Warp Hands-On Preview

We go warping and fragging in this downloadable stealth actioner.

Stealth action title Warp pits teleporting alien Zero against scientists and security guards in an underwater laboratory. "Portal meets Metal Gear" is a description bandied about at the game's Montreal-based developer Trapdoor, referring to its science-fiction flavour and puzzle emphasis on one hand, and its top-down, stealth-based play on the other.

Frag out!

The lab complex from which Zero must escape, a network of gleaming white chambers filled with science stuff, could certainly be a seabed outpost for Aperture Science. It's here that Zero finds him(her? it?)self imprisoned in a glass-walled cell, monitored by lab-coated, clipboard-toting technicians. They must not have known about the little alien's ability to "warp"--that is, teleport short distances through space or space-containing walls.

One warp later and he's loose in the lab, free to exercise his explosive second power, "frag." With this, Zero can warp into people or Zero-sized objects and kerplode them from the inside. You waggle the left stick to jostle the hapless host or suitable vessel--waggle enough, and you'll blow them up, producing usefully destructive blasts in the case of explosive barrels, and bloody messes in the case of human victims.

Don't feel bad about the latter. Soon enough you'll spot an alien specimen like Zero dead on some kind of science table. Scientists, eh? And then there are the armed guards, who deserve less sympathy still. These guys have laser-scoped guns and force-field shields, through which Zero cannot warp, making them dangerous enemies. Combat is not an option for the alien critter, so he needs to work towards escape by traversing the lab's rooms with warp-enabled stealth, hopping through walls that aren't protected by force fields, chaining warps from object to object, human to human, object to human, and so on.

Can we talk about this?

Rooms are set up as puzzles with multiple solutions. In one of the simplest, Zero has to destroy a force-field generator by fragging a nearby barrel. In another, this one defended by guards, he can warp in through a wall behind them to get around their shields. In another room, with a couple of scientists and a couple of patrolling guards, Zero can attract the humans' attention by warping into a nearby barrel and giving it a wiggle--but not blowing it up until they all gather around to see. Alternatively, he can nip from the barrel into a guard, another guard, and then away. Humans are left dazed for a short while after being inhabited, giving Zero a few moments to make a dash out of cover.

We're told to expect further abilities later on in the game, promising more complex puzzles as it progresses. But with two of Zero's abilities to work with, Warp already has a neat setup for top-down action puzzling. Nice touches take the visuals beyond ordinary--at one point, while we pan our bird's-eye view across the subaquatic lab, a whale glides through the surrounding water--and the aesthetic blend of cute and clinical, edged with gruesome, is appealing.

Warp is being prepped for release "soon" across Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, and PC by studio Trapdoor in association with the EA Partners program.

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Discussion

16 comments
Tevi
Tevi

i hate stealth games

bobbetybob
bobbetybob

It's a common format for video game previews, trailers, gameplay videos, etc, etc, to put platforms at the end, so yeah, just because you don't like the format don't say the person who wrote the article isn't talented.

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

@Daian yeah I know, but IMO info like that should have been included sooner in the article. 99% of the time when you click on a game you already know what it is for. or they tell you right off the bat. this is brand new IP and curious people who read the article have never heard about and you don't find out till the very end. you shouldn't have to look outside the article for info that is important for the reader to know before they get to the meat of the piece. Thats just my opinion. i know its a being critical but im just being honest. We live in a world where 25% of the populations blogs, and are mirco reporters, and write their own book, movie, and game reviews (or if you look anything under the sun reviews). My point is that wouldn't you like to write for gamespot. if they offered me a job I would take it. I am sure most people who comment a lot or write a lot of their own reviews would love to write for gamespot. so gamespot has A $$$ LOAD talent to choose from. Choose somebody who can organize a simple simple article better thats all. its something you would learn in any journalism class in school. I hate to say it but its really the editors fault. Because I can see how the writer already knew the info and just wasn't thinking that WE DIDN'T know, so what ever they put it on the end. but the editor should have read the article and thought the same thing I did, and it would have been a simple cut and paste.

Daian
Daian

@inaka_rob How about checking the left side of the page next to the article, it always mentions the platform (also on) other than the platform of the current article ( PC tab in this case).

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

I wish the LAST sentence was the FIRST sentence! I was reading the ENTIRE article not paying a bit of attention to the actual article because I was wondering if this game I am reading about will even be available for what ever system I want to download it on.

uncleTACO8873
uncleTACO8873

This reminds me of a game i wanted to make in Kodu. I'll definitely have to get this.

Draxargh
Draxargh

Definately getting it, Portal + Metal Gear = Duh, Winning! (tm)

amroto
amroto

looks interestiiing

punkdsk8erdude
punkdsk8erdude

sounds original and fun, hopefully wont cost too much and ill probably pick it up