Game Spotlight: War of the Worlds on XBLA

All of us that are fans of the Sci-Fi genre have at least attempted to watch or read a version of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds. Now we can play it! Taking the setting of the 1953 movie adaptation and Martians have just attacked London. You are playing as Arthur Clarke who must travel through the city to get to his loved ones in this dark and adventurous side-scrolling game.

One great aspect is the narration by Patrick Stewart as Arthur Clarke. It gives this ominous overtone as you walk through the rubble of a train wreck that you just survived. You must navigate through the terrain by running and jumping from platforms while being very careful to avoid the long falls, down power lines, and raging fires.

One of the hardest things to get past in this game is that it is very hard to tell what parts of your scenery are background and what is the foreground, so it is hard to navigate without knowing what platforms you can jump on and what you can’t. Also some of the platforms are rickety and collapse under Arthur’s weight. Others will shift and wobble as you walk across them making it very difficult to plan your next jump before the platform fails.

This is a fun way to dive in to one of history’s greatest science fiction novels. There is no health system so you have no way to tell if you are strong enough to survive a fall, but there are also infinite lives so you play through until you finish the story. The game will cost you 800 Microsoft points or $9.99 depending on how you look at it. Overall it’s a fun game, but listening to the same Patrick Stewart line over and over until you defeat a certain obstacle can get a little old.

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