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Worms: Revolution Review

Sarah LeBoeuf | 11 Oct 2012 16:30
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Because of the frustrating enemy AI, combat in campaign stages is usually sloppy and hectic, not at all strategic. Even though Revolution has dozens of quirky items that can be used in battle, it's usually easier to use the same few weapons over and over again just to get the job done quickly. Instead of using the environment to your advantage, you can blast through it to find the quickest, most destructive path to your foes. All of the strategic training from the tutorial levels goes out the window as soon as the single-player mode became an actual kill-or-be-killed affair, and while the victories are satisfying, it often feels like luck plays a bigger role than skill.

Though the campaign can be uneven, multiplayer is where Worms: Revolution really shines. Up to four people can play against each other locally or online, and once your too-perfect AI opponents are replaced with real people capable of human error, the fun begins. You'll utilize every weapon at your disposal, teleport across the board to grab health or power-ups, use water strikes to wash enemy worms off cliffs, and watch your friends attempt to destroy each other (and you), often with hilarious results. It's infinitely more fun to play against opponents who are prone to imperfect aiming and silly goof-ups. No matter which of the many modes available that you prefer, the turn-based strategy is really at its best when playing locally with friends.

The single-player Puzzles mode is typically a less frustrating experience than the campaign, and a good option if you don't have any friends handy. Instead of controlling a team of four worms, you'll usually only have one or two, and your task of eliminating the opposing team is hindered by a lack of weapons, environmental hazards, and other level-specific challenges. Resources are extremely limited, meaning there's no room for mistakes. This gameplay mode gives you a chance to use some of the tools you may not want to bother with in the campaign, like the blowtorch, ninja rope, and UFO, which really shows off the variety in Revolution's inventory. However, because you only get exactly the number of utilities you need, there's a lot of trial and error involved in completing each stage, which can get repetitive. More puzzles with multiple solutions would have been interesting, but even without them, it's an intriguing mode that will have you trying over and over again to figure out each solution.

Worms: Revolution isn't always successful in its quest to deliver an engaging, wacky strategy experience, but when it works, it's great. It's a game best experienced with friends, and the graphical upgrade, dynamic water, and familiar gameplay should please longtime fans of the series. Some changes to the single-player modes, especially a better difficulty balance in the campaign, would have gone a long way towards making it a better game. If you've got a few friends and a few hours, though, it's an entertaining way to kill an afternoon.

Bottom line: It's the same zany Worms strategy gameplay with a few new twists, though not all of the additions improve the experience.

Recommendation: If you've got friends to play with, Worms: Revolution can be a blast. The single-player campaign is less enjoyable, but the new Puzzles mode is pretty engaging, despite its trial-and-error nature.

This review was based on the XBLA version of the game.

Game: Worms: Revolution
Genre: Turn-Based Strategy
Developer: Team17 Software
Publisher: Team17 Software
Platform(s): Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Available from: Amazon(US), GameStop(US)

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