For 17 years now, Team17 has allowed me to declare warfare amongst rival worms with wacky and crazy weaponry. Worms Revolution returns the series to 2D turn-based gameplay after a couple disappointing forays into 3D. Utilizing a brand-new engine with tons of customization, Team17 allows you have all new Worms “moments” – tossing a grenade that falls perfectly to the feet of another worm or using the wind to make an impossible bazooka shot. Do worms even have feet? In a world where we are giving them hands and jetpacks I’m sure we can give them feet.
Taking control of a team of worms, you are pitted against up-to-three other teams taking turns firing all sorts of wacky weapons. Dynamite can be used to drop on unexpected worms while my personal favorite the Holy Hand Grenade will not only take care of worms, but will take out a large chunk of the environment with it. Not wacky enough? How about using flying sheep, a concrete donkey and even a banana bomb. Helping you get across the landscapes are ninja ropes and jetpacks – a staple of the series. The Ninja ropes are not as effective as they used to be; with it being near impossible to “cheat” the system and swing yourself across entire levels. With a limited amount of time given per turn, you must make the best of each turn and try not to waste perfect opportunities.
In previous Worms titles, landscapes and objects were completely static. In Worms Revolution, objects have a complete physics system that separate them from the landscape. Fire a bazooka at a lighter and it will explode engulfing the surrounding area with fire, water bottles will drown areas with dynamic water while test tubes will infect any nearby worms with poison. These objects add a new dimension to the matches, especially since they can also be moved/rotated around the map by using certain abilities such as telekinesis. The objects aren’t as fragile as they should be; taking more than a single blast from a grenade or bazooka to destroy them, severely limiting their usefulness.
Another one of the additions to the game is the use of dynamic water during matches. Using water guns, water bombs, as well as trapped water, it is possible for worms to be washed away by flowing water across sloped terrain. Worms that are trapped underwater take a tiny bit of damage each turn, but the damage amount is so little it harder seems like a worthwhile strategy. The plug hole utility item can drain the water, but unless you are near death, simply jumping your way out is a viable option as the damage the water does is so inconsequential.
The addition of a class based system is the biggest change to the series with four different classes to choose from: Soldier, Scientist, Scout and Heavy. For you veterans of the series, you can think of the classic worms as the Soldier class. Scientists with their big head can heal your team of worms at the start of every one of your turns. Scouts can move faster and jump further than any of the other classes, but to balance it out they are the weakest of the four classes. Heavies are slow brutes that can barely jump, but they are able to dish out the most damage.
Digging – worms dig get it? – into the different game modes, Worms Revolution features over 30 campaign levels, 20 puzzle levels as well as the three different customizable multiplayer modes. The campaign is broken up into four different themed sections with the first set of levels acting as a tutorial for all of the new gameplay features. The spike in difficulty in the later half of the missions will leave cursing at the screen as the A.I. tosses grenade across maps with pinpoint accuracy. Even some of the earlier levels can be quite difficult and I have been playing the series since the original title. The narration done by Matt Berry – from the Mighty Boosh fame – is the best part of the campaign and provides some great laughs in between all of the missions.
Playing through multiplayer, you can choose between three different game modes: Classic, Deathmatch and Fort. Deathmatch utilizes all of the new features such as dynamic water and objects as well as the class based worm selection. Classic game mode removes everything new and gives you a more traditional Worms experience. Fort separates teams into two different island forts as you try and wipe out the other team from the safety of your own fort.
Customization has hit an all time high for the series, giving you complete control of all the game settings in the multiplayer matches. Want to start teams off with an infinite number of Concrete Donkeys or Banana Bombs? How about nothing but Holy Hand Grenades? Go right ahead, it’s all up to you. Worms can be customized from everything from their names, to what speechbanks they use. The voices in the game are limited when compared to some of the earlier games in the series, prompting me to believe it may be future DLC.
Worms Revolution is a must buy for the die-hard Worms fans. The brand new features add to the already hectic multiplayer matches. The new engine provides bright and colorful visuals, even only a little bit of slowdown when there are multiple explosions on-screen. The new customizable options allow for a more robust multiplayer experience and in Worms multiplayer is king. The PC version also contains a level editor that will not be included in the PSN and XBLA versions of the game.Note: Worms Revolution was reviewed on Xbox 360. A digital copy of the game provided by the publisher.