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The Worms Collection review

What more can really be said about the Worms games. They have been around for what seems like forever, appearing on pretty much every home computer and console since their inception, with the digital download age allowing newcomers and even older fans to revisit wormageddon on their current box under the TV. Well now Team 17 have packaged all of the recent digital versions on one disc, granting us access to Worms, Worms 2, and Worms Ultimate Mayhem without the need to download them and with that in mind please note that this collection is not every game with the Worms title, this is a collection of the more recent games that started to arrive back in 2007 on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Store.

Having put plenty of time into the original Amiga version, the 2007 digital release came as a pleasant surprise, keeping faithful to the original gameplay whilst really upping the graphical look of the game, managing to give those cute little worms even more of a personality, plus, with the addition of online play making it a triumphant return to this violent and cute world. Worms is best described as a 2D turn based strategy game, with teams of four worms populating a randomly created map and battling it out until the last team is standing. Controls and rules are pretty simple and have been unchanged over the many incarnations with you allocated a set time to move your worm around or the best position then bring up the weapon menu, choose what you want and let rip. Each weapon works differently from the next but most have similar control systems with items like grenades or rockets having a pitch and speed control, holding down the weapon button to charge your shot or you have the immediate up close and personal like dropping mines and dynamite, which will then grant you a few extra seconds to leg it. It's not all out warfare as tactics will play a huge part in how you win the game, using the destructible environments to your advantage with blowtorches and drills to dig to victory or even placing girders to guide you grenade throws.

As with all of the Worms games it is the insane plethora of weapons available that make this title so addictive like the homing missile or air-strike for easy shots down to the mastering of the pitch and speed of throwing grenades to make you a foe to reckon with, with perfect throws causing more damage than a up close and personal dragon punch. Then of course you have the classics like the Sheep that leaps and bleats until you choose to detonate them or the extremely destructive Banana Bomb, fun and devastating to watch but very easy to get you own worms caught up in the resulting destruction.

Though I have a lot of love for Worms; the sequel Worms 2: Armageddon is in every way a much better game, leaving the actual action pretty much unchanged but then adding a serious amount of new modes and options. First up you have the ability to create a team of four worms, giving them original names and dressing up your team as you see fit, purchasing more items from the shop as and when you have earned coins form the campaign mode. Here you will travel through a selection of levels, with each map offering different challenges, some are simple like kill all of the enemy worms whilst others are more puzzle based, with a kind of anti-Lemmings approach where you need to get your worm to an exit any way you can, which usually involves explosives.

With plenty of extra downloadable maps and puzzles included on this disc and the destructive capability of your worms also being upped considerably with napalm strikes and petrol bombs now joining the already large selection of weapons Worms 2: Armageddon will entertain both on and offline for some time.

The last title on the disc is Worms Ultimate Mayhem; this is actually a combination of both Worms 3D and Worms 4 and is a whole different can of...er...worms. Bringing our spineless chums more up to date, their battles now take place over large 3D worlds. The game is still offering classic turn based battles but this time in fully created 3D worlds, your worms are able to make use of the many areas of cover and even though it takes some getting used to, the extra dimension really adds to the action. Again all of the classic weapons make their return along with plenty of new additions. There is loads on offer here, including two main campaigns which like previous games will earn coins which you can then spend on customising your worms.

Whilst it certainty looks great there are a few disappointing areas that do not quite match up to the 2D versions on the same disc. Though the environments are destructible, it's not enough; walls and ceilings get blown up with ease but using tactics from the original like burying deep underground just will not work here. Also lining up shots can be a real challenge, when you are sure you had the enemy bang in your sights only to miss and finally, more of a statement than a problem, these games are older than the other two on the collection as they had been previously released on older consoles.

As a whole collection, Worms Ultimate Mayhem will be overlooked more than the others as they are the stronger titles, but even these are marred by very little effort being put into this collection, one being a personal bug bear with these sort of collections, there is no way to swap between games which is a little annoying, plus the achievements are solely linked to the original digital versions of the game with 200 points available per game, so if you have played them before do not expect any new achievements to pop.

The Worms games will always be one of the better collections out there to offer intense and classic multiplayer action and if you have never owned a version this is really worth it for Worms and Worms 2: Armageddon, however if you own even one of these games already the overall cost may not necessarily be a saving.

Words by Ash Buchanan

Review Policy (Version tested: PC)

Edited On 31 Aug, 2012

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