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Worms Armageddon
"The biggest (and best) multi-player game is back, and it's packed full of new goodies (and baddies)." Image Loading...
Developer: Team17
Distributor: Hasbro
Game Type: Shooter
Review Date: Nov 99
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Setting the Scene:
      If you haven't played the original Worms game, then mate, you've never lived. Almost four years old and still the best multi-player game on Playstation. Sadly, flagging sales led to it being discontinued, meaning the only chance of unearthing a copy would be by rummaging around second-hand stores.

Good news! Nay, great news has arrived! Arise from those dingy basements and prepare to face thy Armageddon. The follow-up to the highly successful, ultra-playable game is here and it smacks one hell of a punch... In fact it's a whole new can of Worms..!

Use your creativity and skill in this hilarious action packed strategy game. Position your Worm, select one of 60 wacky weapons, aim, and fire!

Exploding sheep, mad cows falling from the sky, mole bombs, detonating old ladies - this can mean only one thing... Worms Armageddon has arrived!

      If you've played Worms in it's original incarnation then you'll love Worms Armageddon - the best just got better! If you're a newcomer to the world of Worms warfare then welcome to the perfect place to begin.

It's hilarious fun that you can enjoy on your own or with all your friends. It's turn based (you take a turn, your rival takes a turn) requiring only one control pad, but the real buzz comes from watching the devastation caused by the pesky Worms with those fantastic weapons and listening to their outrageous comments. The laughs never stop as you are thrown into an addictive, fast-paced battle of Worm versus Worm!
Sound and Vision:
      Although the PC version of Team17's latest creation has been around for a while I had feared this wouldn't reach console format. So why has the conversion taken so long? I don't really know, because it's not exactly a graphical treasure and porting it from one format to another could hardly have been the most taxing development process. Regardless, the waiting is over... so let's get on with it!

My fondest memories of the original title had to be those wonderful, wacky introduction movies. There were dozens of them and if we ever hold a poll to vote for the best PSX 32-bit intro then Worms would definitely receive my nomination. Gripping plot, rib-tickling humor, quality and stylish animation... it had everything. So does Armageddon succeed to live up to it's predecessor?

Almost! While the mesmerizing story-lines and highly amusing content will momentarily stifle your urge to get into the main game action, the 8 video cut-scenes do seem a little rough around the edges. Of course if you never witnessed the original then you won't be aware of this... I just thought it was a point worth making to my fellow loyal worm-ettes out there. Each scene is like a comedy sketch ending with the classic punch line. Imagine this: two worms face each other on a battlefield in a duel to the death. One of them raises a sword, the other points a pistol. The sword is quickly replaced with a shotgun... the pistol with an Uzi. So it goes on with each weapon becoming bigger and more powerful. A grenade... a bazooka. Artillery... a tank. Laser gun... double laser gun. A homing missile... an air strike. After all this bettering the ultimate weapon is finally produced... a giant acme hammer! Roadrunner... eat your heart out!

Image Loading...The reason I appear to be spreading out my words on the wonderful game cut-scenes is because it must be understood that aside from the opening cartoons there isn't a great deal to shout about regarding the graphical content. If you witnessed the original game then I can tell you that the confined, sprite based mounds and tiny, weenie pixel worms have been replaced by more spacious, bright and cheerful polygon mounds, while the worms are slightly larger.

When slithering around the set you can now actually see the worm's large pitiful eyes and watch as their tails play catch up. They also like to dress up to reflect each weapon selected. When wielding an axe a tiny Indians headdress is worn. Pull out a blowtorch and a welders mask is strapped on. Oh, and expect to see a few new Worm movements including backflip, backjump, extensive rope maneuvers and mobile weapon release. Aside from this there's not much else to say about these little burrowing creatures.

Image Loading...Although the 2D scenery lacks depth the style of the sets are much more adventurous than before. For example Fruit Island has rich red tomatoes to hide behind, giant golden bananas to be scaled for a better vantage point, green and purple bunches of grapes may be swung between, while many more types of succulent fruit are strewn all around. The New York level involves an all out war around the Statue of Liberty. There is also some pretty slick parallax scrolling going on in the back and foreground just to keep things interesting. There are over 25 different landscape styles on 8 different landscape types, but because literally billions of different battle areas are randomly generated it would be impossible to comment on them all.

The worm sound effects are marvelous. On each command they respond "Yes Sir!" in a high pitched voice. Should you accidentally injure one of your own he will squeakily jibe "Hoi... Nutter!" Win a round and the champion worm will dance a jig of delight while cheering out aloud. There are dozens of little quips that should keep a smile permanently on your face while playing. The music is fitting. Its style is a military marching tune that sticks firmly in your mind. Oh... and we must not forget the Playstation Exclusive Wide-Screen TV resolution support.
      Remember those games that achieved cult status? What did they all have in common? Tons of addictive gameplay, that's what! Worms Armageddon falls into this classical mould.

Image Loading...Look up the word 'worms' in the dictionary and you will discover that they are "various types of creeping or burrowing invertebrate animals with long slender bodies and no limbs". What it fails to mention is that in their spare time they wage war on each other. Yup, the little blighters sneak up and ambush their enemies using cunning tactics and the most powerful weapons a worm can lay it's hands on... that's if it had hands.

The plot is simple. Your crack team of four worms are teleported to random locations within a themed island. They could be bunched together, grouped in pairs or completely separated. Who knows? However your team are not alone. Oh no! Up to three other teams are scattered across this small piece of land and they are all out to get each other... you included! The game is turn based with one worm randomly selected to go first, followed by a set order. When it is your turn a specific worm will be highlighted and given 45 seconds to move to any position within the confines of the island and then quickly choose and fire one weapon at the enemy. Above each worm is their name and current health status scribed in team colors. A direct hit on another worm will result in screams of pain and see a reduction in their health, dependant on the type of weapon used. Once a worms health reaches zero it will politely say "Bye, bye!" before exploding and turning into a tombstone.

Image Loading... Naming individual worms may sound boring but is essential to the plot. Take your worst enemy. What about your boss, a teacher, your little brother, a politician, your neighbor... anyone you hate. Now insert their names into the CPU controlled teams. After naming your own team (mates of course) battle will commence. Now select a homing missile and take aim. Who should it be? Hmm! Mr. Jackson? Little Billy? President Clinton? You choose. Now fire it right up their butt. "Arrrggghhh!" Doesn't that feel better?

So what did Doom have in the armory department? A few measly rifles and a BFG. Big deal! Worms has over 55 different weapons and tools to use including such wonders as a Nuclear Bomb, Homing Pigeon, Earthquake, Freeze, Skunk, Sheep Strike and the flying Aqua Sheep. The regulars once again make an appearance so expect to be swinging around the level on a Ninja rope, lobbing grenades, firing banana bombs and planting sticks of dynamite. The most bizarre of the newcomers include the baseball bat (hit a worm for a home run), a Mad Cow (flying cow bomb) or the wonderful Old Woman (wanders all over the place and can be detonated a the flick of a switch... KABOOM!). There are many new utility tools to help you get around including Fast Walk, Double Damage, Laser Sight, Crate shower and Jet Packs.

Image Loading... While the original Worms game offered unlimited terrain to play on it could be accused of lacking variation in game modes. Armageddon sets the record straight with over 40 single player missions to test your skill and bolster your technique. There are 6 new training modes for both beginners and advanced players alike. A new single player Deathmatch Game - battle against the Wormbots at an ever-increasing difficulty level to gain rank and prestige. Also many new multiplayer options including handicapping and allied team play. There's 24 game schemes and customizable game options, hidden bonus schemes and custom levels for the player to find and unlock, full analog controller (Dual Shock) support (now feel the full force of an exploding sheep).... Need I say more? I think not!
Game Options:
      This is a 1 disk game for 1 or 4 Players. It is compatible with the standard (digital) joypad and the analog stick controls of the dual shock joypad. Games can be saved via memory card (1 block per save).

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Staff Opinions  
Martin: "This is possibly the most addictive multi-player game played since the Roman orgies.

Even if you own the original Worms check this out because there's bags more game modes, all new graphics and some of the best weapons ever seen in gaming history. Did I mention the Mole Bomb, or the Battle Axe....

If you are going to own one multi-player game then Worms Armageddon should be it "
Graphics: 15/20
Playability: 49/50
Sound: 7/10
Lastability: 19/20
Overall: 90%
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Reader Opinions  

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