Friends: "Hey, are you playing Worms 2?"
Me: "No no, I'm playing Worms Armageddon. I guess you could
call it Worms 3."
Friends: "Oh, it sure looks like Worms 2..."
Today I am not reviewing an entirely new Worms game by Team
17, rather I'm reviewing what seems to be Worms 2.1. Team 17,
eager to capitalize on the cult hit that is Worms, has decided to
release the newest Worms game in the "if it ain't broke" mentality.
This game is definitely not "broke", but I still think this shouldn't
be billed (and charged to customers) as a new game...
The graphics in this game are cute and cartoony. Period. The
worms are present in big, bright, rich colours, and are animated
quite well. The backgrounds are decently varied, and are also
bright and colourful, except it is very difficult to discern the
foreground from the background. Sometimes I've been walking
and run into what I thought was the background, but in actuality
was very much a part of the playing field. It can ruin a good plan
sometimes, and it's quite frustrating. The weapons, explosions,
deaths etc are all rendered with cartoony fun. Even the graves
and crates bob around like they're dancing to some happy pop
music. Unfortunately, if you are expecting ANY, and I repeat ANY
graphical improvement over Worms 2, you will be disappointed. If
I said the word cartoony too frequently, it's only because that is the
single best word to describe the game's graphics.
The menus are decently laid out, but the oversized icons aren't
very intuitive, and you have to move your mouse over each of
them to find out what actually means. It's not a big deal, but it
could have been done a bit better. Video options are restricted to
640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, the only difference being the size of
the viewable playing field. I opted for 800x600 because the worms
are small enough at 640x480, at 1024x768 they are still quite
viewable, but are slightly too small.
The biggest addition from Worms 2 is probably in the sound
department. There are dozens of sound schemes that are included
with the game, allowing for a diverse range of worm sounds.
Unfortunately, the downside of having so many sound schemes is
that there is a rather limited number of comments in each sound
scheme, and you tend to hear the same exclamations at least a
few times every game. The explosions sounds quite good, as do
the high pitched cries of pain of the worms. Mwahahahahaha,
how I like to make those little wormies squeal!! Ok enough of that.
Sorry. As per Worms 2 (which is why the huge number of
included sound schemes isn't so amazing), you can download and
create custom sound schemes from any .wav, meaning you can
hear your high pitched squeals and exclamations when you play.
It's a neat feature, but it was in Worms 2. Notice how I'm driving in
the similarities to Worms 2 with a sledgehammer.
Worms is, and always will be, a multiplayer game. It has amazing
potential for strategies, tactics, and styles of play, simply because
of the huge arsenal given to you. This has become a cult favorite
in my residence dorm, as well as one of my friend's dorms.
Getting together and playing this game around a computer with a
bunch of friends is a lot of fun, a lot more fun than playing by
yourself over the internet. The weapons all have unique
strategies, and I find new ways to use old weapons every time I
play. Probably the greatest thing about Worms Armageddon is,
like Worms and Worms 2, you will never play the same match
twice. Nor will you play even remotely the same match twice.
Randomly generated maps make for new choices every time, and
human randomness make for some of the best deathmatching
around. Team 17 noted this and provided us with a few new
weapons to add to our strategies. They all incorporate very well
with the Worms gameplay, and add some fun new twists to playing
Team 17 also realized that people do actually play single player,
and also realized that single player is more than playing
deathmatch against a computer. Yes, Worms Armageddon has
single player missions! Now, realize they are just deathmatches
with specific objectives that go above and beyond annhiliating the
opposition, but they still add some single player fun to the Worms
world. I personally feel single player should be a last resort if you
can't find anybody to play multiplayer with though, since you miss
about 99% of the Worms charm playing by yourself.
One of the coolest features is the customability of this game. You
can fully create your own levels, create your own sound schemes,
edit the weapons, etc. This game is very tweakable and lends
itself to playing around with the options until you find what is best
fo r YOU. The editors are quite easy to use, I didn't spend much
time with them because I'm a busy guy, but I'm sure there's a lot of
substance to it. Adds a lot of replay value.
Worms scores top points here. It is, by far, the most fun
multiplayer around. By fun I don't mean gibbing satisfaction, but I
mean yelling screaming party-esque fun. Of course you can only
get the yelling and screaming part if you're playing with
friends..unless you're really enthusiastic and loud when you're by
yourself. The cartoon violence and amazingly impressive shots,
strategies, explosions etc are all totally condusive to having a
good time while playing this game. Any game where you can
spend 3 hours straight playing with friends definitely deserves to
be called fun.
This game is basically all multiplay. All the options are supported,
LAN, TCP/IP, and simultaneous on one computer (best fun). I kind
of wish modem play was still included in most games, I don't see
why it needed to be taken out, I'm sure it's not that difficult to
implement. Oh well, that's just me bitching. Internet games must
be played through WormNet, a spinoff of Battle.net and Bungie.net
and all those other networks of games. I was unable to test the
Internet play, but judging by Worms 2, and since this game is
soooooooo similar to Worms 2, the play is smooth and basically
lag-free. This game shines when you play against humans.
Although I really like this game, I also really liked Worms 2 and
notice no real difference other than a few weapons, new single
player missions, and more sound schemes. This is a good game to
get if you don't already have Worms 2. If you have Worms 2, there
is not enough here to justify plunking down more of your hard
earned cash. It kind of leaves a sour taste in my mouth, knowing
this game was just released to suck any money left in the Worms
market, not to genuinely improve on a good idea. The whole
thing made me kind of bitter, but this is a really good game...just
not a really improved product.