Craig gave me worms. That’s the last time I let him cook me pork.
To apologise he then gave me a review copy of Worms Reloaded.
So, it’s Worms. As it was, is and ever shall be, until God descends from his palm tree palace in the sky, riding a rainbow unicorn and demands that Team 17 stop, stop – for the love of Me, stop!
It’s Worms. It’s good, though. But that’s cus it’s Worms. It’s Worms. Worms.
Worms Reloaded is essentially all the Worms games (the 2D ones) mulched together and fed into steamworks.
It has new features like HD backgrounds, a Forts game mode and loads of customisable bits for your worm team with the obligatory selection of hats to satisfy the frothing, hat obsessed PC gaming masses.
New weapons include magnets which repel or attract metal things like grenades, a Buffalo of Lies which is lots of explodey buffalo and the sentry gun. Plonk down a sentry gun and any enemy worm that moves within its line of sight gets blasted to pieces. So, put it next to an opponent’s worm and all they can really do is teleport away – if they move an inch they’ll be bullet riddled and lose their turn. It’s a little bit game breaking and something that’ll probably be switched off in most multiplayer games anyway.
The additions certainly make the game prettier and mainly more fun, but then it’s Worms. You’ve played this game a hundred times before right?
There’s a campaign and a few different modes to play in single player, rewarding money to unlock things in the shop, but whatever thematic variation – unless it’s a jet-pack or ninja rope challenge – it’s all just worms blowing each other up with silly weapons. Because that’s all it is, Worms. The AI remains as it always has: obscenely bad. They’re either comically excuse-me-while-I-shotgun-this-explosive-barrel-I’m-standing-right-next-to inept, or land-a-grenade-at-your-feet-from-seven-kilometres Newtonian physics professors. This makes you wonder what the appeal of all those single player elements will be.
The fort mode – each team has a fort, they fight each other from it. There was something about the dead whale impaled by a submarine that made me think: “Yes, this is the perfect fort for Team GD.
The multiplayer will probably be the main draw for those still interested in playing Worms and the steamworks integration is suitably flawless. It’s easy to lambaste Team 17 for bundling Worms into yet another package and flogging it at above-retro pricing, but I sometimes wish more developers would open the trunk of their back catalogue and dust off some of the gems that rest within for use on such modern and technically sustainable platforms as Steam. For example Gaming Daily have been trying to get a coop game of Hidden and Dangerous 2 going which, we’ve discovered, is more or less impossible using anything newer than Windows XP – I’d love to see this awesome franchise supported by steamworks, as I would many other legacy titles. In this regard at least, take note of Team 17 – we know we’ll always be able to play Worms.
It’s a paradoxical criticism but: it’s Worms. It’s a good game, but it’s a game that was out in 1998. You’ll have played it before, now you can play it forever more. It’s Worms.