Review: Warp (Xbox Live Arcade)

By Wayne Webb

When I saw the promotional material and design concepts for Warp, the first thing I thought of was Portal. And I wasn’t far wrong. This new game for the Xbox Live Arcade takes the basic concept of Portal (the ability to traverse space in teleport jumps) and makes it into an an action game.

You start off as an amorphous blob in the belly of some underwater top-secret laboratory where men in white coats are experimenting on you. You escape and almost immediately get your power to teleport short distances back. Then the hunt is on and you are trying to find your way to freedom via your powers and leaving behind many gory corpses. You can teleport into lab techs or gun-toting guards, wiggle around like you are really inside and then watch them pop in a spray of blood and flesh.

Then you progress level after level of carefully constructed puzzles and traps designed to make you think and challenge your view of the components to find a way to get out and onwards. Unlike Portal the oddly gory violence and carefree dispatching of people make this a game that I would not share with impressionable children or even tweens.

It is a fun game and draws the obvious and unending comparisons to the original Portal and its fantastic sequel last year, but where the template for this game got thing everything right, this slightly damaged clone makes some basic mistakes in the content and violence levels.

Still fun for older kids and adults and will keep you coming back to repeat attempts of one level again and again, even if you have to sit though the same cinematic sequence time after time. Even with the skip function, it’s still annoying to continually spawn before a cinematic movie sequence.

Pros: Great controls and teleport concept, nice design, good story and puzzle solving.
Cons: Obvious rip off of Portal, occasionally repetitive, violent

4 Shacks Out Of 5

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