There’s certainly no shortage of uniquely stylish side-scrollers fighting for attention on the indie scene these days. With a horde of competition all being offered at a relatively low price, developers of smaller titles have to turn to unconventional sources to attract attention. In the case of The War of the Worlds, that source is none other than H.G. Wells’ science fiction masterpiece of the same name. The latest trailer and gallery of screenshots shows how the developers will be injecting the fiction into familiar gameplay mechanics.

The War of the Worlds has kept a relatively low profile, but with one-of-a-kind visuals and narration by Patrick Stewart it’s going to be noticed by science fiction fans sooner rather than later. It’s certainly taking its inspiration from a respectable source, but our first impressions of the game at E3 2011 left something to be desired.

While gameplay that first appears simplistic can offer a deep experience over time (just take a look at Limbo, Bastion, or even Plants vs. Zombies) it will be a challenge to see just how much the actual storytelling of Wells’ tale can be meshed with a side-scrolling indie title.

There are few people who could bring more gravitas to Wells’ story of one man’s experience of an alien invasion than Patrick Stewart, so his involvement could drum up plenty of support on its own. Take a look at protagonist Arthur’s first diary trailer and see for yourself:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9b5pVqwjp2I

The War of the Worlds definitely has the atmosphere and eye-catching style to get plenty of people downloading a demo of the game when it’s released for XBLA and PSN. And there may be enough progression in enemy types and barriers to keep people playing long after, if the newest screens and concept artwork is anything to go on:

The screenshots show Arthur making his way through Paddington Station, a broken down train terminal, and a good sign of the kind of inspired levels and set pieces that will populate the game.

If the developers at Other Ocean can keep the events of the game as tightly tied to the original novel then the game could really turn out to be something special. As long as the platforming doesn’t get old before the plot can grab players.

The War of the Worlds is scheduled to be released for both PSN and XBLA later this year.

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