Worms 4: Mayhem PS2 Review

May 31, 2010 by Chris Wigham  
Filed under PS2, Retro Content, Retro Reviews

The Worms have been going at it for around a decade now, and with a turn-based concept that is so simple and addictive it’s not a surprise. When the series eventually made its way into 3D with the aptly titled Worms 3D, it was viewed as a flop by many faithful fans of the series. We’re the opposite here at Console Obsession and have always liked Worms in 3D, awarding the first game a well deserved 8 out of 10 and claiming it to “be good, but not as good as the classic 2D games”. Worms 4: Mayhem is more of the same, but enhanced by a few neat little additions that have been successfully added to the mix.

Worms 4 is as predictable a sequel as you are going to get, but with a series that has matured into near perfection over the years, this is to be expected. Series conventions such as turn-based gameplay, explosive weapons, destructible scenery, comedy worms and endless options will spell familiarity for many players. As a 3D game it’s a lot like Worms 3D then, but Worms 4 is still going to replace it as our favourite 3D Worms game yet, allow us to explain;-

None of the new additions really add anything worthwhile to the turn-based gameplay (they tried that with Forts Under Siege!), but they do really increase the comedy element of an already funny series. Head and facial hair, alongside hats, gloves, and glasses, can now do wonders in enhancing those boring pink invertebrates. To witness a team of worms, all with a head of ginger hair and wearing Scottish tartan hats, really made us chuckle. The amount of customisation options is vast, and with the advent of the new shop feature, the quantity of wormy additions just keeps on expanding.

The Weapon Factory feature is another nice idea, and allows you to create your own personalised weapon. Those who want to create weaponry of Armageddon proportions may be disappointed, as an on-screen meter – during the creation – assures that you can’t overpower it to this world destroying degree. With this being a Worms game it does give you a plentiful amount of options to fiddle with though, which is always nice.

Staying on the subject of weaponry, Worms 4 retains the wackiness that has played a major part in earning the series legendary stature. Classic weapons and tools such as the bazooka, dynamite, jetpack and the tactically improved ninja rope make a welcome return amongst others. The new weaponry on the other hand, includes everything from the Inflatable Scouser (takes victim to a great height and drops him, if you are wondering) to the overdue appearance of the Sniper Rifle.

The focal point remains the multi-player, but there’s also a brilliant mission based story mode for the lone player. The boon here is the variation on each mission, which means it isn’t always team-on-team and is constantly throwing diverse tasks at you. It’s undoubtedly a fantastic mode, and a step up for the single player game. Multi-player is where the series has always been at it’s strongest though, and we doubt that is ever set to change.

The graphics deserve a mention, as Team 17 has attempted to do something a little different. Explosions and smoke are now fully cel-shaded, and the results are spectacular. We hope that the development team were playing around with cel-shading to give the series a fully cel-shaded makeover one of these days; we’d just love to see that, even in 2D.

Disappointedly the game still has many of the flaws, which dogged the 3D experience first time around. The camera is still a pain on occasion, and sometimes even manages to get trapped behind walls, which is utterly frustrating whilst attempting to cause some damage to the opposition. Glitches also conspire to ruin the 3D experience, we’ve seen our Worms get totally concreted into parts of the scenery on occasion, leaving us unable to move at all and angry at Team 17 for still not managing to get things entirely right.

It’s difficult to be angry for long though, as Worms 4 is still very much the strategic game that has given us hours upon hours of multi-player enjoyment over the years. These occasional glitches become mostly trivial, as Mayhem still hits the spot where it matters most in offering a huge dosage of happy pills.

8/10

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