One of my favorite video game genres is the cooperative genre. Games like Overcooked are some of my favorite games in recent years. There is just something really satisfying about a good co-op game. It is fun working with another player(s) to divvy up tasks and complete them in time. This is the main reason why I was intrigued by This Means Warp. The game looked like an interesting combination of Overcooked and FTL. The game came out on PC back in May and now it is making its console debut. This Means Warp is a fun co-op game that fans of the genre will enjoy, even though I wish it had a little more content.
In This Means Warp you and up to three other players play as the crew of a spaceship. You are tasked with tracking down and destroying an enemy ship that destroyed a planet.
The players will guide their ship through a map filled with different encounters. You can choose which path and which encounters you want to deal with. Some of these encounters involve completing a mini game. Others involve choosing how to approach a situation which determines what happens next. Through your journey you will acquire cash and equipment which you can use to improve your ships systems and weapons.
Most of the time you will initiate a battle with an enemy ship. Your ship and the enemy ship both have a certain amount of health. The first to deplete the other ship’s health wins the fight. Your ship has two different weapons attached to it. You can use these weapons to target different sections of the enemy ship. If you deal enough damage to a section, you deactivate that section until it gets repaired.
Meanwhile you also have to deal with your enemies shots. They will target various parts of your ship. When the enemy deals damage to your ship, you need to pick up a repair kit. You then head to the damaged area and use the repair button. You want to do this as quickly as possible to prevent long term damage to your ship.
Heading into playing This Means Warp I had high hopes because of the premise, and the fact that I generally enjoy these type of co-op games. When I first started playing the game I have to admit that I was a little disappointed. I think this was partially due to being kind of overwhelmed as there is a lot to keep track of at a time. After a while though, the game started to grow on me.
I ultimately had quite a bit of fun with This Means Warp. I think this is due to the gameplay working really well. The gameplay is simple for the most part. It mostly involves simple button presses and going to damaged sections of the ship. The game does a really good job keeping you busy. The first couple of encounters each run are on the easy side where you will have downtime. After that period though, you will stay busy during each combat encounter. Between repairing the ship and dealing with the other ship systems, there is always something that needs to be done. Having to juggle all of these different tasks is fun.
I think the standout of the game is the shooting though. The game has a number of different weapons and each have different strengths and weaknesses. Some are best at targeting a specific area, while others target a large area. You have full control over where you aim the weapons. There is a strategy to how you should shoot your weapons. You can eventually destroy every ship just randomly shooting at it. Targeting specific areas though is really beneficial. There is a strategy to combat, and you get a sense of accomplishment destroying an enemy ship without taking any damage yourself.
This Means Warp supports between one and four players. While you can play the game by yourself, I probably wouldn’t recommend it. The game has bots that replace any players that are missing. The bots help out, but it is much more enjoyable playing with other players. It is fun trying to cooperate with your teammates to deal with all of the tasks as quickly as possible. You are usually better off letting players focus on specific tasks, but there might be times where you need to help out another player. Like all good cooperative games, This Means Warp finds the right balance to make it a really satisfying cooperative game.
As for This Means Warp’s difficulty, I think it kind of depends on a couple factors. First the number of players will have an impact. The more players you have, the easier the game should be. This is basically the case for pretty much all of these type of co-op games. The bots are a useful addition as the game would basically be impossible at lower player counts without them. The bots are decent at certain tasks. Other tasks, such as shooting the guns, they kind of struggle at. Human players are almost always going to be better than bots unless the players have horrible coordination.
Next comes the fact that This Means Warp is the type of game that you need to adjust to playing. The game itself is not hard to play. You need to figure out how best to play the game though. This usually takes a couple runs. There can be a lot of things going on at time which can be overwhelming at first. As you become more familiar with the game though, you become much better at figuring out what to prioritize. Basically you want to shoot off your guns as often as you can, while also repairing damage quick enough that you don’t have permanent damage to your ship.
For those interested I would highly recommend targeting ship walls when enemies are near them. When you destroy a wall, any nearby units are pulled out of the ship. This eliminates those units from attacking you until they are revived. This can give you a quite a bit of time to repair your ship or destroy the enemy ship.
Ultimately when you become familiar with This Means Warp the difficulty becomes more manageable. At the lower difficulties you should succeed pretty much every time, as long as you follow your strategy for dealing with damage and shooting the enemy ship. On the higher difficulties the game becomes more challenging. You kind of need luck to be on your side at the highest levels as well. Some weapons and upgrades are considerably better than others in my opinion. Some events can be pretty devastating as well. You need some luck to get the right objects, and avoid the bad events to beat the game on the higher difficulties.
While I enjoyed This Means Warp there are a couple things that hold it back a little.
First the game can be a little janky here and there. This is not a huge issue as the game is still playable and quite fun. It just feels like there are things here and there that I wish had a little more polish. I don’t know if this was designed, but if you run into another player you drop whatever you are holding. You then have to try and pick it up again which can sometimes be an issue. There are also times when the controls don’t work quite as intended. The visuals are fine, but are not the game’s strength. There are a lot of these little issues that don’t significantly hurt the game. I wish there was a little more polish in areas though.
I think the biggest issue with This Means Warp is that I wish there was more content in the game. In a way the game has quite a bit of variety. Each run seems to be completely randomized. There are four different regions in each run with a boss at the end of each. Each region has a number of different encounters that you have to deal with. Some are optional. A lot of these encounters involve you destroying the enemy ship. There are a number of different mini games that you can complete to receive rewards as well. There appear to be two different ships that you can use, and there are a number of different scenarios that you can play which change up the gameplay.
On the surface this seems like there is a lot of content as each run should be different. After you play five or so runs though, this starts to feel a little repetitive. You will have played through most of the mini games and have gotten quite familiar with the combat. At this point the game feels kind of samey. I still had fun playing it, but the game wasn’t really bringing anything unique to the experience. It mostly felt like more of the same. I wish the game had a little more variety to it. More mini games or different combat scenarios would keep the game fresh for longer. You can still have fun with the game when you reach this point, but it becomes more of a game that you only play every so often.
It is kind of hard to get a good indication on how much time you will get out of the game. To successfully complete a run it usually took around two hours. We generally faced all of the encounters though. If you rush to the boss of each region it will obviously take less time. You will likely fail at some point in your journey during your first couple runs. How much time you get out of the game depends on how interested you are in playing the different scenarios and improving your score. If you are the type of player that quits games as soon as you beat them, you might be a little disappointed in the length. If you like to explore what the game has to offer, I think you can get enough out of This Means Warp to make it worth picking up.
I generally enjoyed my time with This Means Warp. The premise of adding FTL mechanics to a game like Overcooked actually works really well. It is fun trying to work with your teammates to defeat enemy ships, while repairing the damage to your own ship. The gameplay is really straightforward which means that it is a game that you can play with people that don’t play a lot of video games. While you can play it by yourself, I would highly recommend playing with friends as the game excels in a cooperative environment.
There is a lot of things to like about This Means Warp. In a few areas the game could use a little more polish though. The biggest issue is that the game could use more content. Each run is completely randomized, but after a while they start to feel kind of samey. I just wish the game had some more encounters and unique combat scenarios to keep the game fresh for longer.
My recommendation comes down to your thoughts on the premise and cooperative games in general. If neither are all that interesting to you, I don’t know if the game will be for you. Fans of cooperative games that think the premise sounds interesting though, should enjoy This Means Warp and should consider picking it up.
This Means Warp
Release Date: May 4, 2023 – PC, November 30, 2023 – Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One/Series X|S | Systems: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Developer: Outlier | Publisher: Jagex Ltd | ESRB Rating: Everyone
Genres: Action, Co-Op, Indie, Rogue-Like
Official Website: https://www.thismeanswarp.com/
- A fun combination of games such as Overcooked and FTL.
- Enjoyable gameplay especially when played cooperatively.
- After a while each game kind of feels “samey”.
- Some areas of the game could use a little more polish.
Recommendation: For fans of co-op games that find the premise intriguing.
We at Geeky Hobbies would like to thank Outlier and Jagex Ltd for the review copy of This Means Warp used for this review. Other than receiving a free copy of the game to review, we at Geeky Hobbies received no other compensation for this review. Receiving the review copy for free had no impact on the content of this review or the final score.