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Review by: Keith Durocher
Published: May 1, 2004
In 1994, Team 17 released the very first Worms game, forever altering the face of turn-based war amongst bone-free nematoda. 1997 saw the release of the sequel, Worms 2. After that, a total of nine subsequent releases carried the franchise to the present day. It’s now 2004, and the 10th offering has been locked, loaded and fired upon us all. That ordnance is called Worms 3D, and battlefields might never be the same again.
Worms 3D is, as its name implies, a fully three-dimensional interpretation of the scorched earth action that made the legendary line of releases synonymous with violently absurd good times. Everything that made the classic side-scroller such a blast is in full effect here: bazookas, mortars, grenades, cluster bombs, shotguns, baseball bats, ninja ropes, mad cows, suicide sheep and holy hand grenades. Amorphous invertebrates wield all of these weapons and more in a ruthless war that covers all manner of different areas. Though it might not seem like it based on the above description, this is absolutely a family-friendly title. There’s nothing really distressing about cartoons; it’s hard to be shocked by a game that uses flatulent old ladies as a weapon.
For the single-player campaign, the fighting is more objective-based than free-for-all. The odds are frequently, if not always, stacked against you. For example, one mission sees you not only blasting through all enemy worms but also getting to high ground as quickly as possible. Your opponents have resorted to cheap tricks and turned on the water mains in the garden where this particular battle is taking place. Wouldn’t you know it, but your own troops can’t swim very well, so if you don’t get upwardly mobile in time, you’ll drown. This particular map is one of the earliest in the game, and it’s also one of the easier challenges with which you’ll deal. Things become more complex as you progress, as you’re deprived of resources and given ever-tightening time frames in which to work. Madly dashing across a glacier with no weapons while an enemy who has high ground and a surplus of grenades uses you for target practice is another interesting scenario. The idea for this one is to get to the dastardly villain before he can drown some stolen mad cows.
Playing through the main campaign not only unlocks new maps for use in LAN multiplayer, it also opens up new settings in the Challenge mode. This aspect of Worms 3D single-player is just a fancy way of practicing certain weapon types. The first of these is shotgun target practice, in which you’re given a downwards-ticking timer and a series of targets at which to shoot. You have unlimited ammunition, and every target hit increases the seconds on the clock. Your goal is to get as high of a score as possible, which is pretty much the extent of Challenge Mode. There’s also a quick match feature that fires up a random map and AI team against which you can battle (for the lumbricus terrestris on the go).
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