By Marty Mulrooney
Worms Revolution is the latest instalment in the hit video game series that began with the original Worms turn-based artillery game in 1995. Seventeen years later, in October 2012, Team17 plans to release Worms Revolution – which has been developed from the ground up and features a brand new game engine. After some dodgy 3D instalments – we’re looking at you Worms 3D – and several HD re-releases of the original Worms games, only one question remains. Can Worms Revolution revolutionise the series and return it to its roots?
Worms Revolution mixes the 2D gameplay of the earlier games with the 3D graphics of the later instalments, creating a 2.5D hybrid that actually works surprisingly well. You can’t beat proper 2D but the graphics on offer here certainly present an acceptable compromise – the new engine bringing with it physics-based weapons and gameplay far beyond the capabilities of the previous games.
One such weapon is the use of water – found both within the environment and also contained inside weapons such as water bombs and water pistols. Water has always presented a deadly hazard throughout the series but it now becomes so much more than just the surrounding areas of a level. Water flows in the form of giant globules and can be manipulated – underwater worms will lose health with each passing round and a strong enough flow of water can actually wash a worm off a cliff and into the ocean.
Another new addition alongside the dynamic water are the physics objects that are scattered throughout the environments. Each object will react in a different way when destroyed. For example, a blown-up giant mushroom will release a deadly toxic cloud that poisons all worms in the immediate vicinity, making them gradually lose health over time. Other objects can be far more explosive – such as giant lighters and bombs – spewing fire and reigning death and destruction down upon the battling worms below if destroyed.
These new additions are certainly a whole lot of fun, even if you do have to struggle through eight – that’s right, eight! – slightly tedious tutorial levels in the single player campaign before the game trusts you enough to stop holding your hand every step of the way. Thankfully, once these levels are completed the player is given far more freedom and the traditional mayhemic battles that fans of the series will be all too familiar with return with a vengeance.
The verdict is still out on Worms Revolution. Alternative Magazine Online’s preview build has improved each time we’ve played it – regular updates have smoothed out some framerate issues and also stopped the game from becoming unresponsive when switching to the desktop. The Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows works great too, but the on-screen instructions still don’t show the pad buttons – hopefully this will be fixed before release.
Add in worm classes (scout, soldier, heavy and scientist), a puzzle mode and multiplayer matches and Worms Revolution could mark a pleasing return to form for the series. Oh, and let’s not forget Team17’s secret weapon – comedian Matt Berry of The IT Crowd fame! He takes award-winning writer Dean Wilkinson’s (who also wrote Little Big Planet 1 & 2) script and turns it into pure comedy gold. His narration of the single player campaign as wildlife documentary maker Don Keystone is a definite highlight, with each line delivered with real humour and warmth.
Worms™ Revolution is scheduled for release on 10th October 2012 and will be available on Xbox LIVE Arcade, PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation®Network and PC Steam. Pre-purchase now on Steam and receive a copy of fan-favorite, Worms™ Armageddon (previously unavailable on Steam) to play right now. Plus, get exclusive in-game content for Worms™ Revolution.