Hands up who remembers worms 3D. Keep your hands up if you have played worms in 3D and found the experience to be the best in the series. I imagine only a few people will have their hands in the air right now. Playing worms in three dimensions instead of two was a good idea, that just about failed to deliver. Worms: Ultimate Mayhem hopes to put this right.
Ultimate Mayhem is a cross between previous 2D games in the series, such as Worms 2 Armageddon, as well as the experimental 3D games of Worms 3D and Worms 4 Mayhem. I wonder how long it took Team 17 to come up with the name Ultimate Mayhem.
As soon as the game is booted up you really feel that this is worms, the classic worms sense of humour really shines through. This is a humour that may grate for some people, but, not for me, I've loved worms since I was about 4ft tall.
A slightly patronising, yet awesome, voice over guy informs me that I should begin with the tutorial section. Makes sense to me, I'm game, voice over friend. I may have been playing worms games since the 90's but this is a 3D game after all, I should get used to it really.
After getting the basics down the next obvious thing to do is make my team of worms. When the first worms came out it was pretty much a case of naming your team and your worms and being done with it. These days there are a whole host of customisable options to play with, you can change the names, voices, appearance and various accessories. You can even pick what graves sprout forth once you worms meet their demise.
Customisation is usually a fun addition to games and it certainly is here. The more you play the more you are able to unlock, giving you a reason to keep coming back. After all who doesn't enjoy unlocking a new hat for their giant pink Liverpudlian worms. Lets just hope all this fun can carry across into the actual game.
There are a fair few games modes available, from various challenges, a campaign and a fun story mode where there are other challenges to be had besides just killing everything that moves. Worms has always been a game best played against other people and again, there are various different versus modes available too, there’s even a tower defence mode.
Only one mode interested me to start with and that was the traditional worms versus worms turn based shoot'athon against a mate. Apart from the 3D, everything here feels instantly familiar. As we all take turns shooting each other with various weapons. In order to deal with the new 3D side of things you are able to aim at other worms in a first person mode as well as pressing Y in order to take a look at the map from an overhead perspective. These are both incredibly helpful as on occasion it can be hard to find other worms and being able to shoot them from the first person view is nice, even if it can feel a little fiddly some of the time.
All the basic stuff from past games is here, however, be prepared to re learn how to use your favourite weapons again. You wont be the amazing grenade chucking worm God that you used to be, frankly, you may end up feeling a bit rubbish until it all clicks again. Although, no matter how much I play, some of the weapons and gear still feel incredibly useless. I'm looking at you Ninja Rope.
It's a game that takes time to get used to. It's also a game that takes time to play. Worms Ultimate Mayhem is played at a much more gentlemanly pace than previous instalments. The computer controlled opponents can still take a while to think about their overly accurate shots or their sneakily placed girder, although the delay is nowhere near as bad as it used to be. That said, our first game still took us a surprising 74 minutes to complete. It felt like half the time. It's good to know that many an hour can still be lost in this game whilst enjoying it.
Moving on to the visuals, I must get my major grievance out of the way first, the shadows. They just look terrible and whilst they don't overly spoil the game, I could have done without them at all. Other than that I really like the look of the game. Plenty of bright and bold cartooney colours and looks, something that really suit this series.
Everything just has a nice feel to it. Watching the enemy worms fly off into the sea is great, especially when a little window pops up to show you from a different angle. I sense that Team 17 still get a lot of enjoyment out of what they do and I still enjoy playing their efforts.
I will always prefer the 2D versions of worms, nothing will change that, but, that doesn't mean I'm not allowed to enjoy the 3D ones. There is a lot to like in this game. It looks nice, mostly, has a whole range of customization and various different game modes to try as well as Xbox live support and leaderboards. I'm unable to whole heartedly recommend this as it is definitely not a game for everyone. It is a case of try before you buy, but for me, I have my worms back and I'm glad.
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Review: Worms Ultimate Mayhem
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Bel lavoro Pietra Miliare
PC Demo review.
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