“Worms return to the PC with perhaps their best games in years.”
I’ve been a Worms fan for several years now. While I have not played every game in the series, I have played several and know Worms enough to judge whether or not a new game in the series is worth the attention of long time fans. So is Worms: Reloaded the long awaited successor to Worms Armageddon? Yes and no.
If you’re familiar with any of the Worms games, then I shouldn’t have to explain the gameplay. In fact, if you are reading this review, then you probably at least already know how Worms plays. Worms has always been about strategic turn-based wars starring cute and/or funny worms who are all loaded to the teeth with destructive weapons. Reloaded does not change this formula much, aside from adding a few new weapons and tweaking the physics slightly.
In Reloaded, I found the physics to be much more “realistic” than what I’ve found in previous Worms titles. Grenades and other thrown weapons do not bounce as well as they used to, usually grounding themselves as soon as they hit their mark. This makes some weapons, such as the cluster grenade, not as useful as before. Fortunately, the banana bomb is still as destructive as ever!
Reloaded introduces a few new weapons. Players will find ferrets, termites, worship totem, steal, invisibility, and mark of death. Ferrets are a bit like the sheep, only I find that it’s easier to direct them. Ferrets track across the terrain, climbing up and over places that the Worms cannot traverse and violently exploding once come into contact with a worm. Termites are a little interesting, as they seem to dig random tunnels wherever the player drops them. The worship item drops a totem that periodically heals the player while hurting the opposing team. Steal enables the player to simply steal a weapon from the enemy, which could be fairly useful in some situations. Invisibility makes your warms invisible to the opponents, which is a pretty clever technique. Finally, mark of death can be placed on any worm to increase the damage they take by leaps and bounds.
Controls are very responsive and easy to use. My only complaint is that the game does not seem to accept button mapping, for some odd reason. I tried to reassign my controls on my gamepad and keyboard, but they would not seem to stay. They could be reconfigured in the controls menu, but unless I am missing something, they reset to their defaults as soon as you exit the controls menu. There is no accept or confirm button on the controls menu, only a back button. As soon as you click on the button, the controls are reset. If I’m wrong about this, I would actually really like to be corrected. Leave a comment if I got this wrong.
In terms of game content, everything you’d expect to see in the game is present, along with some nice extras. The single player experience has a few campaigns which present you with puzzle levels and other such things. I didn’t particularly enjoy the campaign mode much, feeling that the gameplay was too bland and restricted. The custom and quick game options return of course, as well as online play.
There is also a shop, where you can purchase new items and customization options using a currency that you receive by completing single player campaign missions. On top of this, there is also a level editor. It’s fairly primitive and doesn’t allow you to do a great deal, but it’s always fun to play on your own self-made landscape.
Reloaded features some nice customization options. As usual, you are allowed to make a team of worms, name them, and assign voices to them. There is a bit more customization this time around however with the ability to set skin colour as well as choose a head piece for your words to wear. Predator helmets, caps, amusing hairstyles and foods are just some of the things that you can stick on the heads of your worms, and allowing you to customize your worms that little bit more adds a good dosage of fun and immersion to the game.
The visuals are cute and simple, which is typical of Worms games. The graphics will not win any awards or turn any heads due to their simplicity, but the overall graphical style is fairly pleasant and it is hard not to enjoy watching the worms squirm and wiggle around the levels. It is difficult for me to say the same about the game’s music, however. While ingame music that plays on the maps isn’t too bad, I was just turned off by the main menu music. Previous Worms games had happy theme songs and such, but Reloaded takes a different approach by having a fairly brooding theme play on the main menu which sounds quite out of place.
Overall, Worms: Reloaded is a pretty enjoyable game. It is your typical Worms experience, so if you’re a fan of Worms then you should probably like Reloaded. This is probably one of the better Worms games that I have played. It’s certainly better than the recent console adaptations, and is perhaps even better than Armageddon. There are a few things I don’t like however, such as the “sticky” physics and inability to change my controls. Aside from those two minor complaints, Reloaded is quite fun and I encourage all Worms fans to give it a try. It can be downloaded off of Steam for about $20.