The only two certainties in life are death and taxes, or so the old saying goes. Whoever coined it was talking rubbish, though, as Worms is clearly just as reliably omnipresent. Consoles come and go, franchises crash and burn, but if there’s one sure thing in this industry, it’s that we’ll always have Worms.
Worms Revolution, the latest from the wriggling, warmongering invertebrates, will be immediately familiar to anyone who’s spent even a little bit of time flinging kamikaze sheep at friends and family over the last 17 years. You commandeer a small battalion of war-hardened worms and take turns slowly chipping away at a rival faction, using all sorts of fun weapons in order to destroy the opposition. Revolution sticks pretty resolutely to the tried, tested and trusted formula, but there are a few welcome deviations and upgrades.
First things first, there’s a class system present. Heavy worms have a penchant for heavy weaponry but are naturally slow, and scout worms are a bit quicker and more agile in the environment despite having less health, while the scientist worms are generally useless in a skirmish but provide backup in the form of weapon strengthening and health for the rest of your crack team. While a nice addition that perhaps adds some gameplay depth, it doesn’t add too much to the core worming experience.
What’s more interesting is the use of water physics. You no longer need rely on firepower alone to despatch enemy critters. A few well-aimed shots with a trusty old bazooka and you could find your quarry being overwhelmed by a miniature tsunami. The sense of satisfaction one gets, especially in multiplayer, after taking out one or two enemy worms at once with a well-aimed rocket to a reservoir is quite immense. Being able to manipulate the water to your advantage – or, indeed, to your detriment – is a nice addition to the franchise, even if it feels somewhat overdue as a feature.
Reassuringly, it retains the very silly, British sense of humour. Despite the different engine and gameplay enhancements, Team17 has thankfully decided against the modern day penchant for gritty, humourless, harrowing reboots, and has gone to extra lengths to make Worms Revolution the most entertainingly daft in the franchise yet. Enter actor Matt Berry, the modern day Brian Blessed best known for his booming, golden-voiced characters in Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace and The IT Crowd. He plays a fictional documentary filmmaker called Don Keystone and constantly ribs the player, regardless of progress. Having him take the mick and fire quips at you adds a lot to the relaxed, fun atmosphere of the game.
On the whole, Worms Revolution proves that there’s life in the old worm yet, its enhancements giving the franchise a fresh set of… uh… legs? The revolution will not be televised, unless you’ve got Worms.