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  Worms: Armageddon Review @ GU
 
  June 19th, 1999 by Stuart Macdonald

 

MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS:

Processor: IBM PC Intel Pentium 100Mhz and compatibles or faster
OS: Microsoft Windows 95+
RAM: 32MB
HD Space: 30Mb
CD-ROM: Double-speed
Video: Microsoft DirectX™ 6 compatible 2Mb RAM SVGA videocard
Sound: Microsoft DirectX™ 6 compatible soundcard (optional)
Other: 28.8k modem (optional) or faster for connection to the Internet. Local Area Network card (optional) for connection to LAN games

RECOMMENDED SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS:

Processor: 150Mhz or faster
RAM: 64MB

CD ROM: Quad-speed
Video: 4MB
Sound: 16-bit

TEST MACHINE:

Processor: Pentium II 450mhz
OS: Windows 98
RAM: 128MB
Video: ATI Rage Pro 128
Sound: Turtle Beach Systems Montego II (A3D)
CD-ROM: 32X

GENRE: It's Worms!!!
RELEASE DATE: Out Now (UK)
STREET PRICE: ~£25 ($30?)
Developer: Microprose, Team 17
Publisher: Hasbro
Patches: The patch is available here (US version already equipped with patch)

Overview

When this game was finally released, I was overjoyed. As the newest (and supposedly last) installment in the world-famous Worms series of games, you are almost certain to get highly polished graphics, sound, gameplay, and most importantly, those cute little worms that you can jump off of high ledges with if you are in a suicidal mood. The game promises a whole host of new weapons, better graphics, and much, much more. And boy does it deliver!

In-Depth

I find it really hard to know where to start this review. Should I start by mentioning the incredible graphics, the great physics, the addictive gameplay, or another of the elements that make Worms: Armageddon - like it's predecessors - a classic, and thoroughly enjoyable game. Anyway, please excuse me for deviating from the subject, as I find it extremely hard to find one particular aspect of the game to focus my attention on.

So... I'll start off logically, and see where I get from there. When you load up Worms: Armageddon, you are presented with a nice screen with numerous buttons (four in total) which allow you to play different types of games, either against the computer, against a mate, or against a complete stranger somewhere at the other side of the world via the fabulous Internet play option. Of course, you'll be eager to start blasting some Worms, but it's best to start with the included training missions which acquaint you with some of the new features of Worms, and let you polish up your existing grenade and bazooka skills. After you have completed the basic training, the computer will reward you with a secret option, and will unlock the rest of the training missions. These other missions range from Super Sheep training where you get to fly a super sheep around a map and see how many crates you can pick up with it, to the aptly titled 'Euthanasia' where you get to - you guessed it - blow up old woman with a large range of cool weapons.

Anyway, on to the actual game. If you have no-one to play with, you can then go on to the single-player mission based games. There are 33 in total, each with it's own imaginative goal, ranging from easy to pretty damn impossible. It'll take you a while to get a gold medal in all of these, get ready to watch your weekend disappear very quickly! Or, if you don't fancy doing the mission based games, you can also play against the computer in the ordinary Worms blast-everyone-that-isn't-in-your-team style. Here lies my one and only grumble about this game. The AI is good, but you get the feeling that the computer only either uses a grenade or bazooka, even when it has been given the almighty Concrete Donkey, or the devastating Armageddon weapons. But hey, you don't need to play the computer, even if you don't have any friends to play with. You can load up the stunning Internet game, and start blasting some worms against someone who you've never met before!

The Internet play is frankly gobsmacking. Initially, there were some problems trying to connect to the WormNet server, but it would seem that it is fixed now, and by the time you read this, the American WormNet server should be in operation. The rooms on WormNet are all based on IRC (you could at one time connect to them via mIRC, but they've fixed that now), so anyone who is familiar with IRC (#glideunderground on EFnet anyone?) will immediately feel at home with WormNet. But even if you've never used IRC in your life, Team17 have done a great job making it as user friendly as possible, which means you'll be chatting away to your heart's content in no time at all. On the room-type side, there are ranked rooms which you can only enter if you have achieved a high enough ranking in the 'beginner' ranked room which anyone can join. There is a free-play type room in which you can use your own weapon scheme, level, etc., and there is also a room for chatting only. Anyway, you just pick a room then either host your own game for other people to join, or join a game that is being hosted by another person. Pick your team, pick your options scheme, then start playing! You can chat during games in the normal way which really adds to the game. It's just great!

Sorry, I'm straying from the subject again. In Worms: Armageddon, you have have an unlimited number of teams, each with it's own special weapon which you will be given at the start of the game. The special weapons range from the rather pathetic Old Woman to my favorite - the Super Sheep, which can become an aqua sheep which swims underwater after you have completed a mission, and got the secret option. There are loads of weapons in the game, take a look at the screen shot below to get an idea of the number of weapons in the game, and try not to let your jaw hang open. Just try not to unleash the Armageddon too many times in Internet play or your opponent will get quite annoyed I would imagine (complete devastation).

I could go on and on, but I don't want to make this part of the review too long, so I'll finish with what is inevitable... Worms: Armageddon is a great game.

Ratings:

Gameplay 20/20

The gameplay is excellent. You'll find yourself quickly addicted, and unable to draw your eyes away from the screen. You'll forget all about work, lose your job, and won't care because those worms are just soooo cute. Anyway, the physics of the game are great, the grenades bouncing around like you would expect. You can even skim worms across water if you hit them low and fast enough, as you can with bazooka missiles. The single player modes of play are also astounding. If you get all-gold on every single player game, you will be rewarded with the highest accolade - The Full Wormage weapons scheme which lets you play with an unlimited supply of every weapon in the game, but it is extremely hard to get. Set your sights high, and you'll eventually get there.

Graphics 19/20

No fancy lighting effects, no 3D first-person perspective bits, and no tri-linear, interhyperglobalultrathermonuclearmeganet things, but who cares? It's Worms!!! It's not meant to have fancy graphics or 3D effects, it's just meant to be 2D, and it works. You can't help but find your worms very, very cute, and the weapons have all been drawn and animated spectacularly and are very highly polished. Just believe me, okay?

Controls 20/20

The controls are basically the same as in Worms 2, so anyone who has had the great experience of playing it will immediately be able to pick up the mouse and annihilate all worms that stand in his path in. They are also very easy to pick up for someone who has never played the game before, with only the ninja rope posing a problem for first-time wormers.

Sound 19/20

Who can resist those incredibly cute worm voices? And if you get bored with the plethora of sound schemes that come with the game, you can always download more from the Internet, it's just so great! The music is also very cool, and if you look hard enough on the CD, you will find the 'WormSong98' which play the familiar Worms music, and recites a poem. There is also a Scottish version of the song also included on the CD which I - being Scottish - naturally love.

AI 8/10

The AI is good, but as I've said, the computer seems to only use air-strikes, grenades, or bazookas, and the aim is so incredibly accurate... even if you play against level 1 opponents. But you will find the computer quite hard to beat, so it's not all bad, just try to gain the Elite ranking on the single-player Deathmatch option, and you'll see what I mean.

Multiplayer 10/10

The multiplayer modes are what really brings Worms: Armageddon to life. Either play with up to 7 of your mates on the one computer, or play with up to 7 opponents on the other side of the world. You can play either in teams, or every man for him/herself style games. It's just really, really great!


Overall: 96%

Buy it... buy it now.

Questions, comments, suggestions? email me!

+ Pluses
  • Very cute
  • Addictive
  • Loads of modes of play
  • Great WormNet services
  • Everything else

 
- Minuses

  • The AI does have faults
 

screen shots

Screen shots taken with Hypersnap DX at 1024X768 resolution. Saved as JPEGs so the detail is reduced.



There are a lot of single player missions - 33 in total.


Look at all of those weapons!!!


The fabled Concrete Donkey


Run for the hills! The end is nigh! Armageddon!


There are lots of premade levels...


...or you can make your own using the level editor...


...or you can import JPEG images

 
 


Added:  Saturday, June 19, 1999
Reviewer:  Stuart Macdonald
Score:

 1  

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