Early worm gets the bird.
Worms is pretty much a household name now, with countless versions, sequels, ports, whatsits and gizmos on just about every console. So what makes the two ports Worms and Worms 2: Armageddon better than before? It is the same thing that sets the current generation apart from the previous one: improved graphical quality and the inclusion of online play and downloadable content.
[image1]In case you're not familiar with Worms, here's a quick starter. It's a turn based tactical game that takes place in 2D randomly generated environments that are totally deformable. Here, you control troops of cute little worms that carry big weapons. Worms has incredible charm to it, and Armageddon continues that trend.
As you progress through Worms 2's single-player campaign, the 38 or so challenges continually became harder, in part to prepare you for multiplayer. The only real draw to playing alone is accumulating gold coins, which unlock gear for your worms to wear, more map editor tools and pieces, weapons to use in the campaign, and even more missions.
Worms 2 plays very similarly to the first game and includes all of the weapons from that version, but the big difference this time is how the weapons have to be unlocked instead of being available right off the bat. The additions to the arsenal are fun on their own, like the aptly named Armageddon missile strike that decimates a map and the hilarious Holy Hand Grenade, which needs no introduction and with which you can bloweth thine enemies into tiny bits. Sadly, though, it takes a while before you can use them, since they're among the more expensive unlockables.
Of course, the real reason you'll start playing Worms 2 is the online multiplayer, and happily, it's the area where this game shines all around. There are three types of game modes that move beyond the simple rules of deathmatch, although most of the time, you'll be killing or defending yourself anyway. The online play is relatively lag free and stable, though there shouldn't be much lag in a turn-based tactical game like this anyway.
[image2]Worms 2 looks even better now than you might remember from the Dreamcast days - the action on the 2D plane occurs in various layers, as explosions take out huge chunks of the battlefield and worms leave little grave stones where they die. Character voices are even more varied this time around, including most of the downloadable voices from the past game and a few new ones. It even lets you customize your own worm team from top to bottom, voice and equipment-wise.
While overall, I was pleased with Worms 2: Armageddon, I was also a bit disappointed in some ways. After having a lot of fun with the original port, Armageddon ends up feeling just like more of the same. On the other hand, if you're new to Worms, Worms 2: Armageddon is surely the version to get, since it includes all of the Worms content plus the new weapons, tools, and levels already mentioned.
For those Worms veterans out there, it's a matter of how much you need ever version of Worms, and if you are looking for more challenges, because you already own the heart and soul of this game. While the unlocking system is a pain to get used to, the unlocks make it worth suffering through, for the most part. And like the first Worms, Armageddon supports DLC, so there's a good chance extra content will be showing up by the time you are through with everything it has to offer. Worms, assemble!