Just about anyone who was gaming in the 90’s heard of Worms even if they weren’t playing it. It is the Monty Python of gaming, allowing you to fire a full arsenal of weapons such as explosive sheep, the Holy Hand Grenade (Hallelujah!) and the good old fashion prod while also letting you fly jet packs and shoot the infamous Ninja Rope. The Ninja Rope has become a strong contention in gaming over the years, some people have become addicted to it while others shudder at the sight of it launching. No matter how you feel about the rope though, Worms: Reloaded is a fun game with silly hats.
The atmosphere is silly and fun, just as you would expect from a Worms game. There is a general background fitting the level’s theme such as a blurry bulldozer behind a construction site you are battling over. Silly hats are abundant and lots of customization between styles of voice and phrases all make sure you know that though this is a battle game it is not meant to be taken seriously.
This has always been what Worms is famous for. The great arsenal of wacky weapons at your disposal makes it so that even when you find yourself taking damage you are laughing along with the action and looking forward to the carnage you will unleash. New weapons, hats and forts have been added to the game to once again step up the fun from the previous Worms. Time flies by as you launch Super Sheep, deploy the Holy Hand Grenade and send a bull tearing through the levels destroying all in it’s path. There is also the ever popular (or ever dreaded) Ninja Rope. If you master it you find yourself swinging across levels left and right and shooting it at every surface it will stick to. If you find you don’t have a knack for it most levels have given you enough alternative utilities to still get the job done. One of the few issues I found was some NPC worms never seem to miss. When firing weapons you have to consider your place on the map, angle and power of your weapon, terrain level and wind direction. All this has to be done while a timer runs down. Some NPCs just angle and fire using the wind perfectly every time so that a weapon will go streaking across the map and the wind will stop it just right and it will drop down perfectly on you. My first thought was that it was just on the harder modes but I saw it on lower ones as well. So to get around this I just made those NPCs my first targets then the levels played out nicely.
Single player game play modes feature Campaign which is the standard leveling setup and earns you gold after each level completed that can be saved up and used to buy extra weapons and levels, Body Count in which each time you wipe out an enemy worm a new one appears and weapons get dropped throughout the game to keep the killing spree going as long as you can and if you just want to get into a game and do some massive worm carnage, Warzone gives you a whole bunch of weapons, a whole bunch of enemies and lets you destroy everything in sight. Since the game is played through Steam there is also achievements, leadership boards and an excellent and excited online community complete with forums.
There are two main types of multiplayer modes, local and online. The online is supported by Steam and has a standard game lobby and finder system for up to four players which has it’s own achievements as well. The more interesting multiplayer game play is the local version which is a throw back to the old days of multiplay back before everyone had a computer. Hotseat is a term used to describe turn based game play where one player would have his turn at the game then give up his seat to the next player so they could take their turn in the ‘hot seat.’ Worms: Reloaded has revisited this type of play so that up to four players can play on the same account on the same computer by trading chairs, passing the laptop or handing over the gamepad. This lends itself to party gaming as well so that different people at the party can sit down and play a turn then go back to the partying.
Worms: Reloaded can be played on the keyboard or the gamepad controller and either way keys can be customized to the player’s taste. Most of your game involves just a few keys such as directional, jumping, weapon choice and firing. All this makes getting used to the controls as easy as choosing your own style. The only control problem I noticed was the double jump doesn’t seem as responsive as one might hope. After trying to assign it different keys and testing it on both the gamepad and the keyboard I just tried to avoid using it too much. The NPC uses it constantly which can be a bit frustrating when most of the time your use of it near a fall or water will get you killed. Much like the Ninja Rope there is usually a utility that can help get around the problem.
The graphics are cartoony and fun, each version of the game gets better graphics while maintaining the whimsical feel. There is even a Blur option in case you miss the old fuzzy television graphics, though the graphics are now in High Definition for the first time. The hats, a great favorite of heavy fans of the game, are rendered cleanly and there are over 70 varieties to choose from! The game sounds are clean and many remind you of something you would hear on the old Saturday morning cartoons. The worms’ voices are pop culture based and can be changed as you go, so you may hear some excellent Jedi advice one moment and a British voice talking about smoking barrels the next. Level and character customization give you an ever changing experience so that you don’t have to keep listening and seeing the same graphics the whole game. You can even import your own landscapes and design your own levels!
Worms: Reloaded isn’t designed as a single play time experience. The Campaign can be played over and over with different weapons and extra levels being purchased each time. Warzone, Body Count and multiplayer will be different every time as well due to how you and your opponent fight. Include the personal level designing opportunities and this can be a game players go back to regularly. There is even plans to have Easter Eggs added to the game throughout the year. So with all that considered $19.99 is a great price ($17.99 pre-order includes extra hats, forts and 24 hour early access).
Worms: Reloaded is good old silly fun. It can be challenging and hilarious, a quick play or a long gaming session, a solo play or a party game. Worms: Reloaded lives up to it’s predecessors and takes it to the next level. So get out there and start exploding sheep!
*DISCLOSURE: A copy of this game was sent to us for the purpose of this review.