In War of the Worlds
, the film based on the H.G. Wells
novel of the same name, the focus is on mankind in a struggle against a strange alien invasion. In this take on it, however, the events are turned around as you command a tripod in its quest to exterminate all humans. In the thirteen levels, set in Osaka, London, New Jersey and apocalyptic wastelands, you guide the alien through side-scrolling levels, destroying anything in sight.
You can move the tripod, as well as the main turret to target waves of enemies. Each level ends with a boss attack where you take on a giant tank, submarine or a flying bomber, or prevent a ferry from escaping with human passengers. Many events follow the movie, and the order of the locations is also kept intact. Although you will spend a lot of time fending off enemies, time is the most important factor. You are much stronger than your enemies, so they will often charge with kamikaze attacks to slow you down. Buildings will also prevent you from moving steadily, and these need to be removed as well.
Health is shown as a power bar in the bottom left corner. You can collect power-ups to recharge it, and these grant more powerful ammo at the same time. Your enemies include tanks, helicopters, jets, bombers and motorboats. The tripod can also hold a maximum of three bombs - these destroy anything on the screen. During the missions, CNN-like reports are shown with information on the humans' return attacks.
As the waves of multiple enemies increase, you no longer have the time to fight them one by one. Instead, certain formations' units are highlighted in red. If you destroy these first, they will cause a chain explosion taking out the entire wave. Another way to trigger this is by shooting mines that humans have deployed. These will jump up and cause damage in the air. As a tripod, you can grab units and mines from the ground and launch them at incoming enemies. You can also capture humans for bonus points using the same technique. Aside from providing massive points, chain explosions provide additional seconds to your time limit, to recover when you have been slowed down.
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TriviaThis trivia item contains spoilers about the game's story and ending
Producer Vincent Cotte
mentions in an interview (cf. related links) that they had to respect the movie's story constraints. Humans cannot destroy aliens in the film, and in the game, playing as a tripod, it is almost impossible to die as well. Apparently, they also were not allowed to change the outcome either. Playing as the alien, you will get news reports in the later missions announcing that humans finally have found a way to stop the tripods. While playing, however, nothing hints at that. Therefore, the ending is quite ironic. As you destroy the last boss, you see an announcement that the humans have conquered and fended off the alien invasion. You are then "congratulated". You won the game by losing it all of a sudden, and that is a bit sour.
This entry to the MobyGames database was contributed by Sciere (205632)
on Jul 30, 2006.