Review by LMiddleton

Reviewed: 07/31/04

The best game I've ever played

Hopefully the basic premise of Worms is understood by everyone reading this review, and it should since everyone from Little Jimmy to that slightly insane old dear that lives three doors down has probably dabbled in a big of worm "warplay" in the past. However, for anyone who was taken prisoner and holed up in a desolate cell somewhere beyond the solar system during the last decade, here's a brief synopsis.

Worms is a turn-based strategy games that puts you in control of a team of worms. Your mission is to obliterate the other team, using an arsenal made up of heavy weaponry. The winning team is the one who still has worms left at the end. Like so many games before it, Worms is incredibly easy to get the hang of yet unbelievably difficult to master.

Essentially, this is the same game we all loved and wasted our days away playing when the original was released. Of course, the biggest update is the complete overhaul the engine has undergone in order to evolve the series. Everything has been drawn in complete 3D, which gives the worms more freedom to battle it out across the landscape.

As for the weaponry, all of the old favourites return, including the shotgun, sheep and the humiliating prod. Keeping with tradition, most of the weapons function with humorous results. For instance, aim a bazooka at the face of an enemy worm and watch them squirm uncomfortably as they wait for a rocket in the mouth. Plant a stick of dynamite and watch the look of disbelief on their face as they raise their hands to their head. As you might expect in a game of this stature, there are many humorous touches to be uncovered.

The multiplayer mode remains the main attraction of the game, although that's not to say that effort has not been made to improve the single-player missions. For the most part, the new missions and challenges are a huge improvement over past efforts, although there are still times when frustration will ensue, resulting in a nasty joypad injury to anyone within close proximity. It's for this reason that most people will find the multiplayer mode, whether played against friends or the CPU, the most enjoyable area of the game.

This is what made Worms huge. There was nothing more fun than squeezing four of you around a keyboard, all taking control of your customised teams, ready to knock lumps out of each other on screen. And the fun is still there. You will laugh with your friends when a sheep strays away from the designated target, exploding and sending one of your own worms flying. There'll be cries of laughter when you indivertibly set off a mine while trying to reach that ever-so-tempting weapons crate, or when you miscalculate a ninja-rope jump and send your little squirmy friend plummeting to his watery grave.

For all of the game's good points though, there are a few annoying niggles that do hinder the enjoyment of this update. Navigating the landscape has become slightly harder since the evolution to 3D, and miscalculated jumps can lead to instantaneous death, which can be annoying and often costly in a big multiplayer game. Similarly, devices such as the ninja rope just aren't as effective anymore with the extra dimension, although with the jet pack and teleport providing a much-more effective service, this is only likely to upset fans of the device from the originals.

Yet despite these minor flaws, Worms is still one of the most enjoyable and fun games you can own. Sit and play by yourself and you'll have a good time. Get a few friends round and sit around the console or PC and you'll have a great one. The game may have lost a little of its charm in the update to 3D but it still remains as addictive as it was all those years ago.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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