Some video game series in particular are criticized for being stagnant more than others. These series consist of many including Super Mario Bros, Legend of Zelda and Call of Duty. Big game franchises that no matter what they’re guaranteed to upset loads of fans with each installment for not changing up their formula enough.
Worms has been lucky and has a pretty level-headed fan base. The 2D and 3D Worms games are really all we need from the IP. We don’t need a gritty dudebro Worms FPS or a Worms RPG that lets you choose whether you have a romantic relationship with the nerdy alien worm or the strong humanoid worm. Maybe a Worm’s platformer in the vein of Conker’s Bad Fur Day would be acceptable but I’d rather not run the risk.
Worms fans know what the series does right and I don’t think anyone wants it to change, at least not dramatically. The title of the game, Worms Revolution, may imply some sort of table up-ending changes but rest assured this is the same game you already know and love.
Gameplay still takes place on a 2D plane but now the environments are fully 3D. There are numerous hazards on each map that add some extra strategy to your battles. Water bottles can rain a tidal wave onto your foes to knock them off the stage and explosive lighters will spew flames on the battlefield.
If you would like to move a beach ball or another item on the map you can use the UFO to do so and these new environmental hazards add a great new wrinkle to the traditional Worms formula.
Dynamic water ensures that you’ll be using water themed attacks often. Often these water based attacks, like the water gun, are a means to move your enemy closer to their death. Water on the actual battlefield won’t drown your worm this time but it will take off a small amount of health with each passing turn that your worms stay submerged. Sometimes items will be hidden in these pools of water and you’ll have to gamble on whether it’s worth it to get an extra rope while damaging your worms.
And for the first time ever Worms has a class system. It isn’t as fleshed out as you’d see in other genres but it works very well here. I feel like Team 17 could have explored some more interesting ways to freshen up the gameplay with these classes but I’m happy they don’t detract from the experience by introducing a new idea unsuccessfully.
The scout worm is more agile than all others and can jump super-long distances, the scientist heals all your team’s worms every turn, the soldier is your normal worm and the heavy is bigger and slower but deals significantly more damage. Each class has it’s own set of health.
Since the soldier is a normal worm this means there are really only three new types of worms to play with. The scout’s agility is appreciated when trying to accomplish a lot in one turn but it’s abilities nor the heavy’s change up your tried and true Worms tactics all that much. You won’t rely on their skills very often, at least I didn’t. That said the class system is a nice addition even if it isn’t as expanded as I wish it was.
You have 32 single-player missions to blast through and the difficulty ramps up about half way through. You’ll have fun all while cursing out loud and raging out when things don’t go the way you planned but it’s never enough to make you give up on the game. It’s a fun sort of frustration and the challenging single-player is well worth it once you finish it.
Puzzle missions are fun but still pretty shallow. You will probably find them best to play as a means to take a break from long multiplayer sessions with friends.
Multiplayer is still a blast and Worms is one of the best franchises to play with friends locally. That isn’t to say online play isn’t great too, the online matches I played were all a blast and I experienced no real issues or lag. Once or twice it took a little longer than I would’ve liked to get into a match but nothing major.
Worms is still meant to be played with friends. You’ll be throwing down controllers in rage, or jumping for joy while gloating all over again. The multiplayer Worms formula should need a bigger amount of change by now. If Halo or Call of Duty dripfed new features into their multiplayer communities as slowly as the Worms franchise does they’d be torn to pieces but this comes back to what I said earlier about Worms not needing that much change.
Could it use some refreshing? Sure, but not too much. If anything my fear for a dramatic departure ruining my love for franchise makes swallowing the tiny updates to the core gameplay that much easier. I fear the change that could come to franchise, and for now I’m happy to play the game just as it is today. And with how much pure fun Worms Revolution is I think I’ll be okay with no overhauls of the Worms I know and love for years to come.
(Xbox Live Arcade version provided for review by Team 17.)