The latest entry featuring our favorite crawling, warring invertebrates, will be familiar to anyone who has spent time chucking Holy Hand grenades at friends since the 90s. Developer Team 17’s Worms Revolution rejuvenates the potentially stale formula by fine-tuning its strategic combat, adding customization, and keeping the humor fans have grown accustom to.
At its core, Worms Revolution plays just like the other titles in the series with players controlling a squad of worms with a single objective to exterminate another squad of worms. To help achieve this, you are provided with a variety of wacky weapons, items, and gadgets. Your arsenal will range from standard shotguns and grenades to the hilarious ‘Concrete Donkey’ and ‘Old Lady’ as well as some new fun items like ninja ropes and jet-packs.
The tone is still lighthearted and humorous with gameplay requiring cautious movements, positioning, and item management across four colorful and cartoony 2.5D environments – sewer, beach, spooky, and farmyard. Although the playing fields are still restrictive, backgrounds come to life thanks to filthy rats scurrying around the sewer, alligators appearing in waste water and seagulls flying around in the beach levels. The game’s revitalized sense of humor is further enhanced by the great voiceover work from comedian Matt Berry as wildlife documentary commentator Dan Keystone.
The single player campaign is spread across thirty-two missions as players navigate past various environmental hazards in order to achieve goals such as eliminating an opposing team or rescuing a stranded ally. None of the single-player missions are particularly challenging, but they are a good way to get used to the controls before heading over to the multiplayer. While puzzle mode presents players with completing an objective with severely limited weapon choices and terrain of varying fidelity.
Worms Revolution implements a new class system with the standard Soldier now joined by Scientists, who heal the team with each turn, Scouts, who can squeeze through tight spaces and help with item collection, and Heavies, who are extremely slow but dish out the most damage. Players must purchase these classes with credits earned throughout the game. On the battlefield they each have their place, and missions will require substantial teamwork. A bunch of new customization options allow you to mix and match your squad into personalized formations, while everything from their uniforms to their victory dances can be changed as well.
There’s also a greater emphasis on physics and environmental effects that players can use to there advantage. As you inch your way through a level, you’ll come across destructible and moveable items like fire drums, pocket lighters, water bottles, and more. Water in particular is heavily focused upon, with new weapons like the water bomb and water strike allowing you to drown your foes, hinder their movements and chip away at their health with each passing turn. While these effects function just fine, the water physics are nowhere near realistic as drops act more like chunks before they merge with the environment.
While Revolution does feature a fun single-player campaign and puzzles modes, it still best enjoyed with friends. Three basic multiplayer modes – Deathmatch, Forts, and Classic – can be played either locally or online with up to four people. Deathmatch is the same 2D warfare, with each worm taking its turn to attempt to take out the opposing teams with a bazooka or kamakazi sheep. Forts mode places players at opposite side of the screen with two forts made up of tunnels and separated by a distinct gap. Given the durability of the Worms formula, it’s good to have more than one kind of mode to keep the experience stimulating. Players can also create their own levels within the multiplayer modes, adjusting things like the damage worms will take from a fall, available weapons, and the time limit for each turn.
Worms: Revolution is more than simply a HD rehash of a beloved franchise. Team 17 has done a great job at modernizing the series that was beginning to show its age and packaging it in a way to entice new players but including the classic gameplay that earned it such a loyal fan-base.
Editor’s Note: Worms Revolution was reviewed using a XBOX 360 copy of the game. If further investigation reveals any substantial differences between the 360 edition and the PS3 edition of the game, this review will be updated to reflect those differences.
Release Date: September 24, 2012 • Publisher/Developer: Team17 • Genre: Strategy • Multiplayer: 2 – 4 players • Achievements: Moderate • Cost: $14.99 (1200 MS Points) • Replay Value: High