Worms 3D PS2 Review

Publisher: SEGA  Developer: Team 17  Genre: Strategy  Players: 1-4  

Age Rating: 3+  Other console/handheld formats: GameCube, Xbox

Transforming a 2D game into 3D can be a terrifying prospect for both the developers and the fans. The former may worry of how the public and the press will receive their game while the latter may have concerns about their “favourite” title still retaining its classic gameplay that was there in all its glory in two dimensions.

Being keen fans of the old Worms games, we admittedly had our concerns about a 3D version worming its way towards us. Would it still retain its simplicity? Would the purists be satisfied? And more importantly would it actually work respectively? Well the answer to all these questions is…yes!

The 3D allows for much more expressions.

Worms 3D might no longer be 2D (duh) the gameplay is still unmistakably the Worms we all know and love complete with exploding sheep, mad cows and all other manner of crazy exploding things. Other then the odd tweak to weapons and such to make them a bit more feasible in the new 3D environment, gameplay has been relatively untouched (which as far as we’re concerned is a good thing) meaning it still fundamentally and predictably involves you and your opponent/s (preferably humans) taking it in turns to blow one another to bits with bizarre but fun weaponry until there’s only one team left standing…err or should that be wriggling.

Being 3D and all, there have been some slight alterations to make it a bit easier to play in the new 3D field. Pressing R1, switches the game to a helpful first person perspective that allows for easier targeting of enemy worms especially those that are positioned afar from your current worm. Pressing R2 will handily switch the game to an overhead perspective, which is nice to survey the entire area and probably even more importantly to target homing weapons, air-strikes and such, to bring pain to enemy pink wriggly things.

The aforementioned weapon tweaks are on the whole a good thing, but that isn’t to say that the changes are without their pitfalls. Equipment such as the ninja rope simply just aren’t as fun to use as what they were in the 2D incarnations while some weapons don’t quite have the satisfaction factor that they had in past games. This can be forgiven though as many of the more explosive weapons have been considerably toned down to suit the larger playing area, so that every time you use an explosive banana, worms don’t go flying into the sea, when you think of it that way it’s pretty understandable.

The game retains the majority of weapons that were featured in previous games such as banana bombs, air strikes and holy hand grenades to name just a few. But a few favourites have been dropped such as the bungee rope, Ming vase and kamikaze. New weapons include the sticky bomb, which as the name implies sticks to any solid surface, and the slightly crap blowpipe, which can be used to poison opposing worms.

Worms has always been intended to be played by more than one player, but a single player mode is still vital to unlock weapons and new environments – probably more importantly to hone your skills while siblings or friends aren’t available to be destroyed. Sadly, this mode is flawed in more ways then one with the main culprits being an often ludicrously hard difficulty in the main campaign mode and the fact that the AI of the CPU worms is just too cheap with grenades and such hitting their target more often then not and if by chance they do miss, it’s usually only a fraction away.

Unsurprisingly, Worms 3D offers an almost unlimited depth of customisation allowing you to create matches to your exact liking along with your very own team of wormy warriors. Just about every option can be toggled and with the Wormpot you can create a mixture of options, which can significantly alter the style of play. For example, making certain weapons more powerful or beginning the match with no weapons whatsoever and having to pick them up from weapon crates scattered around the environment.

The 3D environments are adequate enough.

Having simple 2D visuals in the era of cutting edge 3D games means that worms has obviously never been about the graphics. For the 3D version we just wanted a solid engine that did its job and that’s just about what we got. As suspected, aesthetically speaking Worms 3D is not a beauty, but for the type of game, it’s more than adequate. As always there’s a certain charm to the appearance of the game and with the worms being much larger then previously, it allows for much more detailed facial expressions. Sadly there are moments of slowdown, which hamper the experience somewhat, but thankfully it doesn’t happen often enough to seriously affect the game. Also on the odd occasion we got ourselves trapped in the environment and were forced to use some of our valuable equipment just to get free and assure our safety from any nearby enemy invertebrates. This infuriated us, since we had to use equipment that could of came in use later and maybe even saved our bacon. Apart from this, there is also some sound bugs that happen far too often to ignore. There are some effects that repeat and some instances where the worms voices vanished altogether and we all know how important those amusingly high pitched voices are to the Worms experience, don’t we?

Worms 3D is a successful transformation of a 2D game into glorious 3D, but thankfully with no real drastic alterations to the already fine gameplay. Because of the mentioned technical faults and somewhat downgrade in satisfaction, Worms 3D is not quite as good as its predecessors but nevertheless we still had as much fun as those times we used to slice worms in half as kids, can’t be too bad then, eh?