This winter sees the release of the latest game in our long running Worms series, Worms: Battle Islands, on PSP available from PlayStation Store. Worms: Battle Islands marks the third time that the series has made an appearance on the PSP, and the game is packed with content and great new features, some of which I’ll be talking about in this post.
The first thing to say about the game is that at its core it’s the traditional 2D Worms experience. It’s a turn based game where players use a mix of strategy and skill to move their army of worms about a landscape, and attack one another with a range of funny weapons (exploding sheep, deadly bananas, fully automatic sub machine guns, etc.) until the last team standing are declared the winners. The physics are much more solid in this version and the game features a sizable inventory of forty different weapons and utilities, leading to more complex strategies and a more rewarding experience.
In this game the players can do battle in six different environments. Often in Worms games the game’s themes have taken a backseat to the gameplay, but in the previous PSP titles, the themes had scenes from wars at different stages of history, inspired partly by the number of first person shooters that had World War 2 as their setting at the time. During Worms: Battle Island’s development, the setting for these kinds of games shifted towards ‘modern’ conflicts, and again we were inspired by this, visually.
Worms: Battle Islands also features five multiplayer modes. Of course the classic way to play Worms is Deathmatch Mode, and that is backed up with the fan favourite Fort Mode. Introduced relatively recently to the series, the Racing Mode, which sees up to four players race their worms around a circuit-like map, also makes a return for this game.
Tactics Mode is where the game’s ‘Battle Islands’ name comes from. This new mode sees each player take possession of a secret island base. The player’s base has a number of smaller surrounding islands, each of which can be home to an item. These items allow you to implement a tactical plan before the game begins.
After these instructions are handed out, the round is played out like a standard round of Worms. If the player uses their abilities wisely, they should be able to lever an advantage, and when playing Tactics Mode online, the winning player gets to take something from their opponent’s island.
We included this new mode to add persistency, where there is something to play for and give some added meaning to the outcome of a match. In most cases, from one competitive match of Worms to the next, all the players are playing for enjoyment and perhaps a higher place on the leaderboard. When you play a Tactics Mode match your island, and by extension your achievements in the game, are at stake.
The game can be played by up to four players, either locally by sharing the same PSP, over a wireless ad-hoc network, or over the internet using an infrastructure network. The game has a lot of support for the latter option with a number of features such as leaderboards, friend lists, in-game messaging and downloadable content.
Hope this has got you excited about another round of Worms on PSP; we’ll be back on the PlayStation blog soon to talk about some of the customisation options in Worms: Battle Islands.