On Tuesday, November 23rd, Worms: Battle Islands will hit PSP as a PSN download, and the game is packed with great new features. At its core, it’s a traditional 2D Worms experience: 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 and surreal weapons, until the last team standing are declared the winners.
In Worms: Battle Islands, players can do battle across six distinctive environments: Nuclear, Desert, Underwater, Jungle, Chemical Plant, and Arctic (the game has a “modern conflict” theme.) There are new customization categories such as masks and backpacks, and over a hundred different items with which the player can leave their personal mark on their worms.
Multiplayer lies at the heart of the Worms franchise, and Battle Islands supports five different modes. The classic way to play Worms is Deathmatch, and is backed up with the fan-favorite 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, and Triathlon Mode sees two players battle to be the best over three rounds.
But the brand-new Tactics Mode is what makes this game unique, and is where the “Battle Islands” name comes from. Each player takes possession of a secret island base surrounded by a number of smaller islands, each of which can be home to an item. These items allow you to implement a tactical plan before the game begins. 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, so the game means more because something is 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.
There are also over 70 single-player challenges split over the three modes: Campaign, Puzzle and the PSP-exclusive Time Attack mode. We’ve also added two new editor modes. With the Landscape Editor, the player can draw their own maps with a number of easy-to-use paint package-like tools, texture them, place items such as Sentry Guns and Land Mines, then use the maps for multiplayer matches. The player can even create their own Worms weaponry! When the player first visits the Weapon Factory they’ll find their options limited, but can unlock more functionality by collecting the blueprints scattered throughout the Campaign missions. The more blueprints there are in the player’s possession the more varied the weapons that they’re able to create.
I really hope you enjoy the game, and maybe I’ll see one or two of you online. Good luck! Worms: Battle Islands PSP is to be released digitally in the US from PlayStation Network on Tuesday, November 23rd for $24.99.