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E3 '11: The War Of The Worlds

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Remember Dark Void? Well, it wasn't nearly as successful as its 2D tie-in game Dark Void Zero, but developer Other Ocean Interactive couldn't really do another Dark Void game as the series is pretty much kaput. But then Paramount came calling, and when presented with their catalog, Head of Development Mike Mika says that he was immediately drawn to Barbarella. Unfortunately, that's a dream for another day, because they landed on The War of the Worlds. It's a mish-mosh of the original book and the '50s movie, and set in '50s London. They really went all out to make sure that the locations look as real as possible for when they're blowing them up!

Done in a Prince of Persia/Flashback style, The War of the Worlds is classic 2D platforming adventure all the way. It starts in glorious Panavision color, but as the aliens take over and things get grimmer, the color starts to fade. And as you start to get the upper hand against the invaders, it comes back. It's just another perfect touch to an already gorgeous-looking game. I was told that the demo we were being shown had only 40 levels of parallax, but in the final game, they're shooting for over 200! The animation is all rotoscoped — no motion capture here.

Everything looks tremendous, and I loved the effect when the aliens blast a solider and he goes all X-ray before disintegrating. Very retro cool. And they can really go crazy with the effects because since they're sprites, they won't be taxing the systems as much. There's a lot of running around and evading searchlights and alien ships in the beginning, but later on you'll turn the aliens' weapons against them. Mika promises very generous checkpoints, because they're purposefully developing this game to be hard, and says you'll be dying a lot.

The War of the Worlds should be out before the end of the year on both Xbox LIVE Arcade and PlayStation Network. Oh, and for an added touch of class, Patrick Stewart narrates the storyline!

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

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