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Worms World Party Review

publisher: Titus Software
developer: Team 17
genre: Strategy

P100, 32MB RAM, 2X CD-ROM, 2MB video card
ESRB rating: E

release date: Jun 16, 01
» All About Worms World Party on ActionTrip

I really don't think there is a gamer out there that hasn't heared of Worms yet. That is, unless you got a computer a week ago and used to live quite a solitary life up till then... Well, if that happens to be the case, you sure missed much, and fortunately for them, so did the rest of the members of your household. My mother might still think I was relatively normal if she didn't hear some time ago that all those friends that came to my home actually came because they wanted us to play with our worms...

This simple turn-based method of play existed earlier in bunch of shareware games with tanks, which I used to play on Amiga, and even Microsoft used to give out its own version of the game for free with some versions of MS-DOS. However, this style was properly defined and used only by Team 17. Hosts of small cute worms who fight each other with bows and arrows, guns, bazookas, uzis, grenades and cluster-bombs simply captured the hearts of computer gamers. The success of the first Worms game was shortly followed by a sequel, introducing somewhat better and more detailed cartoon-like graphics. Over time, the series expanded through some mission packs, and finally, Worms World Party appeared.

A new game, a new title, but almost everything else remained the same. I guess that if they had just named the sequels Worms2, Worms 3, Worms 4... players would have quite a hard time to distinguish which one is which. So, when you start Worms World Party, you'll feel like you just loaded Worms Armageddon or Worms 2. OK, some hardcore Worms fans probably have that homicidal look about them by now because I omitted to mention some subtle changes in the characteristics of a certain weapon, some additional air bubbles made by the sinking worms, or even the new graphic backgrounds in some menus, but I must say that I used to see small patches that introduced more novelties than this (not to mention expansion packs)...

The first thing you'll notice (i.e. the graphics) remained absolutely the same... The worms have been drawn so well that there is not much room for improving their sprites, but this doesn't mean that there was no room for any work there at all. If we disregard the new menus, backgrounds and tile-patterns, everything else has simply been taken from the older versions of the game. Things are a bit better in the sound department, as the game includes a far richer collection of sound samples and a new soundtrack (with the same characteristic theme, of course), but the overall audio-visual experience remained absolutely the same.

So why is this called a new game then? WWP was, in fact, never supposed to appear for PC, it was meant to be an expanded version of Armageddon with multiplayer support for Dreamcast, but the developers didn't want to disappoint their PC fans so they decided to publish a PC version of the game as well (This also has to do with the fact that Dreamcast died in the meanwhile - Ed). Worms World Party has a focus on the multiplayer mode. The singleplayer/multiplayer section contains some 20 missions for cooperative and deathmatch play for up to 18 players on a Wormnet server.

The next new feature is the so-called. "Wormpot", a jack-pot-like contraption which chooses game mods, i.e. sets three attributes for each match. There are about thirty game settings and combining them will provide you with a huge number of possible game modes. For instance, you can turn on the blood mode (no, it doesn't change the visuals too much), the Goliath mod and more powerful firearms and get a mode which requires specific tactics... You can also make one worm substantially stronger that others in your team, make the terrain sticky or slippery, have earthquakes after every turn, enable the use of super ninja-ropes, give a weapon far better damage, spawn a large number of crates on screen etc... All in all, this is not too bad if you just want to change the style of play, but I cannot say this provided me with a new form of amusement as it all only slightly affected the gameplay experience... Anyway, Worms always had a large number of weapon settings, which allowed you to slightly tweak up the style of play. Oh, and I almost forgot, if you got used to playing with Mail Strike or Stone Donkey in Armageddon, well, you'll just have to forget about those...

What I found to be most interesting is the new Wormopaedia. It is a sort of an encyclopedia (or better still, a reference manual full of useful advice), which contains a lot of essential data on all possible equipment and gadgets in Worms. I have to point out that I almost spent more time on this new feature than on playing the actual game. It was interesting to read detailed data on all the weapons and professional advice for their usage.

There, that wraps Worms World Party up... I was very sorry to hear that this would be the last 2D worms game, and that the possible sequel would be in 3D. You'd think that the authors would try to do their best for the last sprite-based game in the series. And I thought that only Eidos was impertinent enough to keep selling the same game with a slightly different name...


6.5   Above Average 

A very, very catchy game, new mods, Wormopaedia;

No real novelties in comparison to previous Worms games, which was the biggest reason for such a low mark, some weapons from Armageddon are missing.



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