ReviewXBLAXbox 360

Worms: Ultimate Mayhem

[gameinfo title=”Game Info” game_name=”” developers=”Team17 Software” publishers=”Microsoft Game Studios” platforms=”” genres=”” release_date=”August 12, 2011″]

Worms is a storied franchise that started out on Amiga and moved to PC and early consoles in the mid-90’s.  Luckily in this generation of consoles, we have been gifted with remakes of the early 2D Worms titles with Worms and Worms 2 Armageddon.  The series showcases the humor and fun of controlling cartoon worms with outlandish weaponry trying to destroy each other and the environment.  Worms: Ultimate Mayhem, developed and published by Team17 Software, is a continuation of the series that combines it’s two 3D based titles Worms 3D and Worms 4: Mayhem into one downloadable title with extras.  Does the collection of 3D titles stand up to the 2D goodness that preceded them or is this just a release for the sake of those that have the collector bug and want to catch them all?

As mentioned previously, Worms: Ultimate Mayhem contains the content from Worms 3D and Worms 4: Mayhem.  This gives the player quite a few modes to play with like two challenge modes, two story modes, quick play, multiplayer, and tutorial.  The story missions from 3D and 4 and are exactly the same as they were in the their original games.  Story modes were never the biggest draw for the Worms series, but with XBLA and the lack of community these games tend to have 3-4 months after launch there just might not be anything else for you to do with the title but play single player.  So the amount of single player content is great, but the quality of it might not so much be unless you can tolerate the 3D system. The multiplayer has a crazy amount of weapons, stages, and customizations but gameplay tends to suffer from the same issues as single player a.k.a. the 3D system.

The 3D system is where the issues with this game lie.  In the 2D games, you can see or scroll the whole map.  You can see where the other worms are and plan accordingly.  Movement in the 2D games is simple platforming that we all grew up with since the eighties. Unfortunately none of these are the case with the 3D.  Sluggish camera controls and awkward angles severely affect gameplay.  The typical turn in a match is turned into torture.  The player starts with their worm and have to spend at least 5 seconds orienting where they are.  They look around for potential targets that could be hidden behind 3D objects.  If they have to climb or jump somewhere, heaven better help them because the controls won’t with the sub-par platforming.   Once they have in their sights what they want to destroy, a few prayers to the appropriate god must be made in the hopes that their imprecise weapon actually comes close to the target because unlike the 2D games damage radius and terrain deformation are drastically reduced.   By the time a match is over, the player will have a head full of white hair and one foot in the grave.

Graphically the game is very bland and cartoonish.  Cartoonish is not necessarily a bad thing but times have changed and textures on objects don’t necessarily have to be one shade of color.  The graphics are pretty much unchanged from their original games other than being in HD.  The AI of the non-player worms seems to be lacking in the 3D versions.  While they weren’t the smartest in the 2D games, some levels could be downright difficult due to the AI.  That never seemed to be the case in Ultimate Mayhem.  Achievement wise expect to spend a large amount of time in multiplayer completing matches.

Score: 4/10

The 3D games were never on par with the 2D ones and now that Team 17 has finished re-releasing old titles hopefully any new Worms titles will go back to 2D goodness.  This game is definitely for the collector that wants all of the Worms titles on one system but others should give it a pass and stick with the 2D titles.

Brandon Koch

I write stuff. I play stuff. I code stuff.

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