The end of the worms as we know it.
Since its beginnings back in 1995, Team 17’s Worms series has quietly amassed a cult following. In fact, a Worms game has graced nearly every major system since that time, including the PC, Mac, Amiga, SNES, Gameboy, Saturn, Jaguar, and Playstation. This is a game with serious roots, and it has managed to grow with the times.
The last installment, Worms
2, was the Game Revolution sleeper pick of the year. It captured our hearts
with a simple and effective layout, sharp graphics, and the most addictive and
catchy gameplay we had seen in ages. It was also one of the few games that I
could play with my girlfriend. Ahhh . . . worms uniting the sexes.
Worms: Armageddon brings the same magic to the table with updated weapons, moves, modes, and full customization. Thankfully, the general play mechanics have been left intact, so all the new stuff is just bonus. Worms: Armageddon kicks ass (Do worms have asses? – Ed.), and is a fitting finale for such a hip, underground series.
If you’ve never played a Worms game, then crawl out from the rock you’ve been
hiding under and go read the Worms
2 review. It will better acquaint you with the series. Plus, it demonstrates
my vast knowledge of worm taxonomy (which I promptly forgot upon finishing the
There’s a myriad of new modes in Worms: Armageddon. Training Mode allows you to get more comfortable with some of the more useful actions in the game, like throwing grenades, using the Ninja rope, piloting the Super sheep, and aiming with the shotgun. There are plenty of Training scenarios, and you are awarded Bronze, Silver, or Gold medals upon completion. Finishing certain Training levels also opens up missions in Mission Mode.
Mission Mode takes your team of worms through 33 levels aimed at testing the lessons learnt in Training. Each mission has a certain objective to meet – the destruction of one particular enemy worm, acquiring a certain crate, etc. On the whole, these are very difficult and will prove a tough challenge to even the most die-hard worm fans.
Yet another mode is Deathmatch, where you take your squad of Worms up against the computer in a series of increasingly difficult scenarios. After a few matches, the computer’s precision becomes deadly, and you’re forced to rethink your strategies. Very nice.
To complement the new gameplay modes are a bunch of new weapons: 15 to be precise. These range from the useful (the Longbow) to the brutal (the Flame Thrower). Mastery of the new weaponry is essential if you want to compete. To give the game some arcadey flair, there are a few new ‘utilities’ as well. These include items like the jet pack, invisibility (useful in multi-play), and double speed.
Worms: Armageddon takes the word “customize” to new levels. You set the sound bank, war cry, tombstone, and flag for your squad of Worms, and brother, there are a LOT of choices. You’ll find 18 new voice sets, and more are frequently added for easy download. I’m impressed by the number of options here – you can really build a unique Worms team.
The terrain editor is back, and again, the options here have expanded greatly. With a slew of new terrain types and design tools, this aspect of the game has been upgraded nicely.
You can still play a 2-player hotseat game, which is as fun as ever. But the true test of Worms mettle is found online via Wormnet, the dedicated multiplayer server. Connecting to Wormnet is easy as pie, and the service has full IRC support to easily facilitate finding an opponent or just chatting about Worms. You simply pick a room, start up a game, and away you go. Things aren’t perfect, though. You’ll have occasional problems connecting, and since you’re dealing with specific IP addresses, there’s no guarantee that things will run smoothly. Occasional frustration, however, gives way to buckets of fun once you get going.
Your success online leads to different rankings, which is a nice way to determine how good your opponent might be. This allows you to avoid getting trounced by players who are way too good or squashing newbies who didn’t know to just stay away.
Worms: Armageddon contains all of the elements that made its predecessor such an excellent game. But the question arises: is it worth it? Sure, the new modes, weapons, and options are cool, but does that warrant shelling out the dough for essentially an update? In my eyes, the answer is clearly yes. Fans of the series will love the new additions, and newbies should just bypass Worms 2 and pick up this one instead.
The end of the annelid invasion is at hand. As the Worms coup de grace, Worms: Armageddon sends the series off with a bang. Well done, Team 17.