Worbital is a real-time artillery game set in a star system where you fight planets with planets. Literally. The studio behind this unique title is Team Jolly Roger which is based in Finland. Our review of Worbital is for the PC version. Although a console release is planned for later this year. Let’s dive deep into Worbital and see how it is absolutely unique in its concept.
In Worbital, you will have your own planet on which you can build giant guns and then use them to destroy your enemy’s planet. They could be a single enemy or could be multiple enemies as well. When you start Worbital, the game launches a brief tutorial for you which we seriously recommend as it explains everything to get you up to speed with the game mechanics.
Each planet you control has different sectors or slots in simple words. You can build different weapons which you pick from three different tiers. Tier III weapons are cheapest and they deal lower damage. As you move up the tiers to Tier II or Tier I, the weapons are absolutely insane but they cost too much.
You can also build different utility structures on your planets as well such as refineries will give you a constant supply of in-game currency which can be used to purchase more guns but it means that you will be sacrificing one slot where you could have built a weapon instead. Although it sounds simple, Worbital is not very simple to play.
You will need to micro-manage different things and keep a lot of options in your perspective such as do you want more guns or building refineries and sacrificing slots for guns. You will need to decide in each scenario accordingly. We saw that sometimes building refineries instead of guns is more helpful.
The in-game currency is called Dark Matter which is used to purchase new weapons, upgrade existing ones or even boost your weapons which are already built. You gain Dark Matter by destroying planets, hitting planets, hitting inhabited planets and even when you get hit yourself. Once you have enough, you can decide where you want to spend it.
You will need to manage your currency as well because it is not unlimited. Decide whether you want to upgrade existing ones or build new weapons. Each decision will have an impact on the battle against your opponents. Most of the time if your structure survives long enough, it will level up on its own once if earns enough upgrade points.
Each battle in Worbital takes place in a star system. There is your planet, enemy planets and other inhabited planets in the star system as well. Each planet revolves in its own orbit around the star so it means that each planet has gravity as well which can affect your shots in the battles. Depending on your weapon, you will need to set the angle and velocity of the shot.
Some weapons cannot be aimed manually like lasers but the most common ones can be like the railguns. You will need to choose an angle and velocity of the shot before firing it. An on-screen trajectory will help you determine how your shot will travel in space. You will need to check your own planet’s gravity and any other planet’s gravity in the way as well because they will affect the path of your shot.
After shooting, each weapon requires time to load again during which it cannot be fired again. Weapons which require precise shooting such as lasers must be fired when the enemy planet is right in front of them otherwise they will be useless. Some weapons are also very close range as they help you destroy enemy projectiles rather than destroying planets. You must think before choosing weapons about how good they will do you in the battles.
The game also features some extremely powerful weapons such as the World Rammers or Nuclear Missiles which not only deal exceptional amounts of damage to the planets but the whole star system. World Rammers have the ability to ram planets out of their orbit causing them to hit other planets or even the star to cause absolute chaos in the whole star system. Destroy a star and the whole battle changes drastically.
To destroy enemy planets, you must hit them enough so that the planet’s soil is destroyed and their inner core is revealed. Once the core is revealed, you must hit the core enough times to destroy a planet. You get the option to repair your structures which costs you Dark Matter but it helps you preserve your planet and increase its life.
You can also launch colonizers and settle on inhabited planets if your current planet is in a bad shape. This is an excellent mechanic because if your current planet is unable to survive, you can launch a probe and choose another planet. You can do this while your current planet is in a good shape as well to increase your arsenal in the star system.
Each planet only gives you a limited amount of slots to build and some of them cannot be used all the time as well. Just like the planet revolves around the star in its orbit, it also revolves around its own axis which means that a gun which is at the back of the planet will not be able to shoot until it comes back to the front of the enemy planet is on the opposite side.
The graphics of Worbital really do justice to the game. The level detail is beautiful and the explosions are also very pretty to look at. Exploding a planet sends its pieces hitting into other planets which gives a very nice feel and adds to the special effects of the game. If you zoom out completely on the map, you can view the entire star system in its glory.
At this point, the most helpful feature is a little zoomed in picture of your planet in the top left side of the screen which gives you all details of your planet. You can build weapons, manage them, repair them and even fire them using this mini zoomed in screen. This comes exceptionally handy when you are fully zoomed out and your planet is a tiny spec in the star system.
Worbital comes with its own narrative-driven campaign with three different factions. Each faction is unique and they have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. You have Celestials which are innovative and quirky. You have Lucid which prefer attacking rather talking and their attacks are much harder.
The last faction is the game is Terrene which we used most of the time and the reason why we used Terrene is that they are the most balanced faction in the game. They have decent attack and defense and they also have simpler weapons which means they are easier to play with if you are new to the game.
The story works in an order and you must complete previous missions to unlock new ones. There is not much depth to the story however it is still a nice addition to the game and shows the fact that the developers did not miss any vital component of a video game. Although there are no proper cutscenes in the main story, there is enough text-based conversation based narrative to keep you updated about what is going on in the game.
Apart from the campaign, Worbital also has local multiplayer, online multiplayer and practice modes. The online and local multiplayer is both simple and hassle-free. We tried local multiplayer during our review phase and it worked like a charm. However, you must have game controllers to play on the same screen.
Multiplayer gives this game a long life even after you have beaten the main campaign and a few AI matches. We recommend that after you have grasped the main mechanics of the game, jump into multiplayer. You will really hone your skills when you are playing versus other players rather than the AI. If you jump into practice, there are different fun mods to explore there as well.
Worbital also offers you visual customizations for your character and planet. Based on the faction you choose, you can always change your faction at any time in the game, you have different character customizations. To do so, head to the Battle Kit in the main menu if you want to change the appearance of your character, planet or choose emotes for online.
Remember that these are only visual customizations and they do not offer any benefit in the battles. You can choose the soil of your planet, it’s design colors while with the character you have the option to change the color and design of their visor, helmet, dress, hair and more such visual items. You can also pick different emotes to taunt your enemies or make fun of them as their planet is blown into a billion pieces.
One thing we would like to mention before wrapping up the review is that the battles are pretty long. Worbital is a very good game but it is not something you would play in your 10-minute office break. Each battle in Worbital can take a long time to complete so it is a game best played when you have around an hour of free time to truly enjoy it. You cannot rush play Worbital.
Worbital is an excellent game and it comes with a brand new concept with its huge interplanetary artillery bombardment gameplay. It offers a great gameplay, combined with good visuals, sound design and much replaybility specially online with your friends. At $19.99, Worbital offers hours of fun gameplay. Why kill them personally in any other game when you can blow up their whole planet in Worbital?
Final Score 8.5/10