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Worms (PlayStation 3) artwork

Worms (PlayStation 3) review

"Of all the games Iíve played for the PS One, Hogs Of War was quite possibly the most entertaining. It didnít have phenomenal graphics, a powerful story or a brilliant soundtrack. But it had charm, unique characters and hilarious one-liners for nearly every pig. I thought it would have been loved by many. Sadly, most called it a knock-off, claiming that Worms was the original version, and far superior in nearly every aspect. When it finally came to the Playstation network, I snagged..."

Of all the games Iíve played for the PS One, Hogs Of War was quite possibly the most entertaining. It didnít have phenomenal graphics, a powerful story or a brilliant soundtrack. But it had charm, unique characters and hilarious one-liners for nearly every pig. I thought it would have been loved by many. Sadly, most called it a knock-off, claiming that Worms was the original version, and far superior in nearly every aspect. When it finally came to the Playstation network, I snagged it--mainly because I buy into everything I read. I thought Hogs was awesome. I was about to play its predecessor. The original, definitive version baby! Iím going to be addicted to this for months, right?


Sadly, no. Worms has style, and heart, donít get me wrong but thereís noting really solid in the game play department. Basically, itís Battle Tanks with a vast array of weapons and little pink blobs with eyeballs that serve as your soldiers. Ten total adorn the field--five on your side, five on the enemyís. Once the battle starts, you have the option of moving and attacking with only one worm at a time before the game puts control into the hands of the opposing team. And while they work their way around, lining up bazooka shots or hurling grenades you have no option of moving your worms, or counterattacking. You simply stand there praying that whateverís being aimed at you misses.

But prayers donít always work, so itís better to go in with a strategy. Using weapons that will leave you a safe distance away like a cluster grenade or an air raid is a good option, as opposed to using melee combat like the fire punch (which flings worms high into the air, while the attacker screams out ďHadoukenĒ) or laying down a stick of dynamite at a soldierís feetÖer, tail.

Yeah, it does some massive damage but if youíre anywhere near it youíre going to be blown into little pink bits as well.* Which usually happens, because itís almost impossible to crawl away in time.

And that was one of my biggest complaints about Worms: itís slow. Most times itís almost too casual. As opposed to Hogs, Worms takes place on a 2-D environment, and while the backgrounds and lands are rendered beautifully (theyíve obviously smoothed them for the upgrade to the PSN), you spend what little time you have slinking along at a snailís pace, jumping over massive obstacles--or rather, attempting as you never really make it. Itís simply crawling along the multi-level jagged rocks, or uneven beaches then hoping you can situate yourself with enough time to fire off a shot before itís the other teamís turn. Many I missed because they were done so out of panic.

Itís a strategy game, so I was lenient and patient, but thereís no real driving factor behind it. Worms doesnít have a story mode of any kind. Itís simply one war after the next, with enemies increasing in difficulty. Once youíve finished all the challenges with one group, you move onto a different one and start the same thing all over. I never got to know my worms as I did in Hogs. There, each one had a name and a personality. I liked them. I cared little for my worms, and gladly sacrificed any one of them to further my ambitions forÖwinning, nothing less. I had no desire to see everyone come home safely. I didnít get to promote them, build them up from a grunt to a spy or demolition expert because the option isnít there. Thereís no way to improve their levels or earn more HP--aside from grabbing a medical pack thatís randomly dropped. Thereís really no incentive for playing, or at least to continue playing.

Yes, I can see the draw for someone whoís in search of something entirely laid-back. The weapons that Worms supplies are incredibly unique. You do have those prototypical of a war game like bazookas, grenades, and flame-throwers--all of which are easy enough to use. You simply target, choose the arc, then determine the power by holding down one button. But you also have the fun, obscure weapons like The Holy Hand Grenade that blowsÖwell, the holy hell out of everything (and amusingly, ďHallelujahĒ chimes out once the weapon finds a target). Thereís the Super Sheep thatís held high above a wormís head. When itís launched, it scurries about in search of a target. If it finds one, it proceeds to unleash Matrix-like marital arts on its victim.

Sometimes the worms do have entertaining antics or one-liners. Inadvertently blast one on your team and he screams out ďTraitorĒ. When you equip the Fire Punch, your wormís face grows intense, and he wraps a red head band on, looking like a pink, fluffy Rambo. When one dies, he stares straight into the camera--looking as forlorn as possible--pulls out a detonator and blows himself up. Though nothing was as amusing as the sheep racing about, flailing each and every limb while his head bobbed about in search of a target.


And for anyone in search of a simple game with no real reward or ultimate goal it works--very well. But for some--like me--a little depth is required. A story mode perhaps, unlockable content or the ability to level-up your worms. Some sort of incentive at least. Quicken it up a bit, so that my time is spent fighting and strategizing as opposed to simply moving about. For those reasons, I have to say that any who claimed Worms as the definitive title were mistaken. Sorely, truly mistaken.

* - Not meant to be taken literally. Your worms do not actually blow up into tiny pink pieces. Simply explode into a puff of smoke, leaving behind a uniquely designed tombstone.


True's avatar
Community review by True (August 08, 2010)

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- posted August 09, 2010:

I liked this review. I've never played Hogs, but you've got down why Worms isn't that compelling in single-player.

Pretty much all of the enjoyment I got out of Worms came from local multiplayer. I remember years and years ago playing hours on end with friends, match after match. In the present, this game has a dated feeling; Armageddon is way better.

Oh, I don't remember crawling away from a dynamite being too hard? But maybe that was because I spent a lot of time playing it.
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wolfqueen001 posted August 09, 2010:

I grew up with a later version of Worms called Worms: Armageddon for the PC. I love that game, but it's not that much changed from what you describe here. There are 8 team members instead of 5, several different modes of play like Mission mode and Deathmatch, and, from what it sounsd like, it might be more customizable as well (you can name your characters and set your team's flag, accent, tombstone and special weapon, for example). There are new weapons but all the weapons you mentioned here are also there, though the super sheep does something else completely. (In Armageddon, you launch it into the air like like some sort of Sheepy Superman where you have full control of its movements, even turn it all the way around, until you make contact with an object or enemy where it explodes with tremendous force). Also, instead of saying Hadouken with the fire punch, the worm just says "Hiiii-ya!" like some kind of karate master. But there are two other weapons like the fire punch that may or may not have been added (the Dragon Ball (lol) and the kamekaze).

But the style of combat is the same, with the timed turns. I never had a problem with this though because to me, the strategy was entirely in how well you used your turn. I never had an issue with moving around, either, since usually often you're in range of another enemy, and if you weren't, there was a "weapon" (more like an item) you could use to switch to a different team member (with a limited number of uses, of course).

Dynamite was always my favorite - certainly better than the land mine - because of how destructive it was. I never had an issue getting away; if I found myself too dangerously close to exploding, I'd jump to try and get some distance more quickly.

Man that game was fun. You not enjoying the original version makes me wonder whether the version I played had made a lot of improvements with regard to what you complain about or if it's just a matter of game preference. I've never played Hogs, though, so I can't make that comparison, but that one does sound pretty cool in and of itself.

I like that you touched on the amusing and quirky aspects of the game. I think that contributed greatly to my appreciation of Armageddon; that style of humor is really great.

Anyway, good luck with this one. Even though we're on opposite sides of the preference line, I understand completely where you're coming from with this game, so I'd say it's definitely effective. I don't think I found anything particularly wrong with it, though I would add that headband is a single word; you've got it broken up into two.
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True posted August 09, 2010:

Thanks for the feedback, Ben and Furry Face.

Crawling away from the dynamite may not have been that big a deal after I learned that jumping is a far faster way to move as opposed to just walking, but there were four or five times before I learned that trick that left me hurting.

Head band is one word?! Naughty Firefox. I don't know why but when I posted this, it said it was a typo so I separated it. I should know better.
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Halon posted August 09, 2010:

Yeah I kinda agree with Ben. I'm tempted to pick this up when it comes out for the PC in two weeks or so and while the review wasn't bad per se it actually gave me a nostalgic feeling and got me excited for the game. Worms is basically made to be played with friends while joking around and taunting each other. It's basically like trying to review Quake or Team Fortress based on its offline bot mode. It exists, but is hardly the appeal of the game.

I still think you did a pretty good job with this one and probably wouldn't be saying anything at all if Worms 2 and Armageddon weren't two of my favorite games back in middle school!

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