Worbital (PC) Review

By Eric Ace 21.03.2019

Review for Worbital on PC

Worbital is based on 'artillery' style games that were very popular over fifteen years ago; games made very popular by Scorched Earth and Worms. In the early '00s, these became very successful, as early internet videogames by necessity had to be simple, and the gameplay of selecting shots to try to attack the other player was simple and fun. In here the action takes place over an entire solar system, as players launch varied weapons at the other planets trying to be the last person alive.

Worbital feels like a rollercoaster in its experience, starting good, taking a bad turn, and ending up okay in the end. At the beginning, it is a wonderful experience seeing a modern take on artillery-style games, only one taking place in a solar system. Launching simple shots, watching them swing around planets and hit is fun. Then this takes a negative turn as some familiarity starts to give way to how frustrating certain aspects can be, such as the way damage works, or the AI. This is a rough patch that it is tempting to abandon the game, but hanging in long enough on the other side is some fun that is worth checking out.

Though the gameplay is simple to explain, there is enough depth here that deserves doing so. The beginning of a match has you starting with an empty planet, with eight slots on it, and the game progressing along in real-time. You can put any of a varied weapon set into one of these slots. The slots matter as they determine the firing angle, which is very important for weapons. Now, the weapons slowly charge up, and when they are ready to fire, you select angle and firing power, with a rough guide on where they will go. Here is the root of the gameplay, as players must quickly calculate where to fire, as there are upwards of eight weapons they must be firing at all times, trying to figure out where to fire, and making sure they aren't killed themselves.

Screenshot for Worbital on PC

Things can get frantic, which can be a fun part, but also skirts along where the weakness of the game lies. Damage is done in a very weird way - ultimately the planet is slowly blown away until a core is exposed, and with enough damage it will blow up, and the player will then be out. However, if there is a building above, it usually takes most of the damage, and depending on the angle, a planet ultimately has eight zones it can be attacked at. Typically, the buildings will absorb all damage, but a string of direct hits can do critical damage. Much like the far worse Interplanetary: Enhanced Edition luck plays a role that is too big to ignore.

As you take damage, buildings become damaged, and you can repair them if you click the right button, and these repair fairly fast. As long as there is a building there, the planet is largely not damaged. However, if a spot is empty, the damage hurts the planet, and if they are open big weapons can easily blow into the core. There is very little notification that of the multitude of attacks raining down when one of them is actually serious. It happens very frequently that everything is moving along smoothly, only when a random critical hit suddenly kills half the planet and core damage starts accumulating. There is a very strong drop off between all buildings being functional and suddenly something going wrong and everything failing.

One thing pleasantly surprising is the story. It's not particularly long, and it plays out in some short dialogues between the different factions of the solar system that are running out of resources. There is a three-way campaign for whom to follow. Picking the "evil/logical" guy who decides the most efficient way to save the race was to kill everyone else first was a surprisingly dark and intriguing plot for ultimately how simple and short it was. A fun addition is that each faction gets different weapons. As players continue in the game, they can spend points to unlock specific weapons for the faction to bring into battle. It is a good customisation, and makes everything feel more involved. One can face off with widely different loadouts of weapons or passive buildings.

Screenshot for Worbital on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Despite some balance issues, and problems of the game running away from the player very easily, there's actually some good, basic fun here. Playing different factions, trying different weapons, and ultimately, simply trying to be the last person in the solar system is fun. With a friend or two, multiplayer can be a fun romp, and the campaign was oddly alluring despite its ultimately simple premise.

Developer

Team Jolly Roger

Publisher

Team Jolly Roger

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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