First Impressions: The War of the Worlds (XBLA)

[wpspoiler name=”First Impressions vs. Reviews” ]First Impressions are based on demos while Reviews are based on entire games.[/wpspoiler]

Unfortunately (and fortunately because it means I’m driving less), I haven’t had time to listen to any audiobooks lately. That is until recently when I discovered The War of the Worlds video game narrated by Patrick Stewart.

I’m a science fiction junkie. I didn’t  get to be the creator of a website about surviving the apocalypse and fangirling about apocalyptic culture and entertainment without some serious scifi hours logged. Everyone has their preference, be it movies, TV series, books, or games. Personally, I indulge in all of the above but have always had a soft spot in my heart for audiobooks. A well written story read well can immerse me in an author’s world in a wonderfully unique way.

The War of the Worlds developed by Other Ocean for Paramount Pictures was a refreshing re-immersion into the world or audiobooks via interactive gaming. Sometimes I rummage through the Xbox Live Arcade games hoping to find something everyone forgot to tell me about. Well no one told me there was a War of the World game.

The game features narration by Patrick Stewart based on the 1953 film adaptation of H.G. Wells’ original story.

Check out the launch trailer from Paramount (also the makers of the 1953 film).

Published by

Paramount Digital Entertainment


Xbox Live


ESRB Rating: E10+ – Fantasy Violence


The War of the Worlds is a dark and breathtaking new vision of the classic H.G. Wells novel, retold as a single player side-scrolling action-adventure, narrated by the acclaimed and distinguished actor, Patrick Stewart. Set in London, the gameplay narrative parallels the timeline and events from the 1953 movie adaptation, but introduces a new story arc, characters, locations, and sub-plots. With gameplay paying homage to classic cinematic platformers such as Flashback, Out of This World andPrince of Persia, the game follows the exploits of an unknown everyman struggling to escape the Martian invasion of London and rescue his family. Forced to think through insurmountable odds, players will outsmart an army of alien tripods, spiders and drones as they make their way through a landscape of total devastation.

The War of the Worlds Pros:

1. The game is simple and the controls are easy to figure out. So, even though there’s no tutorial it’s not a steep learning cuve.

2. PATRICK STEWART IS READING ME A STORY! That man was made to read me words. <3

3. Artsy fartsy. This game is like an interactive story and art museum all in one. Every level is a beautiful scene that has details too beautiful not to be explored.

The War of the Worlds Cons:

1. The lack of tutorial is also kind of a downside because for a while I had no idea what was going on.

2. The game is set really far out so you play as this tiny person in this huge environment with can be a little disorienting or detached.

3. You can’t die-die but I died (and came back) a lot because there’s a lot of poke it and see what it does which doesn’t make sense in the story because you’d be dead.

Overall, what I think of The War of the Worlds:

I don’t know if it was fun so much as worth spending time with. Similar to books not really being fun so much as engaging the game is just well done. While, of course, Patrick Stewart knocks it out of the park but that’s then paired with great artwork and smooth gameplay.

For just 800 Microsoft Points, I’m in it ’til the war is won.

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