like putting things down, but Warp is kinda crap.

Warp Demo Impressions
Platform: XBLA(Played), PC
Release Date: 14/2/12

The game opens with an Alien made of spunk being abducted and sent to a lab for experimentation, only to find his stolen tool and murder everyone who had the poor foresight to realize that you should not mess with space jello when it can pop you like a balloon.  The gameplay mechanic of Warp is is the title, you can warp through walls and into objects that you can destroy, this includes humans, but making humans pop like a microwave potato gets old when it is your method for killing every normal looking scientist.  In fact, the entire game feels like a hobo’s version of ‘Splosion Man, one of my favorite XBLA titles, so instead of talking exclusively about Warp, I’m going to compare it to something that I actually enjoyed my time with.

Let’s start with the character designs.  Warp has normal looking humans, globs of goo, turrets, guards with one-hit kill guns, and a notebook sketch for a protagonist.  Nothing about the main character seems unique, he’s just orange goo with limbs, a black mask, white eyes, and an uninspired symbol on his crotch.  On the other hand, ‘Splosion Man has cartoon scientist who blow up into meat when they’re ‘sploded, Cakes hidden in every level, guns that make you vulnerable to another hit, and fat men who you can grab and switch the game’s music to a song about doughnuts.  All of this topped off with a character who remains memorable, and doesn’t look like a rejected minor character from De Blob.

While both of these games take place in laboratories, have many things that will kill you, and a 2.5D art style, with Warp being overhead and ‘Splosion Man being a side view, the actual level design is incomparable.  The starting areas often lack sufficient level designs, and it may be wrong to judge them right out the get go, but I struggled to find my way around Warp.  And it doesn’t help much that the game has secrets all over the place and it wants you to move quickly, while viewing one of the worst maps I have ever witnessed in a game.  I can barely see anything due to the lack of a zoom function, and everything is mashed together, and hard to make out due to the fact that the background is mostly black.  Other than that, you explode through levels that feel cold, lifeless, and like they were designed for a generic military shooter.  The fact that you’re a teleporting glob of goo that blows up people made me think that this game would look like it’s trying to be fun, but instead it feels like it was made on an assembly line, and the artist was a man raised to suppress his inner child in order to become better at life.  Compare this to the linear, reflex based, colorful levels of ‘Splosion Man, that can be cheap on occasion, but never feel impossible.  Twisted Pixel knew that if you wanted to create a likable character who burns people alive and destroys government propriety , you need to make him laugh and give the game a simple, but visually pleasing aesthetic.

The only part left is the gimmick, but I don’t feel like I need to explain why short distance teleporting is not as cool or fun as blowing people up into hams and wall jumping by spontaneously combusting.  I am amazed how little attention was given to the game by it’s developers, I do not know who made this title, but it very much feels like a waste.  Teleporting through walls and blowing people up could be fun, but instead it feels like a masturbation tool for a psychopath.

//Oh right, I forgot that this game existed, as did everyone else, righto!

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