Jeff Wayne's The War of The Worlds The Immersive Experience Review 2020

Jeff Wayne’s The War of The World – The Immersive Experience created by dotdotdot is an out of this world adventure based on the classic story of HG Wells’ The War of The Worlds. Situated in the heart of London, you will journey back to 1898 with your guide George Herbert, as you crawl, slide and decipher your way through atmospheric sets with live actors, pyrotechnics and ground-breaking Virtual Reality technology in this extraordinary award-winning immersive experience.

Spread over 22,000 square feet, encompassing over 25 individual themed areas, survive the Martian invasion accompanied by the pulsating tunes from Jeff Wayne’s iconic score.

Created by dotdotdot, a company who have produced past immersive experiences such as the award winning, lucid dreaming Somnai, they have produced a layered reality experience to this classic story as their next adventure. Layered Reality includes Virtual Reality, holograms, actors, immersive sets, pyrotechnics and projection mapping that when combined together allow you to feel, smell and see an experience you feel you’re apart from as soon as you step into the experience. 

The War of The Worlds is situated very close to the Aldgate / Aldgate East tube stations within the centre of London. A short walk away from any of these stations, the easily found location takes you out of the ordinary London as soon as you step into the building. 

A steampunk themed bar & restaurant which is open to anyone awaits you and is a perfect waiting area whilst you wait for your experience start. Watched by one of the Martian Fighting Machines, the bar is extremely detailed and immersive to the story with projection mapping, smoke effects & more that can be found during your time there. With a range of food & drinks available, this is a perfect place to come early or enjoy after your immersive experience to complete the feel and story even more so.

Prices are as expected for a nice bar & restaurant for London with it being a fairly fancy establishment. 

To check in for your time slot or to book for a time slot, you head over to the check in desk found to the right hand side of the entrance. Here they will confirm the next steps, give you a coloured wristband and a locker key to store all your lose luggage during your martian invasion experience.

Your experience begins when the martian fighting machine masterpiece releases smoke to the colour of your wristband. Your small group of around 12 people or less gather as you have a brief health & safety announcement.

You get to quickly introduce yourselves to the rest of the team you will be with during the experience before you then, enter the experience. 

The Experience when it begins lasts around 2 hours, a 20 minute break is included around half way through the experience and splits up the experience. It matches the two parts in the Jeff Wayne’s musical version of the production and breaks at the same time. This transitions well for anybody who has seen the live performance version in the past or soon to see the new live performance which is due to go live again soon. 

The music plays a key element within the immersive experience. This variation of the timeless novel is the one by Jeff Wayne, who created and conducted the music & production. This is perfectly demonstrated throughout this experience with key, well known soundtracks played in many of the 25 themed rooms you travel through. 

For the younger generation of people who would be visiting the experience, we weren’t sure if the music element would be to our taste however, it was catchy whilst immersing you into the story of the martians taking over the world. Each soundtrack progressed the story forward and you felt within the story thanks to the help of Jeff Wayne’s soundtracks. We were stunned to see this interlink heavily into everything else going on during our time there. 

This accompanied by the immersive sets you travel through. From the dark corridors, to a theatre, to the workshop. Each room is uniquely themed and periodically set to the end of the world martian invasion. Nothing was out of place and each room included stunning set pieces, virtual technology amongst other special effects which really put you in the middle of the story. This really was a combination of a London Dungeons styled attraction whilst mixing it with so much more. 

The experience is heavy in the layered immersive reality it talks heavily about in it’s advertising. Without this, the attraction would not be like it is in helping put you in the centre of the story. The main use is virtual reality and the multiple forms this comes in. This goes far beyond the use of just using headsets. They have integrated the use of headsets in different forms and embedded them within the story as seamlessly as possible. They have managed to create scenes which have taken other companies a long period of time to setup usually and turn this round in a whole group in seconds, including any technical errors which are still expected with this technology. One stand out point of this would be where you are required to more than just wear a headset and how they quickly they turn this around and put you into the virtual world and not take you out of the immersion. This was beyond clever!

Outside of the virtual reality, the use of other effects with help of the actors, set pieces and other tricks really come together. Pyrotechnics, surround sound, lighting and much more really create some outstanding scenes of laughter, fright and shock. The combination of these effects scattered about your martian adventure really helps break up from the virtual reality, especially for the guests who may feel more sick due to long periods in the virtual world. 

Being taken around by George Herbert amongst other key characters from the novel, this adds another layer in the depth of the story, taking the immersion to the next level with everything else going on. The atmospheric setting with all the elements combined, creates a world class experience like no other. The actors were perfectly played during our visit with comedy, suspense & dramatic monologues. 

Jeff Wayne’s The War of The World The Immersive Experience overall is London’s best & most spectacular experiences that would be difficult to compare or compete with. The use of the all of the elements with the timeless novel create a story you are immersed in and placed in the middle of. With the multiple different virtual reality elements, special effects, atmospheric sets & excellently played characters, you would find it extremely difficult not to be drawn into the martian invasion story. 

The experience is running in London with currently an unknown finishing date due to the current pandemic of Covid-19. We recommend you check through the website or social media for the latest information of the reopening of this attraction. Tickets start from £39.50 and with multiple different options included with drink & food deals, it is definitely worth considering. Pictures can be purchased to remember your experience at the end of the attraction and are taken within the experience, due to you not being able to so during your journey. We highly recommend you try out this experience and let us know your thoughts over on our social media! 

We would personally like to thank the martiantastic team at dotdotdot for inviting us to come and experience this attraction. They did offer us a free digital photo alongside a complimentary visit but have these have not affected the review. We look forward to the next story created by this talented team which is expected later in 2020 to the theme of Guy Fawkes. 

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