by William Thompson
previewed on PC
Back to where it all began
Worms was a surprisingly simple formula back when it was first released in 1995. A turn based game where your team of slimy dirt dwellers squared off against another equally muddy team of worms in a battle for turf supremacy. Worms Revolution goes back to the early days, but continues the same entertaining formula as earlier games with the addition of a few new features.
Instead of 2D, this game has 3D rendered levels which add an improved touch to the settings and the worms themselves. The game is still played like a side-scroller, but the backgrounds have a certain amount of depth to them, with all sorts of action going on behind the main scene. Depending on the setting, you could have rats running around, crocodiles waiting for a delectable worm, or chickens pecking around for a snack. The cartoon visuals from previous games return, certainly enhancing the comedic nature of the game.
Cute, but devilishly mean
Although the visuals are bright and cheerful, looks matter little when it comes to a Worms game. Yes, it is nice to have some eye candy, but it is the gameplay that is the major drawcard. And from what we have seen from the preview build, Worms Revolution delivers. Once your worm is selected, simply move him into position, select the weapon of choice from a standard range of hilarious killing devices, and then fire away at the unsuspecting enemy worms. There are the old favourites such as sticks of dynamite, super sheep and the old granny, but new weapons have been added to the arsenal. Water pistols, for example will gradually wear down a worm over time.
One major difference from older Worms games is the introduction of character classes. Worms Revolution contains four character classes to select from. There is the standard worm – a jack of all trades, the Scout – fast and agile and able to leap as high, the Heavy – a slow moving plodder that can take a beating, and the Scientist – a worm that can build weapons such as sentry guns. Teams can be configured to have any combination of the classes, depending on your play style.
Keeping your worm whole
There are heaps of modes to play through. The single player campaign contains 32 levels contained over four areas. The opening few levels are primarily for beginners, giving an overview of the mechanics and controls. There are a number of new features added to the game that are also explained in the early levels. Many of the items and hazards scattered around the landscape can now be used to your advantage. Items such as puddles of water can be used to slowly drown enemy worms. Oil barrels can be exploded to rain a hail of fire down upon an enemy (or an allied worm should he wander too close for comfort).
Apart from the campaign mode, you can also complete the puzzle mode, a series of 20 challenges that require the gamer to complete a set task. Again, as is the case for the campaign mode, the challenges start easy and work their way up to fiendishly difficult.
Just between friends
If you want some human competition, there is a four-player local hotseat game. Of course, an AI team can also be selected to play against. Just be warned that the enemy AI is surprisingly good at targeting, no matter what level in which you choose to play. You can also jump online and find a match with players from around the globe. Multiplayer games (both online and local hotseat) have three variants – Deathmatch, Forts and Classic. Each has its own goals and will require differing strategies.
From the carton visuals, the comedic dialogue and the jocular designed weapons The hilarious nature of the Worms series continues with Worms Revolution, The worms have some funny one liners and they will berate you when you take too long to finish a turn. The dialogue of the gentlemanly British narrator (comedian Matt Berry) is even better. Loaded with silly puns and pop-culture references, there is something for everyone to giggle at.
Worms Revolution will appeal to existing fans of the Worms series as the developers have returned the worms to their muddy roots. Those Worms fans who were not happy with the switch to 3D in Worms Ultimate Mayhem, will certainly enjoy the return to the 2D challenge. From what we have seen in the preview build, the game also offers some fun for those who have yet to play a Worms game. The simplistic mechanics, the fun visuals and dialogue make Worms Revolution a great place to start your foray into the world of Worms. We certainly cannot wait to get our hands on the final product.