I have lost count of how many Worms games I’ve played. It seems like Team 17 have been making them since the dawn of time, and though little has changed over the years, there’s no denying that they are usually a lot of fun. While the early games differentiated themselves by adding more and more ridiculous weapons, the later ones tried to hook people by going 3D, or including new modes and mechanics.
Some of these attempts to modernize the Worms franchise have been more successful than others, but even with these changes, once you’ve played any Worms game you’ve pretty much played them all. The core gameplay that defined the series has remained basically unchanged since 1995, and while Worms Revolution has some of the most significant alterations to date, it is still fundamentally an old fashioned game of Worms.
Whether this is a bad thing or not probably depends on how long it’s been since you played it. If you have owned a Worms game in recent years, you might find Revolution to be rather cloying. But if, like me, it’s been a fair few years since you last fired a rocket-propelled pensioner at a moustachioed invertebrate then you will most likely be pleasantly surprised.
I first played Worms with a mate on his PC when I was a spotty 14 year old, and almost two decades later I still cannot think of a finer party game for a group of (slightly inebriated) friends to play on a rainy Autumn day. The amount of joy felt from landing a perfect cross-map rocket shot is matched only by the crushing despair that comes from completely cocking it up and getting cruelly laughed at by everyone.
The two biggest additions to the standard Worms formula are physics objects and classes. Physics objects are dotted around many levels and react differently to normal terrain when shot. The most important of these are objects like bottles that burst open in a shower of water that can flush unwitting worms down holes. Water will react dynamically and flow into new areas as terrain is destroyed. Worms submerged in water will take damage at the end of each turn, forcing them to change position or suffer a slow death. There are also new usable weapons like the Water Gun that can be used to drown or flush out enemies.
The FPS-inspired classes include the Heavy, the Soldier, the Scientist and the Scout. The Soldier is just the standard Worms unit, while the Heavy is ponderous but powerful. The Scout is weaker than a normal worm, but he is extremely fast and athletic. Finally, the scientist is a bit crap at fighting, but he automatically heals a small amount of health to himself and team mates at the beginning of his turn. The classes certainly add a new layer of strategy to the game, but there’s a lot of luck involved in having the right class in the right place at the right time to make use of his abilities.
As I mentioned before, even with these new mechanics, Team 17′s latest Worms title is ultimately very similar to the other games in the series. While the changes they have made have been well implemented and add to the fun, none of them have an especially pronounced effect on the basic premise. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a criticism, I just have to acknowledge that if you already have a Worms game for your system of choice, you may not want to put Revolution at the top of your shopping list.
Any way you slice it, Worms Revolution is still an incredible amount of fun with friends. While many new and innovative titles have come along in the last 17 years, Worms is still the king of party games and a perfect choice to stick in your PC or console when you’ve got a few people round and lots of time to kill.
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