Worms Reloaded gives gamers a ton of modes to choose from in both single- and multiplayer flavors. Lone gamers can launch training, quick skirmish matches, or partake in a 35+ mission campaign mode. The training mode will introduce players to the concept and methods behind the Worms series; you will traverse through a series of challenges which are all meant to show gamers the ropes regarding the various control techniques and tools offered in the game. The mission mode spans across various environments and mixes classic Worm battles with puzzle stages in order to add a little variety to the experience. The standard stages involve classic Worms’ battle-gameplay, but the puzzle stages require players to put their knowledge and skills with the weapons and tools to traverse through stages to a predetermined exit point. Usually this will involve you showing your expertise with the jetpack, rope, and parachute while avoiding turrets and other environmental hazards. You will need to complete the single player campaign in order to gain access to a majority of the game’s 47 weapons (14 of which are completely new to the series); the rest will need to be purchased from the game’s shop mode, which will be explained later.
The beauty of Worms exists in its multiplayer though and Reloaded has plenty of variety to offer in that department. Aside from the standard online and local skirmishes, Reloaded allows players to participate in ranked matches through a matchmaking service controlled by the Steam network. The game also includes leaderboard support to promote the multiplayer aspect of the game, tracking benchmarks and records for all of the various modes in the Reloaded community. Unfortunately, the game will only allow up to 4 players to battle it out in the game; it would have pleased a lot of fans had Team 17 included support for more players, even if it was bumped up to just 6. The 4 player multiplayer works well though and keeps a decent pace that stops the game from getting boring. I would imagine that more players would cause a lot of downtime for players while they wait their turn in a battle. Since the gameplay is all turn based, players are left waiting for their opponent’s to complete their turns in roughly 45 second intervals… that could get unbearable with 8 or more players. Perhaps Team 17 knows what is best for us all and has stuck with 4 player support for that reason alone.
Any Worms fan will tell you that half of the fun with the game is making it your own; Worms is all about customization. The games have always allowed you to take complete control of almost every aspect of your Worm team as I mentioned above with the selectable speech banks. In addition to the voice options, you will need to name your individual Worms and team(s), select your team’s fort design, gravestone, and hat which will sort of serve as your team “uniform”. You start off with a ton of options in each of these categories but even more are accessible through the game’s shop mode. Regardless of the mode that you choose to play, you are given a chance to earn coins which can be spent in the shop to unlock more weapons, landscapes, forts, gravestones, and missions. The choices offered in Worms Reloaded are the most diverse and expansive ever included in the series. There is a ton to unlock and choose from, as well as opportunities to design your own.
While a staple in the series has been player’s ability to create and customize their own speech packs, Reloaded now allows players to design their own stages as well. The options available to design your own stage are simple yet extremely flexible. Stages can be drawn by hand using your computer mouse and mapped out accordingly with environmental hazards and spawn points. All of this can be done in a matter of seconds and shared with other players throughout the Reloaded community (through the forums or the official Facebook page). More customization options are said to be coming to the game in the future as well. Team 17 is also planning to throw out various “Easter Eggs” into the game as the year(s) go on, though the details are being kept quiet at this time. More than likely, this will include seasonal additions in reference to National holidays such as Santa Hats or holiday themed landscapes.
As good as the package is it does have its drawbacks. My main complaint is that the control options of the game are feeling a little bit dated. Very little has changed since the game’s original launch back in 1995 and players are still required to use the keyboard for a majority of the game’s interface. The game does support USB gamepads, but you still have to navigate through the various item / weapon screens and line things up one step at a time. One begins to wonder when Team 17 will opt for total mouse control which may allow gamers to do more than one step at a time such as aiming and setting the power of your shots. While this control method works well for the gameplay style, it is beginning to show its age and one cannot help but wonder if it is time for a control evolution for the series. Perhaps that is the next step in the evolution of worms and something that we will see with Team 17’s next offering.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
Worms Reloaded is a love letter to the fans of the series from Team 17. The title is basically everything that is good from each of the previous iterations of the title with a fresh coat of paint and a few new features. The core design and charm of the game is the same as it was 15 years ago when the series first launched, which is where a majority of its charm lies. If you loved the series at any time in the past, you will no doubt love this version. While this may turn off some people, who were expecting more from a new title, those who appreciate the game’s core will fall in love with the series all over again. If there is one Worms title to have, this is it…
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