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August 29, 2005
Worms 4 Mayhem - Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
12/8/2005AtariTeam 171-4PGMedium
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen

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Time to run guys!
Believe it or not but this is actually the fourth Worms title to be released on the Playstation 2 in PAL territories. Previous titles include Worms Blast, Worms 3D and Worms Forts: Under Siege. It's been a tough ride for Team 17's series as the transition from 2D to 3D has really struggled to work well. Indeed reviews have been harsh but gamers keep coming back for more, so much so that the series is almost on an EA-like yearly update schedule at the moment.

For those who are unfamiliar with the Worms titles the game plays as a turn based strategy/action game where your objective is simply to kill the opposing team before they manage to eliminate all your team. Naturally you are equipped with a wide array of weapons including baseball bats, bazookas, shotguns, homing missiles and grenades. But thatís where the serious weapons end and you start to reach the whacky weapons. Banana Bombs, exploding sheep, old ladies and Inflatable Scouser are just a couple of the more interesting weapons as well. The Worms also have a wide range of items which can be used including jetpacks, parachutes and girders to help you cross large gaps. As you battle out in the levels it's possible to destroy parts of these levels which can cause the worms to fall to their deaths, or give you better access to attack them and so on.

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I love the new explosions.
The single player game takes place over five different themed zones including Jurassic, Camelot, Arabian, Construction and Wild West. With 25 missions, many taking around 30 minutes to complete assuming you win the level, there's quite a bit of gameplay in this title. In single-player its not always about destroying the opposition first, sometimes you will need to collect objects or destroy certain objects. One big focus for Team 17 has been the customisation of your worms. It's not possible to select from different haircuts, skin colour glasses and so on and while it's primarily a cosmetic thing it does add a little more fun.

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Now that's a weapon - a snow globe.
The one area that does save this title in many regards is the multi-player for up to 4-players at once. It's fantastic fun, especially if three of you gang up on one of the teams. Not only can you play on any of the 25 single player maps but the developers have included 20 additional multi-player maps.

Graphically Worms 4 Mayhem is quite simplistic but uses a bold range of colours making it clear to see what's happening. In fact it does look quite special with all new cel-shaded explosions actually working quite well. What isn't quite as impressive is the camera which, while improved from the previous game, still goes a bit haywire at times, especially after you've fired your weapon. At times the camera will be placed at such an angle, or behind an object so you can't clearly see the result. The cut scenes are minimal, often amusing, but without the voices (which we'll talk about in a second) they seem lacking.

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Gotta love the expression!
Sound is certainly one of this games weakest aspects. The music is quite forgettable and the effects sound about the same as the old 16-bit games in the series. What really pisses me off though is the replacement of the cool little voices for the worms with sims like "meep meep" sounds which lack almost any charm and entertainment. I still remember playing as the old soldiers or Aussies all those years ago. It's almost as if Team 17 couldn't be stuffed making up some funny phrases or hiring the voice talent to voice the worms properly. Piss poor Team 17.

So Worms 4 Mayhem is the best 3D game in the Worms series by far, but it still isn't a patch on the older 2D titles. Why, Team 17, don't you create a game in the old 2D style that everyone loved to start with - or is it more Sony's insistence on no 2D based games in this generation? Who knows. Having said that this game can be entertaining in multi-player with some fun moments at times.

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version) or Amazon (NTSC Version)
GRAPHICSBold and colourful with nice cel-shaded explosions. OK cut scenes.
SOUNDWhere are the old Worms voices? Quite average music and effects.
GAMEPLAYThe game works ok, and is improve with multi-player if you care.
VALUE25 single player missions, 20 multi-player and more - not enough.
OVERALLIf you enjoyed the previous 3D titles you'll probably enjoy this one as well - it would be hard not to it's almost the same. Newcomers and fans of the old 2D games may want to try before you buy though.

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