Worms 2: Armageddon: review

  • Format: PSN (version reviewed), XBLA
  • Unleashed: Out Now
  • Publisher: Team17
  • Developer: Team17
  • Players: 1 – 4
  • Site: www.team17.com/?page_id=19

‘Warmongering invertebrates with access to rocket launchers, dynamite and exploding symbols of holy might made adorable’ is probably the best way to describe a Worms game. Taking the series back to 2D, Team17 have gone back to their classic roots of manic turn based deathmatches, where the coldest, calculated strategies or blindest, dumb luck is usually what sways the battle. This title has enjoyed just over a year of success on Xbox Live Arcade, but has finally dragged its blood lusting worm tail packed with action to the frontlines of the PlayStation Network.

In a hurtling artillery shell of condensed information, Worms 2: Armageddon pits two to four teams of worms against each other in a battle to the fiery death. Using a selection of blasty, shooty weapons, players take it in turns to level the opposition one squidgy lump of homicidal, wriggly flesh at a time. Taking tactical matters even further is the fact that the environment is shaped by each weapon’s impact making craters, foxholes and chutes that lead to certain death all part of the loveable package. It is turn based strategy at its maddest and we love it.

An airstrike is precisely what Jason needed to put life in perspective

The strongest element to a Worms game lies in its multiplayer offering, that can be enjoyed by up to four people with just one console and a single controller. Budging up on a sofa and playing pass the controller is probably the best way to enjoy Worms, as it is the perfect taunt-a-thon of a game. The real genius lies within its simplicity, with quick to learn controls and easy to follow on screen actions. Learning what the weapons do through trial and error is part of the fun.

It is very difficult to calculate what moves to make in advance as the battlefield and team dynamics are constantly changing. It means you are very much left to roll with the punches and see what happens. It is the perfect middle ground between hardcore and casual gaming because you can be an evil strategist and plot which friends you will fall out with, but at the same time you can sit around, have a laugh and still play just as effectively. Worms is an excellent gateway game, as it was when it was first released.

Online play doesn’t quite hit the same strings on a social level, but being able to play against new opponents with different skills and techniques keeps the game refreshing, and it’s still as satisfying as ever to blow up a complete stranger’s worms. The game carries itself with such humour and colour however, that losing is nowhere near as frustrating as it can be in other games, such as Modern Warfare. The calmer pace of manic action really does this game credit.

Listen up special forces, flat caps are the new berets

The one downside is the single player campaign mode. We’re still convinced that the AI’s angle perfect grenade throws and pinpoint shotgun sniping is a sign that it is a massive cheat. You get 35 missions in total and a handful of other modes to play on your lonesome. They provide an ideal battleground to hone your skills for use against upsetting others online or on your sofa.

Worms 2: Armageddon is fantastic to play with mates and a great alternative gaming night in if you don’t want to fail at playing the pretend drums again. If you’ve ever played classic Worms then you will know exactly what to expect. It has stayed very faithful to its roots but at the same time, been given an appealing kick up the graphics pipe.


4/5

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Written by Anthony H

Anthony has been playing games for far too much of his life, starting with the MS-DOS classic Mario is Missing. Since then his tastes have evolved to include just about anything, but his soft spot lies with shooters and the odd strategy game. Anthony will inspire you with his prose, uplift you with his wit and lie to you in his biography.

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