Worms: Revolution Preview (PC)
If you’ve ever watched a single kid’s cartoon or played any number of games, you’ve seen an example of anthropomorphism. Animals get assigned all sorts of different human traits such as emotion, speech, the ability to walk upright and countless others. However, Team17 takes the cake, in giving worms the violent trait of humans and the desire to blow one another into smithereens in turn based artillery combat ecstasy.
The Worms series from Team17 has been one of my favorite series of games, since its inception way back on the Amiga in 1995. Much about the series has stayed the same throughout its various iterations; worms blowing each other up a-la Scorched Earth style. Over the years, various new weapons have been added, graphics cleaned up and new modes here and there, but the series has stayed true to its original roots over almost a 20 year run.
Worms: Revolution is much of the same of the old games, with some new additions as well. There is a single player mode featuring training exercises, not unlike previous versions, but are now commentated by Matt Berry, one of the game’s creators, as a wildlife documentary voiced in a stereotypical british explorer accent.
Another neat change in this years game is the ability to select classes of worms. Gone are the days of simply 4 worms killing 4 other worms. Now you have the option to specialize them amongst four distinct classes; Soldiers, whom follow the standard worms we’ve grown to know and love, Scouts who can move and jump greater distance but may take more damage from weapons and such, Scientists who give their team a health bonus per turn and are able to provide better weapons to their team, and finally Heavys, operating as your typical brute, move slower but take more damage and pack a more powerful punch. Each of these classes can help lead your worms to victory through various strategical advantages and disadvantages.
Yet another cool feature players will notice in this new installment is the change of the usage of water and water physics. Water in the Worms series used to just mean an instant, quick death. No longer, however, as not only can water appear in puddles and pools within the map terrain, but can slowly kill a worm now instead of instantly. There are also additional weapons that take advantage of the water. Water Strike, similar to an Air Strike, can flood out an opponent and actually force them off a map or into mines, etc. Telekinesis can also move opponents into the water or other various traps as well.
Speaking of traps, there are also additional new traps that can exist on the terrain. Most notably, are the edition of turret guns, which upon setting up an opponent into one of the traps, will do what you’d expect out of that kind of gun; a gentle little rat-at-tat-tat into your enemy’s intervertebral little hearts. Classic favorites, such as gas/petrol containers and miles, will still decorate the battle field, smelling of death and destruction. However, those containers don’t just blow up, like they did in the days of old. Nowadays, the people at Team17 have introduced fire following the explosion. If you smell really close, you can even smell the napalm while your adversaries burn.
Graphically, you will notice the environment isn’t the traditional flat 2 dimensional landscape as featured in the various predecessors to Worms: Revolution. The game now features, what the developers refer to as 2.5D; a 2D battle group put on a 3D environmental backdrop. It doesn’t really change much, other than giving you some cows to look at or other random distractions, while your opisthoporatic opponents clobber you. There are however, neat ways the environment of the battle maps interact to the destruction that is caused. In some maps, parts of terrain are jettisoned out of the ground, but aren’t made of the same materials as the soil. Rather than just awkwardly hang out there in suspended animation, like they did in the older worms game, those chunks will actually fall to the ground, sometimes aiding and abetting in the worm homicide.
Worms: Revolution also comes with the ability to play a multitude of different modes in addition to the puzzles and missions. Worms: Revolution, like the previous current generation installments, features online multi-player You also have the option to play versus mode locally, or against the AI. As like other variants of worms, you also have a plethora of teams to chose from for your AI opponent, all with clever tongue in cheek names.
Final Thoughts: There’s a ton of cliche sayings that could be thrown out here about not fixing something that isn’t broken, or not reinventing the wheel. The truth is though, they’re all applicable. Fans of the Worms games of the past will get enough of the familiar, while still being greeted with some fresh new systems like Worm classes, new weaponry and what not. New players will be greeted with puzzles, missions and layer upon layer of silliness that only increases with each new iteration of the Worms franchise. It’s hard to say no to yet another installment of a such a beloved franchise with offers hours of mindless, violent entertainment.