January 20, 2000

Worms Armageddon - Review

Release Date Publisher Developer Players Rating RRP
22/12/1999MicroproseTeam 174G$89.95
VMU Game Difficulty Save Size Rumble 60Hz PAL Border
NoHard33 BlocksYesNoSmall

One of Europe's premiere developers during the days of the Amiga was Team 17. In recent years however their releases have been fairly quiet but fortunately for Dreamcast owners they have decided to develop several titles on Sega's new system. Worms Armageddon is the first game on the system and is a sequel to the previous 2 worms games which appeared on PC and Playstation.

The intro for worms sets the tone of the game perfectly. The humorous intro sees a couple of worms killed while laughing at another whom is about to be killed by explosives. From then on there is little doubt that this game is designed to be fun, and it certainly appears to be.

The idea behind Worms Armageddon is simple. After selecting a team of worms you are placed in a battle field (which is randomly generated map) with opposing worms also appearing in the same area. The game is turn based combat with the idea being to blow up the enemy before they blow you up. But it's not as easy as it sounds. The wind constantly changes strength and direction and this will have differing effects on different weapons (missiles are affected, hand grenades are not). Your will also have to work out the trajectory and power given to the weapon before launching it. During battles crates will occasionally fall from the sky and provide different bonuses such as special weapons, health or utilities such as jet packs or laser guidance equipment.

The weapons in Worms Armageddon are some of the most varied ever in a video game. Not only are you equipped with fairly standard shotguns, hand guns, missiles, hand grenades and mines but also an assortment of odd weapons including exploding sheep, an old woman (who explodes), super banana bomb or a homing pigeon. These are just some of the 55 weapons on offer.

The graphics in Worms Armageddon are rather simple. Don't expect the game to set any new standards in 3D modeling. In fact, don't expect any 3D graphics at all. The game world is presented in 2D with a side on view of the action. The 2D graphics are very crisp and there is excellent variety in the background graphics.

Worms Armageddon has a wide selection of music. Fortunately, unlike a lot of puzzle/strategy games, the music isn't annoying, and sets the mood in each level perfectly. One thing that does make this game stand out, are the excellent sound effects. While the explosions are nothing that you wouldn't expect, it is possible to select the dialect for your worms when they talk or cry out in pain. There are about 30 different languages in total to select from, including a rather dubious Australian accent.

While everything is pointing to a great game so far there is one major problem with the game. Even though the Dreamcast boasts a 200Mhz SH-4 CPU the game can be frustratingly slow in single player mode. While you might finish your turn in a couple of seconds the computer opponents take an eternity, sometimes up to 30 seconds to decide what to do. There is no way to speed this wait up and after a few games it becomes very annoying. In 2 player mode this problem doesn't come into effect, but for a game with so few CPU calculations required and limited graphics this is an inexcusable mistake.

Don't get me wrong, Worms Armageddon is a good game overall. Unfortunately as a single player game the amount of time spent waiting for the CPU opponent takes away most of the fun. As a multi player game Worms Armageddon is the best there is. It's a shame that this game wasn't held back for internet play as it would have been perfect. If you've got a lot of friends, don't hesitate to buy this game. If your on your own, you may wish to look elsewhere.

Graphics Sound Gameplay Value Overall

74%

79%

67%
(88% 2+ players)

71%

77%