Let slip the Worms of War. Any gamer worth their salt should be familiar with classic 2D game, Worms and now it is back. Team17 have released Worms: Ultimate Mayhem. Available on the Xbox Live Arcade.
If you have been living under a rock and didn’t know (in which case you might actually be a worm), the objective of the game is to take out your opponents worms or progress through the game by achieving certain goals.
The new version takes the original 2D worms concept, and gives it an extra dimension. It’s not actually 3D in the glasses sense, but instead of just moving back and forth on a pile of land, you can now explore an entire landscape. It means greater concentration is demanded when aiming (especially when the wind picks up).
The 3D worms show some rather amusing facial expressions when they’re waiting for their turn, or when they’ve had a bazooka rocket shoved up their nose (do worms have noses?). The graphics are very smooth and there is a cool cartoony feel to proceedings.
For the money you get a good choice of gameplay options. Choose between two different single player campaigns, both from the PS2 version of Worms; one from Worms 3D and the other from Worms: Mayhem. They both have rather strange scenarios going for them, from a wormy remake of WW2, to travelling through time and fighting a wizard. It’s typical Worms humour right there.
You also get the usual offline multiplayer games, where you swap the controller to take control of your particular team. The big difference between the XBLA version of Worms, and the PS2 version is the inclusion of online matches allowing you to throw sheep at opponents all over the world. Global mayhem indeed.
Some hardcore Worms gamers (wormers?) have been critical of the new style, I think it’s a natural progression and I enjoyed playing the original 2D Worms games so much I wanted to dislike it too. But it won me over and I had a lot of fun, its quirky humour and zany graphics charmed me to keep playing.
And for 1200 Microsoft Points, it is great value for money.