Worms Revolution has been a long time coming. While Worms games in recent years have all been either ports or remakes of previous entries in the series, Revolution represents the first real step forward the franchise has taken in years. Forget the ill-conceived 3D Worm games – Revolution plays in classic, 2D style, but features fully 3D graphics and real time physics.
I spent a decent chunk of time with the game this morning, and I can say with confidence that fans of Worms and turn based strategy games in general will be quite pleased with Revolution’s direction.
The most fundamental difference between Revolution and previous Worms games is the addition of different worm classes. You’ve now got access to a soldier, heavy, scout, and scientist. The soldier is your basic worm with no special attributes. The heavy is, well, heavy – he moves slowly, but can take a lot of punishment and dishes out tons of it with melee weapons like the baseball bat. The scout is exactly the opposite – he moves quickly, jumps far, and is adept with ninja ropes and jetpacks. Finally, the scientist heals the team every time he takes a turn and builds extra strong turrets.
Worms Revolution feels both new and instantly familiar. Your team of 4 worms competes against another team of 4 to be the last invertebrates standing, taking turns to dish out damage with a wide variety of weapons and gear. There’s a new focus on physics and water in particular, with new weapons like water balloon airstrikes creating pools and puddles. Water is no longer instant death, however, unless you fall off the stage. Instead, a worm sitting submerged in a pool will slowly lose health on every turn. You can also use water based weapons to cause worms to slip off the edge of the stage.
In addition to water, you’ll find various types of physics objects scattered around, and they can all be moved, damaged, and destroyed. One new piece of gear is a U.F.O. – you select the U.F.O., then a physics object for it to pick up, then designate the spot where you want it to drop. Physics objects come in a few colors as well. Red objects explode when destroyed, blue objects spill water, and green objects emit toxic gas. Physics have also been applied to existing weapons. For example, the concrete donkey no longer smashes straight down – instead, it bounces.
Also new to the Worms franchise is a currency system. In previous Worms games, you could find crates with random weapons, gear, and health pick ups, but now there is also a money crate. You can use the money you collect to buy extra ammo, and new weapons and gear in the middle of the match. I didn’t get to try this feature since, for demo purposes, every weapon was already unlocked, but the concept is intriguing.
Worms Revolution will have 3 multiplayer modes as well – Deathmatch, Forts, and Classic. Deathmatch is pretty straight forward – you create a team, outfit them with cosmetic upgrades, names, voices, etc., then go at it with up to three the teams. Forts is a two player affair, with each team occupying, well, a fort. Finally, Classic mode is deathmatch without worm classes.
Graphically, the game is a massive step up from previous entries. The new 3D graphics are sharp, colorful, and stylish, and each level theme packs a ton of detail. One map took place in a sewer, and you could see huge rats, bubbling water, and even the occasional alligator milling about in the background. Map layouts are still randomly generated as well, though the PC version will include a custom map maker.
Though Worms Revolution isn’t slated for release until the third quarter of the year, it already looks and feels quite polished. Check it out when it launches for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC later this year.