Worms Revolution Review
Worms Revolution is the latest entry in the Worms franchise, which began way back in 1995, and which has seen a new title roughly every year since. Surprisingly, despite all of the Worms games out there, Revolution is the first one that I’ve played (the closest I’ve come is an old artillery game called Pillbox, which I played on a TRS-80 many, many moons ago). As a result, if your goal is to see how Revolution differs from all of the other Worms games, or if it’s particularly better or worse than its predecessors, then this review might not help you very much. Instead, what I’m going to do is concentrate on what I experienced during my time with the game, and if I think it’s a worthwhile purchase.
Worms Revolution is a turn-based combat game. In its basic form, you start out with a team of four worms on a 2D map surrounded by water. The maps have hills and valleys and tunnels and caves (and sort of look like complicated ant farms), giving you lots of places to try and gain a tactical advantage over your opponents. Some parts of the map are made out of dirt, which can be vaporized by various attacks, and other parts are made out of stone, which can’t. Your goal then is to pummel, blow up, or drown the worms belonging to enemy teams until your worms are the only ones left standing (or slithering).
On each turn you have 60 seconds to move one of your worms and use a weapon to make an attack. The game comes with about 50 weapons, including bazookas, dynamite, baseball bats, water pistols, and of course exploding sheep. There are also utility weapons available like parachutes and rocket packs that allow you to move without ending your turn (if you jump somewhere and take damage, then your turn ends). You’re also given five seconds after making your attack to move your worm to safety, or at least as far away from the blast radius as possible.
Worms Revolution has something of a learning curve. You can change the trajectory of bazookas and grenades (the two base weapons in the game) by supplying force to them, and it takes a while to learn how much to push them to get the explosions where you want. On some maps you also have to deal with wind, which affects the trajectory as well. Besides that, it takes a while to learn the ins and outs of the various weapons, so you know how the weapons work and which ones are appropriate for different situations. Unfortunately, the game comes with little in the way of documentation and no practice area, so the only way to learn is to get your head beat in by opponents for a while, which isn’t something I’d classify as fun.
Helping to make the learning curve more bearable is the voice acting by Matt Berry, who plays “wildlife documenter” Don Keystone. Berry narrates the introduction to all of the single player missions, and, using a script by Dean Wilkinson, he always makes it clear that he doesn’t think much of you or your chances of winning. The introductions are sly and entertaining, and they work much better than the dialogue of the worms, whose lines are repeated so often (especially “do something!”) that they get annoying quickly.
New in Worms Revolution (according to the documentation), you now have four choices for your team of worms. You can stick with the standard soldier worm, which is average in everything, or you can use a scout, which is agile but delicate, a heavy soldier, which is powerful but slow, or a scientist, which helps to regenerate the health of your team each turn. You can also encounter reservoirs of water on the maps, and by releasing it, you might be able to drown your opponents or wash them off the map (which defeats them).
Along with the standard mode, which you can either play in single player or multiplayer, there is also a puzzle mode, which is single player only. In puzzle mode, you’re given one or two worms and a handful of weapons, and you’re tasked with defeating several enemy worms that aren’t allowed to attack you back. The missions in this mode usually have a trick (or three) to them, and they require some lateral thinking. I enjoyed this mode much more than the standard mode.
I spent about 15 hours with Worms Revolution, and while I didn’t especially enjoy it, I only played against computer opponents. I’m guessing that for the game to really shine, you have to play against similarly (in)competent human opponents. Given that it’s so easy to miss with your attacks and accidentally blow up your own worms, Worms Revolution might generate a lot of good-natured heckling and work pretty well as a party game. Or not. But for only $15, if the premise sounds fun, then there’s not much reason not to find out.
Reviewed By: Steven Carter
This review is based on the PC version of Worms Revolution provided by Team17.