Team17 have released what they hope is an accurately-titled product in their longstanding Worms series, which has been mostly stagnant, as the last few titles provided little new content and barley toyed with 3D environments. This time around, Worms: Revolution aims to provide fresh experiences and breath life into the classic series – without upsetting the popular formula and wackiness that is the trademark Worms experience.
Revolution still runs on a 3D engine, but developers Team17 have brought it back to the 2D-esque landscape view that is standard for the classic games. It’s an interface which simply works for Worms – games like Worms 3D suffered from messy and cluttered battlefields, whilst games on the 2D-side view are easy to quickly look at and understand. As a result, the gameplay flows at a much better pace.
The addition of dynamic water is meant to be a game changer, and it does create a plethora of new strategies to consider when playing some worm-based action. The water at the bottom of the map, as always, presents an instant death to any worm unfortunate enough to plummet into the abyss. However, most maps now contain pockets of water around the map which will begin slowly drowning any worm who falls into them.
Based upon this mechanic, Team17 implemented a series of water-based weapons, from water bombs and balloons to water pistols. Grouping worms together becomes even more dangerous, and water can be used to make Worms slip off of dangerous edges, among other dangers. A new Utility tool, the Drain, helps defends against these situations where necessary. As neat as the addition is, better water physics are needed if it’s going to be a focal point in the future.
Players now have a selection of four Worm Classes to assign around their team. The regular worm as we all know him is now called the Soldier, and he is joined by the Heavy, Scout and Scientist worms. While the soldier is your most balanced worm, the heavy moves slowly but has more HP, whereupon the scout is more agile with utility tools but deals less damage per hit. The decision to include classes plays out very well in Revolution, and allows for much more tactical consideration both before combat and during it.
Utilizing the new water system will become a handy tactic in Revolution.
The environments are largely the same style veteran players will be used to, with one main addition (aside from the water): physical objects. Items like pitri dishes can break when hit, and will spew poison around the immediate area. Similarly, other items can be used to a gamer’s tactical advantage. It’s a stunningly simply addition that provides some fun moments, but ultimately doesn’t affect combat on a large scale. There’s a few new weapons added to the mix as well, which freshen up things a little bit – though player’s will still be relying mostly on the classic arsenal that has existed for years, going unchanged from title to title. Shotgun, air strike, bazooka, ninja rope? Check.
The campaign is an enjoyable experience from start to finish, and is narrated by none other than Matt Berry (The IT Crowd), who brings his charismatic humour to the roll perfectly. Playing as documentary filmmaker Don Keystone, he will follow you through each mission and provide entertaining commentary along the way. The single-player experience will take gamers through an impressive 32 levels, and Team17 have certainly provided a challenge as players near the end of the campaign – expect to be replaying a few of these missions.
Of course, the bread and butter of a game like Worms: Revolution is multiplayer, and here is where gamers will find the most bang for their buck. Whether you’re facing friends in the same room, over the internet or even AI, Worms: Revolution is simply at its best in a sandbox combat mode. Everything from your Worms’ names and voices to weapon drops and their chances is customizable, which is a factor that creates some highly entertaining gameplay. Lobbing that cluster grenade onto a tight-grouping of your friends’ team brings out the satisfying moments that make the Worms series what it is – and these moments show up aplenty in multiplayer mode.
At the end of the day, Revolution is indeed the best Worms title gamers have seen in some time. However, it’s not the game-changer that the title might imply it is – rather, it’s an improvement (one that could lead to great things down the line). Team17 have produced a competent title that fans of the series, both old and new, should enjoy but it falls short of being a true “Revolution.”
Worms: Revolution is available now for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. Game Rant played the Xbox 360 version for this review.
Follow me on Twitter @Makelevi.