Co-Optimus - Community Blog - "Across the Gulf of Space…", War of the Worlds is Back
by bapenguin

"Across the Gulf of Space…", War of the Worlds is Back

War of the Worlds is one of Britain’s greatest sagas, despite the fact that it’s a singular piece of work created at the turn of the 19th century. Via Orson Welles’ 1938 radio program, Steven Spielberg's 2005 movie, and the 2019 TV series, H.G. Wells’ sci-fi masterpiece has touched generations with the raft of messages it tries to put across, from natural selection and colonialism to basic good vs. evil.

Of course, its most basic impression is a frightening one. In the original novel, the alien invaders are merciless and desperate and set about harvesting the population of Surry and London for their blood. Through the proliferation of a “red weed”, the countryside starts to resemble Mars itself. The book famously ends rather abruptly, as the Invaders succumb to one of humanity’s old enemies, namely, the germs we can now co-exist with.

Flying Saucers

While, sadly, the alien invasion trope seems to have petered out in the last few years, after a decade that gave us Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), Battle Los Angeles (2011), and Monsters (2010), the idea has been a fairly consistent part of gaming since the first arcade machines. Let’s not forget that one of the very first video games - Space Invaders - pitted a lone pilot against an increasingly aggressive alien horde.

In casino gaming too, extraterrestrial curmudgeons can be found everywhere. The Galaxyno website bases its identity around flying saucers and includes the slots Space Fortune, Space Goonz, and even Santa vs. Aliens among the new ones out there. Of course, more conventional franchises, such as XCOM, Destroy All Humans!, and Mass Effect had their own turn to destroy the Earth too. 

Now, a fresh take on the 2005 War of the Worlds movie is set for release as a video game sometime soon. Unfortunately, the information released so far is scant. 

Death Rays

As per the Steam page, War of the Worlds will be a survival horror-style game set in an open world. With both online co-op and PVP, first impressions suggest that it will play something like Rust, 7 Days to Die, and DayZ, which might sound a little disappointing to fans expecting a more straightforward fight against the Martians, in the classic Mass Effect style. Single-player is confirmed, however. 

The inclusion of survival mechanics, such as hunger and thirst, as well as the need to loot buildings for supplies makes the Invaders seem like a bit of a tertiary threat, given that humans are also on the rampage. Oddly enough, despite the amount of time that has passed since the source movie, the marauding tripods are identical in appearance to Steven Spielberg’s 2005 interpretation, with death rays intact.

Also depicted in early materials is the snake-like probe that terrorized Tom Cruise, Tim Robbins, and Dakota Fanning’s characters in the ruined basement. This will likely add some stealth concepts to the gameplay. In a rather unique twist, players will also get to control the Martians’ machines by joining their side and hunting down survivors. With this in mind, there are definitely some hints at a battle-royale mode on the Steam page too. 

War of the Worlds has no release date yet and the lack of environmental polish in the trailers suggests that the aliens might have to remain hidden in the ground for a little while longer.