Bazookas, Flame Throwers and Sheep, Oh My! – Worms Revolution Review
This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360
How many ways can you kill a worm? Allow me to count the different ways. You can blow it up with a bazooka, burn it with a flame thrower or uppercut it with a dragon punch. In Worms Revolution, you can do all these things and oh so much more. However, has the game captured the magic of Worms’ games past?
Worms Revolution is the latest in Team17’s long running series, and this game goes back to its basics. Just like Armageddon or Worms 2, the purpose of the game is to control a team of worms on a randomized map, and wreak havoc on your enemies.
Accomplishing this is simple to learn but hard to master. Every turn, you will receive control of one of your wormy units, and once you have selected a weapon from a massive library of items, you can then turn your sights onto an enemy. Many items from the past are back such as the holy hand grenade, flying sheep, concrete donkey and of course, the classic bazooka is back too. After selecting both angle and power for your shot as well as celebrating when you hit your target, you then watch a counter to see how much health you’ve taken from the now damaged unit. The overall game hasn’t changed but there have been select revisions that merit mention.
The first and most obvious change is the introduction of a class system. There are four different types of worms you can place onto a battlefield, and each has its own specific properties. The Soldier is your run-of-the-mill worm with no benefits or negatives; the Scientist worm is weaker at taking hits but can raise the health by five for all worms on your team each turn; the Heavy is slow but does extra damage when attacking other worms; the Scout is extremely agile and can move around the map quickly and easily, but will take extra damage because of its small size.
The addition of the class system has been an extreme one for some people because it radically changes the traditional Worm’s formula. For example, in past games, a stick of dynamite did 75 damage to an enemy unit. However, the classes change this; a Soldier will do extra damage, and because a Scout will get hit harder, these numbers are no longer reliable. A worm might not survive in this game whereas it would have in the past. However, I found this addition to be a nice change. It adds another layer of strategy to the game, making you think harder about the placement of units.
The graphics have also received a serious update in Worms Revolution and everything is rendered in beautiful 2.5D making everything look crisp, clear and give the game more character. The backgrounds in particular look awesome and give you a sense of the worms’ scale like never before. If fighting in the sewer, you’ll see gigantic rats and crocodiles in the background that suddenly look or jump at explosions you cause. This simple addition helps to paint a bigger picture, creating a greater sense of the world.
Worms Revolution also adds a physics system which mainly impacts two things: physics objects and water. Physics objects are wrenches, unexploded bombs or flasks of water which rest around a map. You can move these with certain skills like Telekinesis, or simply destroy them. Depending on what you’re actually hitting it may fall down, explode or release water to drown hapless worms.
Water also plays a significant role beyond that of previous games. In the past, the clear liquid surrounded a map, and if any worm fell or was tossed into it, they died. While this general mechanic remains, water can also be brought onto the playing field by items such as water guns or bombs. This allows you to drown units (five damage per turn), or they can be used to flush units down a hallway and into the bigger body of water surrounding your map.
Once again, I enjoyed this addition to the game. Like the class system, this mechanic forces you to make decisions about unit placement. Moving a worm up a hill to better strike an enemy might be your best move this turn, but this can become problematic if surviving enemy worms suddenly flush down the slope with a blast from the water gun during their round to play. However, Worms Revolution is not without its problems.
The game offers both single and multiplayer experiences, but multiplayer is absolutely the way to play. The A.I. is either easy to kill, or capable of making impossible shots with regularity, with very little option between these two extremes. Single player still offers a large amount of content with puzzles and a campaign, which offers 32 levels set in four different worlds. Yet, while these modes will provide good training and a great amount of content, the computer-controlled opponents will always be frustrating.
I also experienced some difficulty controlling shots. Moving worms left and right with a 360 pad is done with the left analog stick, but so does aiming up and down. This meant I would be moving a worm while trying to aim and vice-versa. Using one stick was a minor annoyance while aiming weapons, but using some of the utility items to move around such as the ninja rope, became next to impossible. Swinging back and forth and increasing and decreasing my height at the same time was aggravating on a single stick— I wish they had incorporated more buttons to make the job easier.
Overall, Worms Revolution doesn’t change the series’ famous formula, but it has captured a lot of the old magic. Returning fans will find great new elements in the game, and newcomers won’t find introductions challenging, thanks to the tutorial system. Despite a few problems here and there, Team17 has made an excellent game to add to its arsenal.
Worms Revolution is available now on Steam, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Final Score: 4.5 / 5.0
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