The first time I ever played a Worms game was on my friend’s Sega Saturn. Between stints of Virtua Fighter battles and races in Daytona USA, we were blowing things to smithereens in Worms. That was the last time I had played a Worms game, and as subsequent releases made their way to new generations of console and PC gamers, I let the series slip by me and allowed it to hold a fond place in my childhood gaming memories.
Worms 2: Armageddon marks my first return to the series since I last played it over a decade ago and, to my surprise, the game has not seen a single fundamental change in its formula save for the fact that you can play it online now. However, I shouldn’t be selfish and mock the game for sticking to its roots, I’m sure there are plenty of gamers out there who have yet to play a Worms game and to those who this might be a first-time experience, there is plenty of fun to be had in this $10 download.
So, this being the PlayStation 3 version of the game, the graphics have been given a major facelift with the game being built from the ground up using the Ucharted 2 engine. Okay, not really, but that would have been cool. Rather, Worms 2: Armageddon uses a simple, colorful, 2D cartoon style of graphics that give the game a vibrant and attractive look. Quaint special effects add a touch of life to the world, such as falling leaves and smoke billowing from a fire blowing the same direction as the wind. I can’t help but feel the pangs of obviousness over how wonderful a benefactor the series would make for a 2D/3D hybrid graphics engine like some of the more recent downloadable games.
One of the flagship elements of any Worms game is the cutesy one-liners the little worm soldiers love to dispense. This iteration is no different as the worms throw out one-liners, many of which have been rehashed from the Saturn version I played so long ago (
Worms 2: Armageddon features a training mode to help you learn the basics… Of the already basic gameplay mechanics. The campaign serves as a warmup mode for the real meat of the game, the online mode, with a series of deathmatches mixed with an occasional puzzle or platformer oriented level. To give you an idea of what a non-deathmatch level is like: In one level, the objective was to get my worm to a designated location on the map, however, my worm could not actually walk (or, slug along as worms do). I had to get creative with some explosives to utilize the force of the explosion to project myself to the spot. The majority of these non-deathmatch levels are don’t require much ingenuity and are simple to figure out. But again, they serve a decent primer before you head into a multiplayer match.
Your multiplayer options are split between local and online play, and this is by far where the investment of your time will pay the most dividends. I would not recommend this game based solely on the merits of the singleplayer experience. Use the game’s customization options to create a team, give your team and it’s worm soldiers names, accessorize them, and head into the online arena to experience the real fun. There are a variety of gameplay modes that range from one-on-one deathmatches against another player and a free-for-all type mode where up to four teams can go at it. The game is chock-full of inventive weapons and gadgets and most of them are at your disposal during the match. Bazookas, shotguns, sheep grenades, jetpacks, ninja ropes, and a lot more allow for some awesomely creative ways of destroying your opponents.