There's always been a charm to destroying unfortunate invertebrates with outrageous weapons. As such, when Worms: Revolution debuted as a downloadable title on the PlayStation Network, we jumped at the chance to take up arms. It turns out that the tongue-in-cheek strategy game remains a great way to waste time, but not necessarily for the right reasons.
This time around, there are four different classes. The scout is quick and agile, but very weak. The heavy is the complete opposite: slow but powerful with a lot of health. The soldier is the all-around, good at everything but great at nothing, while the big-brained scientist is the healer of the bunch. The trick is figuring out how to build your team in the most efficient way possible in order to conquer your foes. You have a set amount of time to make your move before it's your opponent's turn.
Using the environment to your advantage is paramount, especially if you can create chain reactions. There are often mines and drums of oil littering the world that can be used indirectly (or very directly, depending on the circumstances) against your enemies. It's important to always plan ahead and keep an eye out for crates containing goodies.
Your worms have loads of new toys to play with, along with a bunch of classic favourites that make their return. There are main-stays like your standard bazooka and grenades. Keep in mind that wind direction is important as well as the arc, angle, and power of your shot depending on your weapon of choice. Then you have your more bizarre weapons. For us, the 'Sheep' is still a personal favourite that guarantees a giggle every time we use it. A lot of the new toys are used to traverse the environment, such as the ninja rope, jet packs, and parachutes. However, there are also tools to help you burrow, dig, and even teleport.
In addition to blowing up teams of worms you can play 'Puzzle' mode. The puzzles alternate between straight forward and difficult to subtle and misleading. These are logic puzzles for the most part, but often involve some ingenuity on your side to solve them. Often you'll find that there's only one way to finish the puzzles, and you'll be forced to stumble across the solution by accident.
But that's the least of the game's problems. There are some control issues; worms don't always do what you intend (no bad jokes please). There sometimes seems to be a slight delay in response just after a turn starts, which can lead to jumping too soon or not turning around. What's really frustrating is you can't save whenever you want, so if you screw up you have to start from the very beginning. The levels aren't long, but it still gets old quick. The key is being patient, which is sometimes harder than it sounds.
These control frustrations are compounded by the fact that your foes occasionally demonstrate unerring accuracy. The enemy AI subscribes to a weird paradox. On the one hand they're awesome shots, judging wind and angle impressively, but they're also susceptible to blowing themselves up. It would be comical if it wasn't for those moments where you feel cheated.
The cute graphics juxtapose the ultra violence; the backgrounds are dynamic and the colours pop. There are some frame rate issues, but that's not at all surprising. Revolution's narrator is wonderfully sadistic – taking almost joyous pleasures in his descriptions of the carnage and destruction. Your soldiers say all kinds of cute phrases in their little wormy voices, but before long things get repetitive. This is one of those games where you can turn down the volume and turn up your iPod.
There are extensive training modes that introduce both the campaign and the puzzles mode. These take entirely too long. We’d have been happy figuring out some of it ourselves. Did we really need to repeat the same basic technique five times?
Playing Worms Revolution with friends, online or off, is far and away the best way to experience the game. Multiplayer is a riot, especially when the trash talking ensues. The inherent control flaws affect everyone equally, so if you screw up there's no one to blame but yourself.
Worms Revolution is a cute experience, assuming you don't take it too seriously. If you do, it will drive you nuts. This is definitely a game that will appeal more to old-school fans, as newcomers will find the game frustrating due to its control issues. The sad truth is that Team 17's classic strategy series isn't as fun as it used to be – but it's still a decent timewaster if you've got some buddies nearby.