Worm fighting has been a staple in our gaming diet for well over a decade now, with creators Team 17 providing a formula that is consistently colourful, full of laughs and strategically taxing.
Where the Worms titles of recent years have focussed on taking the fight into the third dimension, Worms Revolution takes a step backwards. Back to the us good old days of 2D gameplay, where the series made it’s debut and churned out it’s most loved titles.
But what does Worms Revolution have that makes it so … revolutionary? The most major of innovations is the introduction of class-based warfare. It features four distinct types of worm which you can use to build your annelidic A-Team. Each class has a distinct look and characteristics that make them better (or worse) at particular types of warfare. The classes are:
Soldier – The friendly pink blobs that we all know and love. These little guys are the standard fighters are generally pretty good all-rounders but don’t excel in any particular area.
Scientist – Or the big brains, as I like to refer to them. These worms are characterised by their disproportionate heads and skinny bodies. They are weaker than other worms, meaning they have less hit points, however, their presence on the team causes the health of their allies to rise after each turn. Worth protecting, or placing in a hole with a girder over it.
Heavy – The Heavies are bigger than your average worm and as a result, their attacks pack more of a punch. However, these mini-tanks move very slowly and are absolutely rubbish at jumping. Great for soaking up enemy fire, but don’t expect them to do much exploration.
Scout – These spindly little fellows are probably my favourite of the new classes. They are super fast on their feet (?), able to jump really far and small enough to fit through many gaps that ordinary soldier worms can’t. They are a bit weaker than your average worm, but when a worm can jump over three mines without triggering a single one, you overlook these minor details.
Naturally, you’ll want to experiment and get a feel for which combinations you want to use for battles. You’re able to do this relatively easy by using a new team customisation option called Formations. In this section you can select the worms that you want to use in your team, from the four classes. This can be one of each, all of one type or any assortment that you like. You can then do all the usual team customisation stuff, like renaming them, giving them silly hats and most importantly of all, selecting their voices from the comedy soundbank.
Revolution also features some rather impressive environment hazards called Physics Objects. These can range from moveable terrain, items that explode on impact and random bodies of water which can wash your worms away or submerge them causing damage. Though I was initially a tad wary of the inclusion of the new interactive terrain, after getting your head around each piece and learning how you can use it to your advantage, it begins to feel so natural that you find yourself wondering why it hasn’t been included in previous titles.
Along with the new Physics Objects, players have several new weapons and items to get to grips with. The main items of note are centered around the new water system and include: the Water Pistol, able to wash away your foes or fill a hole that they are taking cover in, plus a Water Bomb and Water Strike, which do much of the same, but on a grander scale. There is also a handy tool called the Plughole, which you can use if you find yourself trapped underwater.
Of course, these wacky new weapons sit alongside the existing staples like Dynamite, Super Sheep and Shotguns that you are no doubt well acquainted with. It’s really nice to see some new kit alongside all your old favourites. After all, a variety of ways to deal death has always been part of what has made Worms so special.
The graphics in Worms Revolution are the best that we’ve ever seen in the series. Never before has the water looked so fluid (or made such a delightful plopping sound), the explosions so dynamic or the Prod so well animated. This is exactly how we fantasised about Worms games looking back in the 90s and even exceeds the standards set by the recent HD remakes of the classics.
The blend of 3D objects and characters on a 2D platform always works flawlessly, giving you the impeccable, yet humorous character design, whilst providing environments and living backgrounds that really breath new life into the series.
The campaign and training missions are also narrated by the unmistakable, comedy voice of Matt Berry, of IT Crowd and Dark Places fame. The inclusion of Berry as a narrative tool is a stroke of genius and fits right in with the game’s quirky, well established sense of humour.
To sum up
The Worms Revolution Collection not only provides fans with the full Worms Revolution game, it also includes all three DLC packages for the game, as well as Worms 2: Armageddon and all of it’s subsequent DLC packs. A veritable smorgasbord of wormery to satisfy your genocidal urges and a must have for those that didn’t already pick these up separately on the Xbox Live Marketplace.
Revolution is the classic Worms game that we all know and love with a tasty graphical overhaul an a bunch of new features that bolster the experience. Coupled with Armageddon, this is a wonderful opportunity to own the latest member of the worms family along with one of the greatest titles in Worms history. It’s all jammed onto a single disc, features some cracking voice acting and the loading sign is a sheep in a cape that flies round in circles. What more could you ask for?
Version Reviewed: Xbox 360