If you ever thought that the classic Worms series should go bigger, it would appear that you are not alone. Team Jolly Roger, developers behind Worbital, is bringing planet-sized destruction on a scale yet unseen.
Instead of cutesy creatures trying to take each other out, Worbital ups the ante by putting you in charge of an entire planet. Armed with gargantuan weapons, your objective is to obliterate the opposing faction’s planets, and expose their core for sweet destruction.
While there is a main campaign that has something loosely akin to a plot, the main meat of Worbital remains in the interplanetary artillery warfare.
In about 8 hours, the game does a decent enough job in educating players on the various intricacies of its systems, from building up your economy to constructing weapons. It is all quite intuitive for new players to pick up the ropes.
Weapons range from accurate lasers to powerful railguns, while shield defences can protect you in a pinch. Much more awaits as you unlock more advanced tiers, and the twist is that shifting gravity affects almost every projectile.
As planets orbit on a fixed path, the battlefield changes regularly as asteroids and other obstacles can often block your otherwise perfectly timed shot. The physics system involved is quite awesome to witness, and the pure joy of getting a solid hit due to gravitational pull is undeniable. Then again, missing your targets can get downright frustrating as well.
Worbital can get quite messy as you continually juggle between offence, defence, and accumulating wealth. The pressure is magnified as the amount of opposing planets increase, and the delicate balance between meaningful offence and defence can often be hard to manage.
You can tilt things in your favour through an astute choice of faction, each with their own unique equipment and abilities that will complement your play style. The colonizing mechanic also allows players to expand their control, adding new planets to your arsenal.
You can do more with such new additions, but it also adds to the chaos of micromanaging.
Of course, playing against the A.I is vastly different from multiplayer against fellow humans. Split-screen multiplayer is hectic fun, and online multiplayer is a blast when you have enough players.
Trying to outfox other humans is often the pinnacle of multiplayer, and it is no exception here as warning shots soon turn into accurate destruction in a race to end each other. The premise is simple, but there remain depth and strategy that is enjoyable from start to finish.
Visually, Worbital’s cartoonish aesthetic for the various characters can be hit or miss, but there is no denying how beautiful the game makes destruction look. Destruction is suitably colourful and pretty, and every core destruction is a treat for the eyes.
Worbital has a great concept and runs with it, with a decent enough campaign that sets players up nicely for competitive play. However, with a small player base, trying to find a game can be difficult, which is a pity considering how much fun it can be. Thankfully, split-screen multiplayer ensure planetary destruction is but a gamepad away.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
Great concept, awesome execution, all Worbital lacks is enough players to enjoy the joys of space destruction.
Gameplay - 8/10
Story - 6/10
Presentation - 7/10
Value - 7/10