This Means Warp: Review

this means warp cover

This Means Warp is an enjoyable roguelite game that requires us to control a spaceship. Developed by the independent studio Outlier, which is located in Dublin and Toronto, this title was initially launched on Steam in May 2023. Now, starting from today, November 30th, it will also be accessible on various consoles including PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch. For the purpose of this review, we had the opportunity to test the Xbox Series version of the game.

This Means Warp: Prepare to Fight

The Norg have initiated hostilities, and our mission is to reach their mothership in order to put an end to their aggression once and for all. This Means Warp is a roguelite game that revolves around piloting a spaceship and making progress through the vastness of space until we confront the enemy mothership. We have the option to embark on this journey alone and recruit AI-controlled crew members along the way, or engage in cooperative gameplay with up to four players, either locally through split-screen or online. Based on our experience, the game truly shines when played cooperatively, making it an excellent choice for enjoyable couch co-op sessions.

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In This Means Warp, we will be provided with a top-down perspective of our spacecraft. From the command center, we can traverse a grid map where each box may present a unique encounter, such as a skirmish with an adversary vessel or pirates, or an opportunity to recruit new crew members or participate in trials. These trials may involve retrieving lost materials in space, withstanding meteor showers, enduring extreme temperatures due to proximity to a star, and more.

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We have the opportunity to thoroughly navigate the entire map until we confront the boss at the conclusion of the level. Upon successfully vanquishing the boss, we gain access to a portal that transports us to the subsequent map. With each transition to a new sector, we must select a bonus that will be bestowed upon enemy vessels. Additionally, in between sectors, we can make a stop at a shop where we can utilize the credits earned from battles to acquire offensive, defensive, or bonus systems that enhance the ship’s existing equipment.

The map, enemies, events, and items in the game are procedurally generated with each playthrough. As mentioned earlier, the game is classified as a roguelite, meaning that if our ship becomes irreparably damaged and our health reaches zero, the game will conclude, and we will need to begin anew. Nevertheless, every unsuccessful attempt grants us the opportunity to acquire new items, such as ship upgrades or additional characters, based on the experience and progress we have made.

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This Means Warp can be described as a combination of FTL and Overcooked, where players engage in fast-paced battles while managing various ship systems. During combat, it is essential to balance between attacking and repairing systems. The arsenal includes bombs, cannons, and lasers that can be aimed at specific parts of enemy ships, causing chaos among their crew. By targeting precise areas, players can employ a strategic approach to defeat their opponents.

Better with friends

Similar to us, our adversaries will also need to fix destroyed structures, reload and aim weapons, and manage defensive systems like shield placement. In cooperative gameplay, we can allocate tasks to ensure efficient attacking and defending. It is crucial to constantly monitor the damage to our ship’s structures to prevent it from becoming permanent. Permanent damage cannot be repaired and diminishes our ship’s maximum energy capacity.

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Throughout our adventures, we have the opportunity to seek assistance from fellow crew members who are controlled by AI. In order to ensure efficient task allocation and minimize any potential misunderstandings, it is crucial to assign fundamental responsibilities such as ammunition replenishment and repairs.

Upon reaching the conclusion of each sector on the map, we will encounter a formidable adversary known as the boss, specifically a Norg ship of heightened power that demands a constantly evolving strategy. While the levels within the campaign are procedurally generated, the bosses at the end of each level remain consistent.

It was a delightful and entertaining experience to play This Means Warp. In contrast to games like Overcooked or Fueled Up, there is a significant emphasis on teamwork among players, but this doesn’t lead to disorder as seen in the aforementioned titles. However, the AI aspect could use some improvement as colleagues tend to neglect repairing structures that are on the verge of critical damage.

Our verdict

This Means Warp is a great game to enjoy with friends, providing a challenging experience that never becomes overwhelming.

  • Great to play in local co-op
  • Balanced gameplay

Poorly developed AI