The Worms series made a respectable debut last year on the PSP in Worms: Open Warfare. The series has been around for over a decade now and has appeared on just about every platform available in the last ten years, including more recently the Xbox Live Arcade. The latest title in the series Worms: Open Warfare 2 is set for release in late August and PALGN recently had an opportunity to go hands on with the game. It feels like more of the same but the Worms formula is a formula that is hard to fault.
For the uninformed the Worms titles are turn based strategy games. The player assumes the role of a small group of worms and the objective is to try and defeat the opposing team of worms. To defeat your enemies you'll need to use a variety of weapons and strategies. What keeps the gameplay in Worms fresh is the fact that the levels randomly generate, so the battlefield will change every time.
Before you even jump into Open Warfare 2 you'll need to customise your team. Whilst customising it is also possible to change the way your worms look and sound and you'll also be able to create your own team flag. Open Warfare 2 includes an indepth training mode for those who are new to the franchise. Your Worms are moved with the directional pad, you can zoom in and out of the battlefield with the shoulder buttons and the circle button brings up the weapon menu. The controls are simple and even those who are new to the franchise will pick the game up quickly.
From the main menu there are a few options. You can jump straight into a quick game or a custom game. There is also a single player campaign which includes a puzzle option as well as a time attack mode. The main single player mode is the campaign option. The campaign option takes you through several different landscapes and looks like it will be quite lengthy. You'll also be treated to some decent FMVs whilst playing through the single player campaign as well.
The game also supports wireless multiplayer. You can play multiplayer via the ad hoc mode or the infrastructure mode. The first time you connect via the infrastructure mode you'll need to create a profile which will save onto the internet. From the infrastructure mode you can host a game (there are three modes: deathmatch, fort and rope race) and you can select from either a ranked match or just to play for fun. The game also includes leaderboards as well as daily awards and a download option. In the download option there are already plenty of downloads such as new landscapes and flags. We weren't able to test out the ad hoc mode as we only had one copy of the game.
As a bit of a bonus, for every mission you pass you'll receive gold which can be used to purchase objects from the shop including new hats, weapons, landscapes and missions. As well as being able to customise you team you can also create your own landscape. There are several options for customising your landscape such as setting the height of the water, selecting the environment and the number of random objects. You can draw the layout of your environment quick easily using the analog nub but the Nintendo DS edition is probably ideal for those who will want to create a lot of landscapes.
It's clear Worms: Open Warfares 2 isn't a huge change from its predecessor but the game offers up more of everything. Those who aren't Worms fans won't be converted by Open Warfare 2 but if you're looking for a portable Worms game that offers a decent single player mode and what is sure to be addictive multiplayer then you need look no further than Worms: Open Warfares 2.