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Review by: Justin Mills
Published: June 29, 1999
Whenever I play a game from the Worms series, I always think of the Batman movies. Did you ever notice how Batman would always seem to have an absolutely perfect gadget available for any imaginable task? Like the numerous grappling hooks or the bat-boomerang he whipped out to tag the circus freaks. Or how about the pincher device he installed on the Batwing, just in case some maniac tried to poison the city with parade balloons? By the end of the film, his utility belt was empty and his foes were vanquished. Similarly, in Worms: Armageddon, you’ll combine ingenuity with the technology of a myriad of gadgets in order to lead your crack squad of quirky worms to victory.
Worms: Armageddon is the latest offering in an inventive series, and while it’s not a full-blown sequel, it still offers new weapons, gadgets and music, enhanced graphics, a new single-player campaign and additional multiplayer options, just to name a few of the improvements since Worms II. Like its predecessors, Worms: Armageddon is a turn-based strategy game in which players must utilize a wild assortment of weapons and gadgets in order to thwart enemy worms. Visually, these titles are similar to Psygnosis’ popular Lemmings series, with their colorful and cartoony two-dimensional maps and terrain that is easily deformed by the various utilities of the characters. However, unlike Lemmings, a real-time puzzler in which the greatest threat to victory is the relentless and aimless march of your little suicidal followers, Worms: Armageddon is a turn-based strategy title that requires you to thwart an armed opposition of enemy worms.
The single-player campaign is broken down into multiple segments that are accessible to worm squadrons that have passed corresponding levels of basic training. Once you’ve completed the first set of training exercises, your team is awarded a bronze medal and you’ll have access to the first seven or eight missions. Additionally, the campaign is linear, so you can’t play the second mission until you’ve beaten the first. The missions in Worms: Armageddon seem to have two distinct styles of play. On some ops, you’re given a large arsenal to take out the overwhelming opposition in any way you see fit. On the opposite spectrum, some missions will give you a very specific task and an extremely limited arsenal. For example, one particularly tough mission asks you to take out a worm who has barricaded himself underneath a large tower. Armed only with a single steel girder and a bow with arrows, you’ll need to conjure up a way of scaling the massive tower to acquire a devastating weapon on the other side. These types of tasks usually don’t have many more than one possible solution and are much more restrictive than the missions that ask you to wipe out any resistance.
Fans of the Worms series will be happy to know that the spirit of Worms: Armageddon is true to its predecessors. The silly voices, the innovative items and the remarkably effective battle physics are all in place. Additionally, each single-player mission now has a briefing which informs you of the situation, specifies your tasks and allows the witty Team 17 to deepen the tongue-in-cheek experience with serious, militaristic dialogue. Furthermore, not all of the missions depend on you eliminating the opposition. Sometimes, you’ll be asked to assassinate one particular worm or retrieve a specific crate from the map. These design variations are a welcome departure from the usual flood of search-and-destroy missions.
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