Worms 3D Review for GameCube
Posted on Thursday, May 13, 2004 @ 09:24:15 pm E.S.T
There you are, right in the middle of a vicious war. Your team has just been dropped off on a nearby island held by a group of enemies. One of your teammates fires a bazooka across the beach, striking one of the enemies into the ocean. A nearby foe tosses a grenade back down at him, blasting him sky high. A battle breaks out and everyone around you begins to die. Two enemies are left, weak and sitting side by side. Your entire team is dead and you are the last hope. Thinking quickly, you drop a stick of dynamite between the two. They go flying off in different directions, and then they too are dead. This is just an average day in your life as a worm.
So what will it be, soldier? Are you willing to serve in the Worm army? Does wacky turn based strategy war sound interesting to you? Are you a fan of the 2D Worms’ series? If you said yes for any of these questions then you should check out Worms 3D. Are you more of a fan of fast paced action games? Do control and technical problems irk you? Do you dislike games with a cartoony style? If you said yes to these questions, then you should probably steer away from it.
If you’re a newcomer to this wiggling world of warfare known as “Worms,” then listen up: Worms is a turn-based strategy game in which players assemble a team of worms, hell bent on annihilating any another team of annelids that they face. In the past, the war was carried out on a 2D playing field. Soldiers would blast their way through piles of land with a unique array of weaponry to destroy their opponents. With Worms 3D, the only thing that has changed is the 2D playing field.
Simple? I think not! This war requires strategy if players wish to come out victorious. Not only must you pick your weapons carefully, but you also must play the wind perfectly to deal out the most damage. For example, you cannot just shoot a bazooka straight at an opponent. Instead you much shoot it while factoring in the speed and direction of wind. Not only that, but you must also know how high and hard to shoot your weapon. Here lies your first problem; it is tough as heck to aim. Players will find themselves wasting weapons and ammunition because you keep overshooting the target. Even one of the most skilled soldiers may still find himself sending bazooka shots straight into the water. This was never a problem in the 2D outings, but it's a sacrifice that was made for the 3D transition.
Upon joining this war, you’ll be given a number of weapons and utilities to help you out. While players will have weapons such as grenades, shotguns, and land mines at their disposal, they'll also be given some of the wackiest weapons you’ve ever seen. If you crave more than laying a stick of dynamite to blast your foes then instead try a sheep. Sure, it looks harmless, but this little beauty is chock full of explosives that can be detonated at will. Players can even use an explosive Old Lady to kill their enemies. Thanks to weapons like these, you’ll never find yourself using the same weapon over and over. Instead, you’ll be switching it up every turn, and because you do not have an infinite amount of uses for each weapon, you'll have to know when to use them as opposed to using a bazooka. The diverse weapon choice will certainly keep the war entertaining for soldiers and what is even better about this is that just about everything you see is destructible. So not only can players use weapons to destroy their enemies, but they can also use them to create bunkers for their own team. Also, they are given a bunch of utilities that can be used to make transportation a lot less painstaking. For example, instead of trying to jump a large gap, players could place a girder in it so they can simply walk across without the worry of falling to your death.
Your biggest enemy, however, may be controlling weapons and utilities. While some weapons require you press a button once to drop them, others will take you a while to figure out how to use them. Take the Homing Missile for example. You’d expect to aim and shoot it right? Well instead you must aim it in the air, position it on the target, and then fire it like a normal bazooka. I don’t know about you, but if I pick up a weapon that says “Homing Missile” I expect it to home the enemy no matter what speed it is being fired at. Things like this may have you scratching your head for a while, seeing as you must figure this out for yourself. This may make fights frustrating because players may find themselves blowing their team up more than your enemy. Luckily, weapons such as the Homing Missile are featured in the Tutorial Mode. This will help anyone who has played the Tutorial, but not people who just want to jump in a quick match. Every other Worms title is a pick up and play game that anyone could get the hang of from a few matches. This one is obviously not exactly the same, which is a bit of a shame.
Now that you know how this war works, it’s time for you to take your skills to the battlefield. There are five main modes of play that player scan partake in. If they feel like practicing their skills then they should start off with Tutorial. In this mode players will be given six short missions to complete that will help them learn the basics of moving and killing. In Campaign mode, players will be given a series of missions, each having its own specific objective. In Challenge mode players will have to collect or destroy as many targets as they can by using only one weapon, such as the shotgun. Only players with excellent skills will finish these with a gold ranking. And for those “kill at will” soldiers, you’ve got a Quick Match option which will throw you smack dab in the middle of a randomly generated battle.
If you’re a control freak then you will also want to join in on the battle. Just about everything can be customized. First, you can create a team by naming each soldier, controlling their voice and accent, and choosing a team flag and grave stone. Next, you can create your own game mode by customizing the weapon set, amount of health, time limit, and turn time. After creating your own set, you may save it and use it any time you wish without having to set everything all over again. The final thing you may customize is the land itself. You are able to control such things as the width, height, and distance of land. There are thousands of possibilities so the playing field shouldn’t ever seem dull.
If destroying dozens of computer controlled worms doesn’t sound all too exciting, then never fear, Worms 3D features a chaotic multiplayer mode. Four teams are allowed to be on the battlefield at a time. Thanks to this you could either have four friends each controlling one team or even more by alternating turns. As a veteran to of the war, trust me when I say this is quite possibly one of the most fun party games you could ever play. Players will be laughing out loud at dumb mistakes or cursing at each other for amazing plays. Even better, customization is fully available here to so you can destroy your friends any way you see fit. There is only one slight problem to be found in the multiplayer: Instead of using four controllers to control teams, all players much share one controller.
Mainly what’s bad about this is that if you’ve got dirty little cheaters for friends, they could take advantage of it and commit suicide with one of your worms after his turn. So, it might be smart to set up some consequences just in case. Anyone player who has played the previous Worms games knows that they suffer slightly from this problem. Usually players would have to share one keyboard, much like having to share one controller here, so this should not be anything odd to veterans, like myself.
While most wars attempt to look realistic and gritty, Worms instead does the opposite. The visuals are cartoonish, colorful, and diverse, in the same style as its 2D counterparts; Players may find themselves squirming through a World War 2-esque beach one minute, and an amusement part the next. While everything will be very easy on your worms' beady little eyes, the visuals are by no means spectacular. However, the graphics are not meant to be stunning, they are meant to look as close to its predecessors as possible, but in 3D. That ambition is fulfilled. If you’re the kind of troop who expects to see amazing, realistic textures then you will be disappointed. The other problems that you may encounter graphically are dips in the framerate. One second you’ll be moving into a position to get a good shot and the next you’ll experience a slight frame rate dip as you try to jump. Overall, however, the graphics are an accurate representation of the series’ past outings, so don’t expect something extraordinary.
The game’s audio is a mixed bag chock full of tasty little treats and a few not so tasty bugs. On the negative side, you'll be limited to a small musical playlist. These tracks are not bad by any means, and they do set a war like atmosphere, but since there are so few tracks, there is also a lot of repetition, so you’ll get tired of the tracks quickly. On the positive side, the game features an enormous selection of voices for your worms. These voice sets range from Italian to Gangsta. There are around 39 voice sets, and each one contains a slew of phrases that your worms will squeak out. For example, if you have the Gangsta voice set on, when a worm’s turn is winding down, it may yell out “Make your move before the ghetto eats you alive!” The voices are hysterical and will definitely keep you laughing amidst all of the killing. So even though the music may annoy you, the voice sets keep the audio appealing.
After a war, soldiers usually can’t wait to get home. Players in this war, though, may keep squirming back to this one. To put it simply, there is infinite replay value to be found here. Along with one of the most fun multiplayer modes ever and a load of customization, Worms manages to keep you coming back for even more. Through tutorial, campaign, and challenge mode you will be able to unlock nearly 100 extras. These range from playing fields, to voice sets, to weapons, and even more. What’s even better is that just about everything is worth unlocking. Unlocking levels adds to the already gargantuan selection of terrain available to you from the start. You can even unlock different play schemes so you can battle in completely different ways. For example, there is a Sniper scheme that gives players an infinite amount of Shotgun ammo and shorter turns so they must snipe their opponents quickly. If you aren’t into unlocking then you’ve also got the Quick Play feature. Thanks to this you can just play a short battle any time you want. Amazingly, that isn’t all. There is an option called Wormpot, which works as a slot machine that spits out random play options. The only reason you would not come back to this game is if you don’t like the game. Otherwise you will be playing it for a long, long time.
If you are a fan of the Worms series then this game has all you could have dreamed of. Everything that made the games great is brought to players in 3D. From the addictive gameplay, to the fun multiplayer, to the loads of replay, Worms 3D has a lot of good going for it. Sure, there are some technical and control problems that keep it back from perfection, but it’s still as fun as ever. If I had to recommend 2D Worms over Worms 3D, I would recommend 2D, but if you have never played a Worms game then you may want to pick up a copy and join in on the mayhem.
Review By: MarioPrime - 245 Reads
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