You will die often isn’t something you usually hear in a tutorial to entice you to keep playing. Most video games don’t like to advertise how difficult they are. Instead, like Elden Ring, they let you find out first hand after multiple deaths. Not one to turn down a challenge, this statement immediately piqued my interest and so, with that, it was time to give This Means Warp a whirl.
“I couldn’t help but feel that it was a perfect blend between the vibe of Among Us and the ship battles from Assassins Creed: Black Flag.“
This Means Warp is a stunning, spacefaring adventure game in which you must navigate a procedurally generated universe while defeating increasingly difficult enemies along the way. Through this procedural generation alone, This Means Warp offers players a lot of content. It ostensibly means that not only is the entire map unique to your game but that each and every playthrough is a varied experience.
You will need to take on all manner of enemies as you navigate different areas of the map. Battles involve taking potshots at enemy ships in a bid to defeat them before they swiftly pick you off. You will pick up crew members and ship upgrades along the way to help you in your quest in a very FTL-esque fashion. There are other missions too that involve completing various challenges to earn certain upgrades for both you and your ship. Throughout my entire playthrough of This Means Warp, I couldn’t help but feel that it was a perfect blend between the vibe of Among Us and the ship battles from Assassins Creed: Black Flag.
“The combat, exploration and additional challenges, while repeated a little too frequently were engaging and oftentimes thrilling.“
The first thing that struck me when playing This Means Warp was the visuals. They’re exceptionally vibrant, with the wonderful use of simplistic yet eye-catching 3D models and vivid pastel colours beautifully combined to create a gorgeous 60s-style sci-fi aesthetic. The simplicity of the visuals also greatly assist in gameplay, ensuring to never obscure any of the important details all while making combat feel explosively thrilling.
For the most part, the same level of quality transitions to This Means Warp’s gameplay. Outside of a few brief moments of learning towards the beginning, once I got the hang of it all it became a very accessible and easy game to play.
Unfortunately, this is detrimental to the overall experience. Despite initial warnings that death would be frequent and painful, this did not turn out to be the case. Instead, I found that most enemies were easy enough to defeat and that whenever I did die it didn’t prove to be the learning experience I had expected.
That’s not to say that the game wasn’t fun. In fact, the opposite is absolutely true. The combat, exploration and additional challenges, while repeated a little too frequently were engaging and oftentimes thrilling. New enemies would appear at a steady enough rate and the procedurally generated universe provided enough excitement to make progressing through This Means Warp an exciting adventure.
“When in co-op mode This Means Warp turns into an entirely different experience.“
There are two main ways of playing This Means Warp. The first is through the singleplayer mode, which I feel is clearly not the intended way to play it. As the only sentient player, you will find yourself taking on all of the work as your crewmates do little more than get in the way. While it is certainly possible to play through This Means Warp in singleplayer, for the most part, it just doesn’t feel quite as enjoyable.
Fortunately, the cooperative mode more than makes up for it. This Means Warp is absolutely all about the co-op mode, which can be experienced online or in a LAN party. That’s right, you can get up to three of your mates – or three randoms if that suits you better – and fight through the universe together. With everyone working together, your ship becomes a well-oiled machine that can take on anything that dares attack it.
Like with most games, when in co-op mode This Means Warp turns into an entirely different experience. Gone were most of the woes that plagued much of the singleplayer experience, and in their place was a rollicking good time that proved to be equal parts thrilling and hilarious.
“This Means Warp is a game filled with heart, fun and genuine creativity.“
This Means Warp is truly a game all about hanging with your friends and playing through an engaging yet relaxed experience. Cruising through space battling enemies while you desperately try to shift the fight in your favour can be exceptionally fun. Of course, this doesn’t always translate well into singleplayer, which can be quite a lonely and oftentimes repetitive experience.
However, regardless of how you plan to play This Means Warp, for a cool twenty bucks on Steam, you can get a game filled with heart, fun and genuine creativity. This is a game to be played at your own pace, and preferably with your friends, without having to worry about being good enough. And sometimes, that’s what gaming is all about.
You can pick up This Means War over on Steam.
*Disclaimer: Reviewed on PC, code was provided by the Publisher.