What do you get when you merge the Half Life 2 GMod with the plot of Jeff Wayne's concept album, The War of the Worlds? If you're Robert Stoneman, you get The War of the Servers, an amazingly lengthy spoof of both online gaming and the aforementioned album. Robert Stoneman Films & PHWonline tell us the story of Steinmann, an online gamer who spends his days building contraptions and living an idyllic online life within his GMod server. All that changes, however, with the arrival of an unknown army of players, known only as the Mingebags, who have invaded from the darkest reaches of the Internet with only one thing in mind -- total annihilation, server by server.
Clocking in at over 80 minutes long, The War of the Servers is a machinima movie filmed using only the game engine and bolstered with original music from the Jeff Wayne masterpiece album to create one of the classiest, cleverest and most original parodies ever distributed online. While it's not without its dull moments (there's a lot of filler that needn't have been included) and some of the acting leaves a little to be desired (Stoneman should stick to directing), the movie's littered with subtle gags and spot-on spoofs. It might require a little knowledge of both online roleplaying and The War of the Worlds to truly 'get' it, but those that do will find it's worth sitting through the quiet spots for the excellent action sequences and sheer originality on display. The awesome soundtrack from the LP that terrified me as a child doesn't hurt, either.
The movie is currently available for download if you've got the spare time. While certainly not for everybody, I found it a satisfying, amusing and occassionally thrilling romp that does, admittedly, get by on its genius premise alone at various points. It's worth looking into, at any rate.