Review: Worms: Revolution
I have fond memories crowding around my friends PC when I was younger having a blast playing hot seat multiplayer in Worms 2. With 16 entries in the main series and multiple spin offs most likely you have your own memories of playing a Worms game, or have at least heard of them before. Worms Revolution is the newest entry in the series, and as the name implies, introduces new elements to try and revolutionize the game play. While these additions are nice and add a little flavor to the formula I really didn’t consider them much of a revolution but rather a mild upgrade.
Once again the gameplay has shifted back to its 2D roots that we all know and love as you command a group of worms with an arsenal of weapons and utilities to take on the enemy. The game includes a nice variety of weapons to do the job with and of course features returning favorites like the Holy Hand Grenade, Super Sheep, and the Ninja Rope. As in previous titles the game also includes plenty of customization options to make your team unique like naming your worms and letting you choose accessories, sound banks, and victory dances with more options unlocking as you play.
The major additions to Revolution come in the new water effects and classes for your worm. While falling in the water at the bottom of the map will still be an instant kill for your worms there are now water based weapons, objects that release water when destroyed, and pools of water contained on the map which add new strategies that you can take advantage of. Once released water will act and flow according to the environment and can move worms to a different location or even off the side of the map if it is flowing strong enough. Also at the end of every turn if a worm is fully submerged in water they will take five damage, which can certainly add up and was a strategy I took advantage of a lot while playing. I think the water effects are a good addition to the formula the only problems being the way it looks. While the rest of the graphics in the game are decent and what you would expect the water just seems off, looking more like balls of gel then drops of water.
The other major addition is classes. Each of your worms can now be one of four different classes with each having different strengths. Heavy’s are the big guys of the group who can take and deal the most damage, Scouts are the most nimble when moving/jumping but are physically weak, Scientists are the best at building turrets and girders and also give a five point health bonus to your worms each turn, and finally Soldiers who are the most balanced units similar to the worms of previous titles. The concept of having different classes is pretty neat and it adds a little variety to how you want to play since you can customize your team and bring in the type of units that you prefer. I just wish that Team 17 went a little more in-depth with the classes maybe having only specific actions that each worm can take so that there could be more strategy involved with picking your team and the actions you take.
To put these new features to good use the game sports a new campaign mode that brings you through 32 levels across four different environments. The mode starts out with eight tutorial levels which give a good overview of the basic Worms gameplay and the new additions which is beneficial for new players or people who want a refresher, though I kind of wish this was separate from the Campaign. Having 1/4th of the campaign dedicated to teaching me the game is a little much especially with no way to skip them. Adding to this is that the first time you boot up the game you go through a single mission that touches on a lot of these things anyways.
Once the tutorial missions are completed the rest of the campaign consists mostly of death matches with the AI. This is really the core of Worms gameplay and where you should experience the most fun…except with my experience with it, you don’t. Difficulty in games is something I am alright with most of the time; I love a good challenge to overcome. But I found the difficulty in worms to be not so much challenging as just plain frustrating. In one of my first matches out of the tutorial missions I faced AI worms that bounced grenades off of five different walls with just the right amount of fuse to hit one of my worms or used the shotgun, which is mostly used as a short range alternative to the bazooka, and hit my worm on the other side of the map dead-on with zero effort. These types of shots would take a huge amount of practice for me to pull off and are really something I would expect to experience toward the end of the game not the beginning. To compound this, the AI usually takes a while to choose its actions. Nothing is worse than taking twenty seconds to complete your turn to then waiting double that for the AI to even decide what to do. To finish off my experience with the campaign about ¾’s of the way through a patch was released that made the game not recognize my save file anymore therefore losing all my progress.
While I wasn’t the biggest fan of the campaign the other piece of single player content I did quite enjoy. Puzzle mode puts you in 20 different situations where you must figure out how to take out the other team of worms (and sometimes protecting a certain worm) using limited weapons/utilities and the environment. I found puzzle mode to offer a lot of fun with a decent challenge that gives you that aha moment when you finally figure a difficult one out. Also since these levels are on the shorter end and resetting and trying again is almost instant I found almost no frustration which was a blessing after spending time with the Campaign. This mode also does a great job of refining your skills with weapons and utilities, to the point where I would almost suggest people to play some of the puzzle mode before tackling the Campaign.
While playing the campaign and puzzle mode you might here a familiar voice if you are a fan of British comedy. Matt Berry, of The IT Crowd fame, portrays the narrator Don Keystone a wildlife documentary maker who is filming your exploits for his new film (without really caring if you survive or not). Throughout the campaign and puzzle missions he will give an overview of what has to be done, usually throwing in a few hints here and there, and maybe even mocking you a little bit. While I wouldn’t call any of the narration laugh out loud funny, it was entertaining bringing a few smiles to my face while playing and really fit in well with the wackiness of the worms universe nicely.
Besides the single player content the game supports both local and online multiplayer which I’m happy to say plays great. The multiplayer modes have support for up to four different players for three different match types. Deathmatch is your standard VS mode experienced in the campaign, Forts is a modified deathmatch that sees each player have their own fort built out of the levels terrain, and classic which strips away all the fancy systems added in this entry for all the purists out there. For local and custom matches the game offers plenty of customization options so it’s also very unlikely that you will see the same layouts for maps and you can also build custom rule sets so that you can quickly start up a game with the rules you like. You can also compete in ranked matches that are tied to the games leaderboards. While playing locally is definitely the best way to enjoy Worms, the online modes worked well with only a slight slowdown when calculating damage.
While the news of a new Worms game never really excited me, once I started playing Revolution I did find myself enjoying the game. There is just something fun about shooting worms with bazookas or dragon punching them off a cliff and hearing their jokingly one-liners as they blow themselves up. It’s just too bad that when playing the AI this enjoyment fly’s out the window and is replaced with frustration. By its title Worms Revolution wants to present a changed game and while I enjoyed the new additions, in most ways it’s just more of the same, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing for fans of the series or people who enjoy the multiplayer. If you are looking for a fun multiplayer game then Revolution will most likely keep you entertained, but if you are looking for a good single player game then do yourself a favor and take a pass on this title. All you will get here is a mild sense of accomplishment mixed with a lot of frustration.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- Customization options
- Puzzle Mode
- The narration by Matt Berry
- Multiplayer is still a blast
- Water effects
What I Dislike:
- The look of the water effects
- Major frustration playing the campaign
- Loosing my saved data when the game was patched
- Class system felt a little shallow
- Not much has really changed from past versions