Readers, I have something to admit to you. It’s not easy, but I have never played a single Worms title. Of course, I remember the glory days of the two tanks blasting each other on my PC monitor at school, and to your certain dismay, the reboot of that classic has never graced my home desktop or my console. However, those days are over and I’m finally ready to open a can of Worms 2: Armageddon.
So, hit the jump if you want to live.
The crux of the gameplay is simple. Every game takes place on a landscape that provides shelter, obstacles, and traps. You control a team of worms (which you get to name) and every turn you get to move one of them for 60 seconds. During this turn, you can move and jump with the worm, activate movement items, or fire volleys from a multifarious selection of weapons. These weapons range from bazookas, shoryukens, sheep, cluster bombs, air strikes, baseball bats…the list goes on. The worms weapon storage locker is chock full of entertaining, and deadly, tools of destruction.
The simplistic gameplay of aim and shoot is the game’s strongest point because it generates and absurd amount of strategy. Every turn each player has the capability of eradicating an enemy worm if he makes the right decision. Make the wrong one…and it might just be your worm that takes the dirt nap. This sounds easy, but the physics engines forces you to accommodate for wind direction and power, enemy and ally placement, and weapon type. Each salvo is a calculated attack.
Players can choose to take the simple turn based strategy gameplay into a couple of different modes. There is a single player campaign, where you play through a series of maps to earn points, and these maps range from battles with a series of bots or puzzle maps that force you to combo explosions and weapons together. Single players can also set up standard quick matches with bots to practice their new found strategies. But, like most other turn based strategy titles, the main focus is on multiplayer. You can either play with friends in the living room or on Xbox live. Honestly, I would recommend playing on the same box, because there is lag between each players turn and game that lends itself to being fast, becomes slow and bogged down. Be careful playing with bots though, because their volleys can be a little too surreal at times.
Thankfully, the game doesn’t end there. Team 17 has made sure that the simple gameplay is backed up with a squadron of content. The landscapes are randomly generated so, unless you choose certain game types, the most will always be different. You can change your worm’s hat, the way they talk, the commentators voices, just about everything that is a part of the gameplay is customizable. There is a shop, after you earn tutorial and campaign points, and you can buy more hats, landscapes, missions, and weapons. There is almost no limit to shaping the rules and aesthetic value of the game to your liking.
They have also ramped up the graphics from the original games. The worms, their weapons, and the landscapes, are all represented in HD and the artistic style lends itself to the games humor. When you play the “fort” mode, for example, your worms might be holed up in a pirate ship battling a giant chicken. The weapons and explosions all look and sound great as they tear through and set fire to the destructible environments. The background music doesn’t go far to please the ears, but the worms constant bantering more than make up for that.
A mere 800 microsoft points gives you access to a fantastic title that entices both casual and competitive gamers, dumps waves of content into your system, and will still be fun next week…and the week after that. It reminds us of the glory days of coin-op machines, where simple and well developed gameplay always beats out the exspensive and elegant cabinets. Perhaps the virtual market is the prelude to the neo coin-op experience. An inexpensive, and increasingly entertaining, alternative for every kind of gamer.
The HD 2-D visuals and vibrant explosions only add to the solid gameplay
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The fun factor of the simple turn based gameplay caters to any kind of player, yet contains enough depth to satisfy the competitive.
The worms' voices are hilarious and the explosions will rock your house, but everything else is forgettable
The game is a bottomless Christmas present...in July.
Worms 2: Armageddon is a great arcade title that offers more content than most retail boxes, and at times, better gameplay.