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Worms: Revolution Review

Sarah LeBoeuf | 11 Oct 2012 16:30
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Worms: Revolution is the kind of game that can make you scream in anger, laugh hysterically, want to throw your controller, and loudly proclaim your victory all within the span of a few minutes. Revolution takes the classic turn-based strategy gameplay that's been a token of the series in its 17 years of existence and adds a few new tricks into the mix. Not all of the additions are successful, and the series still struggles to deliver a single-player experience that's nearly as fun as multiplayer, but it's easy to forget all of your frustrations when you're blasting apart level after level trying to destroy your friends.

Most of the previous Worms games utilized the same worm-on-worm turn-based strategy on a side-scrolling 2D plane. Revolution keeps the 2D gameplay but pairs it with a 3D background. The 2.5D environments look really sharp, with more details and textures than the previous games in the series, as well as the notable addition of dynamic water. That might sound like a cosmetic change, but water actually plays an important role in each match. Utilized correctly, it can wash enemy worms away or simply drown them, and each level's holes and valleys can quickly become waterlogged traps. This element does a great job of adding another layer of strategy to each match, not to mention the hilarity of watching your enemy worms get swept away by a tidal wave.

Worms: Revolution's other major contribution to the series is the implementation of worm classes. Rather than four worms with the same HP and skill sets, you can now mix and match from the "all-arounder" Soldier, the weak Scientist with healing abilities, the slow but hard to kill Brute, and the Scout, described as "weapon fodder but fast." There are some advantages to having a variety of classes on your four-worm Deathmatch squad, particularly when items on the map can only be reached by using the Scout's small stature or more nimble jumping ability. For the most part, however, there's no real reason to do so, making the different classes a nice but underutilized touch.

The single-player campaign mode helps you get acquainted with the various weapons and utilities that can be used in battle. Campaign stages are basic deathmatches, usually four vs. four, in which your team must use the tools at hand to destroy the worms on the opposing team. A quarter of the 32 campaign levels are snooze-worthy training sessions that probably could have been combined into just two or three quick tutorial levels. A voiceover narration guides you through each level, sometimes a little too much, and while the dialogue is supposed to be humorous, it often misses the mark.

After the hand-holding training missions, in which the opposing team does literally nothing but wait to be killed, it's jarring to move on to levels that actually use enemy AI. While you struggle to get that bazooka shot just right or separate your worms so they don't make easy group targets, your foes will nail pretty much every attack. It's one thing to get hit by a cluster bomb thrown at short range, but computer opponents destroy your team members too often with shotgun blasts from across the board or grenades that fall perfectly into the crevice where you're hiding.

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