Guest Author - James Shea
An updated and upgraded version of the classic artillery game "Worms Armageddon", Worms Reloaded features more of the same madcap humor and skill-rewarding gameplay that characterized its predecessors.
"Worms Reloaded" is a 2d turn-based artillery game for 2 to 4 players (though single-player also exists in the form of AI opponents and timed challenges). Each player controls a team of 4 worms, and play proceeds with one worm per team on every turn (i.e. a worm from red team goes, then a worm from blue team goes, then a worm from green team, and so on). The goal of the game is to eliminate all of your opponents' worms without being eliminated yourself, and in order to accomplish this task you are given many tools. These tools range from benign (teleporters, construction tools, grappling hooks) to destructive (bazookas, grenades, sticks of dynamite). The game features physics and destructible terrain, so each attack can result in a chain reaction of launched worms and explosions.
The new features of "Worms Reloaded" include a smooth, cartoonish graphical style, new gadgets and weapons, and more customization for the worms themselves in the form of different hats. The new weapons are fairly inventive and fit into the cartoonish and volatile nature of the Worms series. These include the "Buffalo of Lies", which charges forward, causing an explosion whenever it comes into contact with something, the "Termites", which dig random tunnels through a stage, and the "Sentry Gun", which fires at any moving enemies nearby. The new weapons feel like more than just gimmicks - they're items that help to change the nature of the game.
Worms Reloaded is a game that's fairly easy to pick up, but very VERY difficult to master. Being a game that's fundamentally about physics, it rewards players who can make difficult shots based on wind conditions and angle, and tends to punish those who can't (at least in a competitive sense). Hence, it's a game best played with someone who's near to you in skill; there are very few "handicaps". Yet at the same time this high level of skill involvement (combined with a healthy dose of random mayhem) means that it's a fun game to play or even watch, simply in appreciation of particularly good shots or chain reactions. If you go into it without really caring about losing, then it's unequivocally a fun, exciting game. It can even be played with a single computer; players simply use the keyboard whenever it's their turn, rather than each player having their own controller.
Overall, Worms Reloaded is definitely a fun and exciting game, but the main problem is its $20 pricetag. It's a great game, sure, but for a formula that's over a decade old, with some minor upgrades and new gadgets, it just seems like too much. Yet if you DO decide to pick it up anyways, Worms Reloaded offers a fun and frantic gaming experience.
We purchased this game with our own funds in order to do this review.