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War of the Worlds screens class up the joint

Justin McElroy

We were pretty eager to take a look at War of the Worlds, this fall's XBLA and PSN release from Paramount based on H.G. Wells' classic novel. For starters, we love Other Ocean's DSiWare action platformer Dark Void Zero, but there's also our affection for rotoscoping and Patrick Stewart narration to consider.

What we ended up seeing at E3 was frankly a little underwhelming. The presentation, moody and bleak, was top-flight but it seemed shallow from a gameplay perspective. The thrust of the 2D game is almost exclusively evasion, with the hero -- a British survivor of the Martian attack -- running from spotlights and lasers, ducking into ravines and tunnels to avoid detection. We saw this basic beat repeated some four or five times in a 20-minute demo, which left the game feeling droningly one-note. Other Ocean hinted that the hero we saw would eventually find a way to "turn the tables" on the Martians, so we're hopeful that'll help flesh things out a bit.

What there's no debate about is the sartorial acumen of the game's protagonist. A turtleneck and a blazer? As if Duke Nukem needed yet another reason to be embarrassed, now the poor guy has to be self-conscious about his tank top.

Gallery: War of the Worlds (6/13/11) | 5 Photos

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