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Warp is an action puzzle video game on PC, PSN and XBLA. The game allows the player to warp through doors and objects to explode creatures in the game world.

Ah Warp, I don't know where to start with this game... Goukijones and I first saw it at PAX 2011, we were given a quick demo by the team at their kiosk before heading over to one of our scheduled appointments. It was therefore a bit of a short demo, but I could tell then that the game had some potential.

When we got to the Microsoft booth at CES 2012 this January, I was not too surprised to see Warp featured as part of the "House Party" promotion along with such big arcade titles as I am Alive and Alan Wake's American Nightmare. So I figured I'd give it a try, hell it was only 800 MSP (10 bucks). (FYI - Warp comes out on PSN March 13, I assume for $9.99)

You start of as a cut scene plays from a first person perspective of your character "Zero" being dragged half conscious back to some secret lab and eventually operated on. The scientists removed his power ring! Oh no! Don't worry, you get that back like two screens later. Basically Zero's natural power is to teleport (or "Warp") a short distance, past a door, wall or other obstacle for instance. He can also warp into objects like the ubiquitous barrels or even inside of people. Zero can hide inside, or you can wiggle the left stick to make him "frag" the object, energizing it so much that it explodes. This is very messy when done to a person!

Over the course of the game, Zero acquires a few more powers. He can send out an Echo (basically a decoy of himself) that can trick enemies, and eventually he can "swap" places with objects in the game that are within echo range. This basically allows you to warp further (provided there's an object to swap with) and remove certain obstacles from your path (yes, including very confused humans). Finally, Zero gets the ability to throw an object that he's hiding inside, so you can throw a barrel across a gap, then echo over to it and swap with it (which happens to be the solution to a few too many of the later puzzles).

Zero's one weakness is water, it causes him to short out for a few moments, stopping all his powers. Mostly, you just don't step in the water, but some puzzles require you to. During the game, you'll come across "grubs", food for Zero, that allow him to buy power ups at upgrade stations, these allow your regular moves to do some new things (like allowing the echo to set a mine as a trap) or allow you to move more quickly or stealthily through the map (some less worthy upgrades mark the location of grubs on the map, but if you explore the whole environment you won't miss anything).

The puzzles usually involve getting through a room unseen, or just fragging everyone in sight, avoiding some turrets and laser beams and getting around seemingly unsurpassable obstacles in your path. A few of the puzzles require some timing to pull off (usually ones involving moving walkways with lasers or gaps) but are not very difficult to get right once you know what to do. There are a couple of grubs that are hard to get (a couple I haven't figured out yet), and I once trapped my self in a room I couldn't get back out of, something I really hate in a video game. Towards the end of the game there was a puzzle that required you to, guess what, through a barrel and echo/swap over to it, but the dev's thought I might need more than one shot, so the game kept delivering barrels to the pad once I shot the last one off. So of course, I pushed my luck and fired 10 barrels to the other side of the room. The engine really didn't like this and slowed to a crawl until I got passed the next checkpoint.

After what can only be described as an annoying boss fight, I was awarded with the sad ending... I guess because I fragged every scientist and soldier I saw during my play through. I didn't realize they wanted me to play through peacefully. Meh. Anyways, the biggest let down was that after completing the game, you can't go back and free-roam (the game warns you about this before you head to the boss level, but still, that's a little off-putting to me) and there's no new game plus to max out your character or see what you can do faster with all your powers. Meh again. You're forced to start all over again once you beat the game (your old save game is still there it just takes you directly to the boss fight so you can watch the same ending again). F that! Overall, I found the puzzles a little too easy and the boss fights a little to hard/annoying.

Take my advice and try the demo first, if this is your type of game, make sure you do all the collecting/upgrading you want to do before going to the boss level as there's no going back and you won't likely want to play all the way through the game again (at least I didn't).


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