Worms Revolution is the new Worms game in a drawn out franchise that I first remember being released when I was a young lass. I remember begging my mum to go round my friend’s house because she had Worms and I didn’t, to which I got strange looks from other people in the supermarket. However, I have not been interested in the series until the recent announcement of Worms Revolution.
Worms Revolution is a highly nostalgic game for anyone who, like myself, hasn’t played the series in a while. The basic premise is the same, with a few added features. For those of you who have never played or heard of Worms before, it is a strategy game where you control a team of worms armed to the teeth with guns and explosives, and you must eliminate the opposing team of equally militarized invertebrates. You must utilize your surroundings wisely, making good use of various passages, tunnels, hills and holes, along with weapons found in crates in order to survive and be crowned victor.
The game is set as a 2D environment, with a graphical 3D style. You can easily zoom in and out of your terrain to see what you can use to your advantage. Although the graphics have improved since the plain cartoon style drawings of Worms past, they still can be a bit iffy in places, especially when zoomed in, showing some less-smooth edges. It is narrated as a wildlife documentary by none other than Matt Berry, probably most well known for his role as Douglas Reynholm in The IT Crowd. His distinct voice, great sense of humor and scripted one-liners really help give a light-hearted feel to the mindless killing.
There are two main added features in Worms Revolution: object physics and water. In the levels, there are objects that can be interacted with more than previously. For example, a mobile phone can be moved with the power of telekinesis or a U.F.O. to make a bridge over a chasm, or a gas lighter can be moved closer to enemies before you blow it up with explosives, causing utter chaos and destruction. Additionally, there are poisonous items that when blown up release a cloud of noxious gas, which will cause the health of surrounding worms to slowly deteriorate (giving them a lovely green color, too).
You may also come across water bottles or flasks that, when destroyed, will drench your enemies or sweep them away, which leads me on to the water. In previous games, the only water you would usually see would be at the bottom of the level where submersion means a quick death. However, the water now found in levels is different. This water can come from the environment, as mentioned before, or it can come from one of your water-powered weapons. This water does not mean instant death, but if you trap an enemy in the water, they will lose health every turn until they escape from it. You cannot move as fast or jump as high in water, and you can’t move where it is flowing. This gives you a new weapon in the game, but beware as this can also leave you drowning too. The water aspect works really well, giving you more satisfying kills if you manage to sweep the entire enemy team off the map in one swift move.
There are also now different types of worm available, each with their own unique characteristics: soldier, scout, heavy and scientist. The “soldier” worm is the all-rounder that most people will probably be familiar with. The “scout” is a fast and nimble worm, able to fit into small spaces and is able to jump much further, but is weaker and cannot always help during combat. The “heavy” worm is a larger and more powerful worm, but moves much slower than the rest. The “scientist” is a weak worm but is able to increase the health of the entire team after each turn. You can purchase these characters and customize your teams depending on the enemies and levels you face.
You have four worms in each level at your disposal, but the opponent’s number varies. You have one minute per turn during the campaign, and there is also a level timer to abide by.
The main single player mode includes a campaign and puzzles. The campaign has several deathmatch levels that you must beat. Your team and the enemy team take turns to attack, and the last team standing is the winner. Irritatingly, all enemy worms seem to have hawk-eye accuracy, and can hit you with a shotgun blast from the other side of the map, or get a grenade down to the tiniest of burrows. There are also good training levels for those who are new to the games, but also to introduce the new features. Furthermore, they help you to familiarize yourself with the weapons and utilities available, but some you have to work out for yourself. However, I ended up never using the weapons I didn’t know how to use, and just mainly stuck with the bazooka and grenades. The training levels also teach you to learn how to use the controls, which are relatively simple, although sometimes counter-intuitive. One example of this is where there was just myself and one opponent left on screen and I could have killed him with my trusty bazooka, but instead of me jumping to get to a decent vantage point, I ended up firing my weapon and blowing myself up, therefore losing the level after about 15 minutes worth of battle.
The puzzle levels involve you having to make your way across difficult terrain and crushing the enemy team with limited resources and keeping your team alive during the process. Being a fan of puzzles, I really enjoy these levels, trying to work out what to do with what you’ve got, and what the game wants you to think. However, some of the puzzle levels require really precise movements and actions, and going wrong later on in these levels means you have to start all over. I have to admit I got frustrated and spent the good part of an hour trying to work out how I was supposed to complete a level and then nearly smashed my controller into the television when I accidentally set off an explosion too early, killing me and my teammate.
In versus mode, there are three game styles – Deathmatch, Forts and Classic. All of these are similar to the campaign deathmatch style of game, but you are able to customize your playing field to suit your preferences. There can be up to four teams, two of which can be human players. You can also play online through Xbox Live. This adds a bit of friendly competition to the game, but I feel it is going to be more for a break in the single player mode as opposed to the focus.
I feel that Worms Revolution is a great contribution to the Worms franchise, and I would recommend giving this game a go, even if you have never played the series before. Even though I haven’t played these games for years, it feels like I have never left. There is enough new content and features to make it stand up as a game on its own. It is a pleasure to play, and addictive too, although playing for too long at a time can lead to levels of epic frustration.
Review copy of game provided by publisher. Primary play on Xbox 360.