Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts


Review: Warp

5:00 PM on 02.17.2012 // Maurice Tan

Xbox Live Arcade's House Party kicked off with Warp, a stealth-centric puzzle-platforming title with a charming yet violent aesthetic. With a somewhat creative way of adding a breath of fresh air to the top-down stealth genre by introducing a telefragging alien, Warp seems ideally suited to the digital distribution platforms and its share of quirky games.

Alas, there is a difference between potential and execution.

Warp (Xbox Live Arcade [Reviewed], PlayStation Network, PC)
Developer: Trapdoor
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Released: February 15, 2012 (XBLA), March 13, 2012 (PSN, PC)
MSRP: 800 Microsoft Points, $9.99

After being captured and submitted to various control orientation tests in a series of chambers, the little alien protagonist in Warp escapes his confines with a single goal on his mind: find a way off the research facility, find the means to do so, and optionally murder everyone in his (or her?) path.

While unarmed, the critter you control can warp short distances through solid objects, and even inside of them. That includes humans. Once inside, you can wiggle your left analog stick around until they explode, possibly at the cost of your left hand's motor functions decades from now. Along the way you'll unlock new powers by absorbing various other aliens held in containment at the facility. Doing so allows you to project an "echo" decoy which can be used to swap your creature's location with an object highlighted by your echo, or launch objects across distances so you can then warp into them.

Practically all of the puzzles in Warp revolve around these basic mechanics. You move objects around by interchanging them with your position, warp into soldiers or turrets to dispose of them, or launch objects into wall-mounted "buttons." It's a simple concept that is supported by a drive for exploration to hunt down film canisters to destroy, and tiny blobs called Grubs that let you unlock special skills or traits to help you progress more easily. It's also a concept that is pretty fun to play, in theory.

In practice, however, the means of doing all these things suffers from the game's lackluster controls. A tiny indicator shows you where you'll end up when you warp, but aiming has to be pretty precise at times. If you're not careful, you end up warping right next to a soldier instead of inside of him, or just off a ledge so you fall to your doom. Although you get the hang of this over the course of the game, it never fails to feel like you are trying to aim a single shot at an enemy in a twin-stick shooter.

Sometimes you'll die because you aimed poorly. Other times you'll die because you were moving a decoy, the decoy got destroyed, and subsequently you accidentally moved your warping alien directly into a hazard. Then there are times when a section pressures you to perform quickly, even though you can't always tell where you'll end up under the stress of impending death. Thankfully, checkpoints abound and there are only a few sections where you have to replay more than a single frustrating segment. Which is great, because you'll die a lot. However, every time you die you have to sit through a five-second loading screen, which isn't that long but definitely long enough to make every death more annoying than it already is when plenty of deaths occur due to the loose controls.

What makes it especially odd that a lot of the issues found in Warp actually exist is the level of polish found in nearly every other aspect. The visual style is a clean mix of Team Fortress 2 and Evil Genius cartoon-y style graphics. Almost every new gameplay concept is expertly introduced to the player, with a minimal and effective interface to boot. Then there is the humor, which pops up here and there and adds a certain level of charm to the non-human characters.

Shiny visuals and polished tutorials can't hide some of the fundamental problems with Warp, though. Besides the controls working against the player at the most important of times, there is a certain soullessness to Warp that is hard to explain. You'll find yourself going through the motions, moving from segment to segment with the intention of having fun, yet finding little of it. Sure, there is a level of challenge stemming from the puzzles and finding the best way to perform a mix of action under a time restraint, but you'll be hard pressed to really care about any of it.

Part of it might be due to the somewhat problematic goal of feeling attached to your creature. It devours defenseless other aliens for its own gain, feels committed to exploding every human it can since statistics are tracked and compared to your friends at the bottom of the screen, and generally makes you act like a dick to your captors. Captors they might be, but most of your victims probably just work there to support their families. They even scream at you, "What did I do to deserve this?"

Whatever frustrations you may or may not have while playing it, they culminate in the game's final level and boss. Because it wasn't enough to make you hope for the best when you are trying to control Warp's alien, someone decided it would be even more fun to make the level itself rock back and forth, bumping you into inadvertent deaths and yet another loading screen until you are ready to scream.

If you do commit to completion, you'll unlock access to a number of challenge levels throughout the game that can be played again from the main menu. These give you bonus Grubs if you perform well enough, and high scores to celebrate on leaderboards. The Grubs themselves can give you some nice upgrades that save you a lot of trouble, particularly the upgrades that let you walk faster or allow you to turn your decoy into a mine that can knock out a troublesome shielded guard. As useful as they are, Warp tries its best to make you forget you even can upgrade -- and you can easily complete the game without them if you want to.

Whether or not it's worth even starting will depend on how much you like this subgenre of stealth gameplay and on how willing you are to overlook its faults. As much as Warp's presentation gives you the illusion that you are playing a charming game full of personality, a lot of the initial goodwill and attachment to the cute critter protagonist is slowly eroded by your actions and the problematic controls. In the end, all that is left at your disposal is a virtual representation of your imminent failure and repetitive demise.



Warp - Reviewed by Maurice Tan
Disappointing - I feel sorry for this one. It came close to being passable, but dropped the ball too many times to prevent itself from being an embarrassment.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Maurice Tan,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Cblogs of 11/24/15 + Big Ass Fort

Primal Carnage: Extinction Review (PS4)

Belated Spoiler-Free SOMA Review

Friday Night Fights: The Blackest Of Fridays

Super Destructoid Community Interviews Hyper Encore ##Reload

So I Got a 3DS

Negotiations are over. Rainbow Six Siege is a no buy from me as of now.

Cheat Codes Podcast - Ep. 72: Sexy Dog

Meesa Back! (or, here, or something.) Dev Log #1

Cblogs of 11/23/2015 + Sexuality in Videogames

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
So someone messaged me on a Lightning fast, comment board that bow they're super depressed. And I worry for them now. Because a comment board is not something to get depressed over, just because someone disagrees with you if your an ass, people will be 2.
arkane9 avatararkane9
Guys, a sequel to Retro City Rampage: Shakedown Hawaii! Someone should really write about it. Lots of Dtoid staff were in the RCR after all.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
Fuck racism man, shit ain't fair. Can't stand it and I shouldn't have to. Nobody should.
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
Embedded pictures in Quickposts seem to be broken for me right now.
Flegma avatarFlegma
To my surprise, I've more or less figured out Rodea Wii U controls. Still a different game from the Wii version, but not as decidedly inferior in my eyes. Did the legacy medals do anything in Wii version?
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
"Am I a kid, or a squid?" I ponder as I stare off into the horizon. A wise man once told me "Son, you can be whatever you want to be. You are only limited by your lack of ambition " And I want to be a squid. A squid now.
Parismio avatarParismio
Captain America: Civil War trailer dropped!: [youtube][/youtube]
lewness avatarlewness
Gah, wanna go Alexander farming but The Old Hunters ;_;
BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
Holy shit, Splatoon is addictive.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Duck Hunt was a trickier unlock than I expected. Jigglypuff, you are next on my list! [img][/img]
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Yay, this arrived today. Nekro is quite happy, as he's been looking forward to playing this game for a while. [IMG][/IMG]
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Dtoid mobile has apparently broken again. This is it. This how the dtoid ends. *black hole opens, dtoid disappears*
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Gave Ronin one more chance before I chucked it in the "never to be finished" pile, glad I did. It could have been so much better but as a frustrating time waster it's not bad.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
I'm sitting on the Fapcast's most recent recording. I just feel like I need a day for myself after, you know, freaking out about rent.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Why is every Quickpost now spaced out like poems with random amounts of stanzas that never ever rhyme?
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Was anybody else here extremely disappointed by the ending of Assassin's Creed 2?
Parismio avatarParismio
Just tried Fallout 4 on my PC Via my Cousins steam account and nope, it does not run for me very well. Buying the PS4 version it is!
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
You know who never took any shit from anybody? Dr. Blight.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Am I the only one who has to pull up their sleeves to play competantly at videogames? When my hoodie's sleeves are down I play like a piece of shit but when i pull them up, I have more flexibility.
Shinta avatarShinta
PSA: Just picked up Falco amiibo at Best Buy. They had about 20 Tom Nook, 10 singles of Splatoon Boy/Girl, the Splatoon triple pack, about 30 Marths with a big sign saying "Look Who's Back!," Dark Pit, and probably about 15 others. Not too shabby.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -