The latest entry in the long-running Worms series further refines the 15-year-old formula and is one of the best yet.
- Improves upon already-excellent Worms gameplay with smart additions
- Huge and varied arsenal of weapons
- Multiplayer is loads of fun, both locally and online
- Great value for money.
- Enemy AI is superhuman or stupid, with not enough options in between
- No easy way to share custom landscapes online
- Voice samples aren't funny for long, and grate after a while.
The Worms conflict has been raging for so long at this point that nobody can remember why it started or who fired the first shot. It's well documented that hostilities broke out some 15 years ago and that countless annelids have lost and continue to lose their lives, but why do they fight? No borders are being contested, no dictators have been overthrown, and there's no evidence to suggest that oil profits have anything to do with it. The answer then is perhaps that these worms fight for the very same reason that we continue to finance their war machines through game purchases: because it's fun. Worms was fun in 1995, Worms 2 was better in 1997, and despite a few missteps in the numerous iterations between then and now, Worms Reloaded is a blast in 2010. You don't need this game if you already have last year's near-identical Worms 2: Armageddon on the Xbox 360, but if you missed out on that one, this is most definitely a war worth waging.
Outside of some huge and occasionally humorous developments in weapon technology, worm warfare hasn't changed a whole lot over the years. Teams of up to four worms are still dropped into randomly generated, completely destructible 2D environments; battles are still turn-based; and the victor is still whichever team has the last worm standing. You control only one worm at a time, and typically each timed turn involves moving said combatant into a good position from which to launch an attack and then retreating to a position of relative safety to make the enemy's inevitable retaliation difficult. There are almost 50 weapons and gadgets in the Worms Reloaded arsenal, and while that number might seem daunting if you're a newcomer to the series, there's really nothing complicated at all about their use. The controls for both movement and weapon use could hardly be simpler, and a thorough "How to Play" option offers text descriptions of practically every aspect of the game, including the uses of individual weapons and gadgets.
If you're a Worms veteran, you'll likely find that much of the Reloaded arsenal is familiar, and you might lament the lack of favorite weapons from previous games, such as the old woman, the mad cow, the skunk, and the mole squadron. Despite some notable omissions, though, Worms Reloaded features one of the best and most well-rounded arsenals to appear in the series to date. The only weapons that you have an infinite supply of are grenades and bazookas, which aren't particularly powerful and require some skill to use effectively. Grenades can be tricky because not only do you have to get the strength and trajectory of your throw right, but you also need to set the fuses on them for one to five seconds. Bazookas, on the other hand, are challenging because their trajectories are affected by the wind, which changes direction and/or speed every turn. Most of the significantly more powerful weapons are much easier to use than these two, but the flip side is that they're generally available only in very limited numbers and, in most gameplay modes, must be collected from crates that are airdropped onto the battlefield.
The 14 new weapons (assuming you haven't played Worms 2: Armageddon already) include ferrets that actively seek out enemy worms hiding in underground tunnels, a sentry gun that stays in the world until it's destroyed and automatically targets any enemy that strays too close to it, and a totem that slowly leeches life from enemies while healing friendlies, to name but a few. Plenty of classic weapons can still be found in the arsenal as well, and the result is that no enemy worm is every truly out of reach. If enemies try to hide underground, for example, you might be able to drop a bunker buster or a concrete donkey on top of them or, depending on where you are in relation to the targets, reach them with a well-placed buffalo of lies or a skillfully steered super sheep. Thankfully the most powerful weapons in the game all have cooldowns associated with them, so there's no danger of everyone just spamming them as soon as a battle gets under way.
- Player Reviews: 23
- Game Universe:
- Worms Armageddon (PC, DC, N64, PS, GBC, MAC),
- Worms World Party (DC, PC, GBA, PS, NGE, GIZ),
- Worms Blast (PS2, PC, GC, GBA, MAC),
- Worms 3D (PC, PS2, XBOX, GC, MAC),
- Worms (PC, GB, AMI, MAC, SNES, PS, SAT, GEN, CD32),
- Worms Forts: Under Siege (PC, XBOX, PS2),
- Worms 4: Mayhem (PC, XBOX, PS2),
- Worms: Open Warfare (PSP, DS),
- Worms: Open Warfare 2 (DS, PSP),
- Worms: Battle Islands (PSP, WII)