Game Review: Worms Reloaded
Release: 26th August
Genre: Turn based combat
Developer: Team 17
Available Platforms: PC (Steam)
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+
Worms is one of the longest running series on any platform, in fact the first Worms game was released back in 1995 on the Amiga (kids ask your parents what an Amiga was). Since then we’ve seen at least 20 different versions released across most platforms but the basic gameplay has stayed more or less the same. Worms dipped its toe in 3D in 2003 but true fans have always preferred the original 2D playing field and Worms Reloaded once again sticks to its 2D roots. To say that the game is essentially a port of Worms 2: Armageddon that was released on the Xbox360 with some extra features, does not not give Worms Reloaded enough credit.
Since Worms have been around for such a long time it would be easy to assume that everyone has played at least one version but just in case you have no idea what the gameplay is all about here is a general overview.
You control a team of worms (usually a team of 4) and you take turns against opposing teams of Worms to blow each other up using weapons that go from standard (bazooka) to wacky (Holy hand Grenade) . Each Worm has a lifeforce that reduces as they are hit with the explosions or gunfire. You usually have 60 seconds to take your turn which ends when you fire the weapon of your choice. Before firing the weapons the Worm can move left, right or jump to move into a better strategic position. They can also use jetpacks, ninja ropes or teleports. To add a personal touch to proceedings, you can name your Worms and choose their voices which add a comical element to each level. Worms Reloaded doesn’t stray too much from this tried and tested formula and fans of the series will feel right at home from the first level, while new players have the option of playing through a brief yet sufficient tutorial.
There are over 45 different weapons to choose from in Worms Reloaded although the more powerful ones are usually only available after a number of turns have passed. Selecting a weapon is a simple matter of clicking the right mouse button to bring up the weapon selection screen, left clicking to select and then pressing the spacebar to fire. You use the arrow keys to move or aim and if firing a long range weapon, you may have to take the wind speed and direction into account.
Worms Reloaded offers many different multiplayer game types to keep players interested. If playing against AI, the standard deathmatch mode comes with three difficulty settings, beginner, standard and pro so if you are finding it all too easy, simply crank it up a notch. Other gameplay modes include Fort, Rope-Racing, Crazy Crates, & Bazookas and Grenades. Fort sets two teams up in their own fort which is separated by a stretch of water. Your worms cannot swim so you are forced to use long range weaponry for this mode. Rope-Racing puts your rope swinging skills to the test, Crazy Crates also uses ropes a lot while you move around the level to collect the various crates dotted all over the place. Finally Bazookas and Grenades mode only has bazookas and grenades as available weapons.
The single player campaign has 35 levels which are varied between straight-up death matches to challenges that mean you will have to engage your brain in order to progress. Complete these and you will be presented with Warzone mode, which takes the total number of levels up to 65. One of my favourite single player mode is Body Count in which you have a single Worms taking on team after team of Worms until you die. It’s like a turn based single player version of Gears Of War’s Horde mode.
Earlier in the review I mentioned how you can customize your Worms by giving them individual names but this is only the tip of customization iceberg. You can also choose their costumes, tweak just about every setting for the levels and there is even a full blown level creator included for budding level designers.
The graphics are sharp, cartoony and generally pleasing to the eye. When I think about the original Worms, this is how I remember it in my minds eye, although the reality is that the graphics back in 1995 were nowhere near the standard set by Worms Reloaded.
The sound is where this game excels. From the many different dialects your can have for your worms including the phrases they use throughout the game, to the sounds of each weapon, the sound is excellent. For some, the constant chatter of the Worms may annoy over time but the game is amusing and some of the phrases are a joy to hear.
The gameplay is so simple, yet it can be very tactical and there is the feeling of just one more go when you complete a game each time.
Mark’s Final Say: If you are a fan of Worms, you owe it to yourself to pick this up as it’s the definitive version. Very good graphics, loads of gameplay modes and online leaderboards. On the other hand, if you’ve yet to play a Worms game then it’s not a straight forward decision to buy this game or not. It’s a good fun multiplayer game (local and online), but if the idea of turn based combat does not appeal to you then my advice would be to stay away. You, however, will be missing out on one of the gems of classic gaming on the PC.