Joseph Rositano
13 Jul, 2009

XBLA: Worms 2: Armageddon Review

360 Review | Armageddon out of here to play more worms.
The Worms franchise has been around for almost 15 years and has slowly become an icon in the videogame industry. As with most aging franchises, there have been some great, good and downright shameful entries over the years, with 2007’s Worms on the XBLA thankfully being part of the former. While the game wasn’t too innovative, it was just great fun and could easily keep you occupied with an afternoon of online battles against friends. Worms 2: Armageddon doesn’t bring too much new to the table, however, there a number of minor tweaks which should make it a must purchase for anyone who enjoyed the 2007 release.

If you’ve played previous Worms titles you should be familiar with how the franchise works. Players command a squad of worms and combat other worms across different themed battlefields. In recent entries players have been given the option to customise their team by naming individual worms, change their skin colour, the hats they wear, their victory dances, and even their dialect. This makes the game a little more personal as you get really attached to the little critters, feeling guilty when you allow a solider to fall victim to a watery grave (worms die instantly if they fall into water) multiple times.

Battles are turn-based and give players anywhere up to a full minute to make their turn. The basic goal is to move a worm around the stage and attack enemies. You can move left or right, jump across chasms and perform back-flips to reach high ledges, but the real attraction comes from the weapons and gadgets. There is just a huge variety at your disposal, including the classic bazooka and shotgun, to the wacky exploding sheep, Buffalo of Lies and automated sentry gun. How and when you use the items plays a crucial role into deciding the victor. For example, the bazooka is affected by the direction of the wind, while items such as the sheep can only be used a specific amount of times. Adding to this is strategic element is that all environments are destructible, so you can attack worms from below or shield yourself by burrowing underground. Apart from a few in-game tutorials to get you started, players are also encouraged to experiment with each item, which is a lot of fun as you discover how they’re best utilised.

So, it looks like the moon is made of cheese... And has flowing water...

So, it looks like the moon is made of cheese... And has flowing water...

So, what exactly is new in Armageddon? In terms of gameplay there are a handful of new weapons such as an electro magnet that can either attract or repel metallic explosives, an automated sentry gun, and the Bunker Buster which is a vertical missile that can drill through landscapes. Another element is that some levels scroll virtually, which adds a new layer of challenge as you attack from above, below and go crazy with the jetpacks and ninja ropes! Also, fire is now a prominent feature on the battlefield. By exploding oil cans you can set the landscape ablaze, causing it to slowly fizzle away and damage any worms caught within the inferno.

The single-player campaign consists of 35 levels, most of which consist of deathmatches that get progressively more difficulty. Occasionally, players are taken away from the warfare side of Worms and thrown into race-like scenarios and puzzles. Some examples include navigating through a level using a jetpack or ninja rope under a time limit, while the puzzles see you trying to destroy an enemy worm by using the right combination of weapons. It’s all varied enough to hold your interest and is very engaging for both newcomers and returning veterans. As an incentive for completing level, you’ll be rewarded with gold which can be used to purchase new accessories for your worms, landscapes and weapons.

Of course what made the 2007 Worms a smash hit was its online and local multiplayer modes. Armageddon improves on the online matchmaking service – during our play through we found it really easy to get into a match and experienced no lag. Everything ran really smoothly and there were no hiccups to speak of. Apart from deathmatches, there are also Fort, Crazy Crates and Rope Racing modes, so again there’s a lot of variety to keep you interested.

Missile strike averted.

Missile strike averted.

Visually, Armageddon is a step up in presentation. While the 2007 Worms looked amazing, there’s more happening in the background this time around and the special effects a flashier. The fires burning on the landscape in particular look dazzling, with the flames flicking in a memorising pattern and the smoke lifting into the air. The music isn’t too memorable, though what steals the audio show are the weaponry sound effects and the incredibly entertaining screams and accents of the worms themselves.

While there isn’t a lot of innovation here, Worms 2: Armageddon is a highly engaging sequel that should be picked up by anyone who enjoyed 2007’s Worms. The developers have tweaked the online infrastructure, included new weapons and vertical levels, and there’s a nice variety of customisation and gameplay options that will keep you occupied for a long time.
The Score
Worms 2: Armageddon is a worthy follow-up to 2007’s Worms. With an improved online infrastructure, new vertical levels and a variety of gameplay options, the game will keep you entertained for a long time.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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4 years ago
Cheers for the review Joseph! It's 800 points right? If that's right, then it's a well balanced amount.
4 years ago
Yep, 800 points.
4 years ago
Just don't waste your time with Worms Fort or whatever it was called. A complete balls-up of a game.
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