Written by  :  kbmb (435)
Written on  :  Feb 11, 2004
Platform  :  Windows

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Wow, what a disappointment!

The Good

The cutscenes and music are cute. Gameplay is typical Worms-style mayhem, probably great fun for a group of friends to sit around and play around with. The campaign is an improvement over previous Worms games.

It's in 3D. For what that's worth.

The Bad

As a standalone game, this is a pretty cute little game. But it's not just a standalone, not just some original title. This is the latest in the legendary Worms series, man. And because of that, we, the customers, the fans, expect a lot from a game that carries this title.

Frankly, I just don't get it. Was this the same team that developed the other Worms games? It sure doesn't seem like it. It feels like they took the very basic elements of Worms and spent the rest of the time working on their fancy-pants new 3D engine.

Is Worms 3D fun? Well, sure, to a point. I didn't play any multiplayer -- I should note that. I didn't think that would be fun for very long. I only briefly played some campaign levels and a skirmish or two before I decided this game was crap and uninstalled it. But that's all you really need to get the gist of the game. No, I can't comment on later campaign levels, but as I said in "The Good", it was one of the high points of the game. But the gameplay itself, isn't.

From the first time I played the demo of Worms on my old 486 computer God-knows-how-many-years-ago, one of the absolute funniest gaming moments is watching worms tumble down hills, go flying, smacking into walls, and falling into craters. And while this is found in Worms 3D, it's just not at all to the same extent. First, the worms almost never "go flying". You have to hit them head-on to make them fly. Explosions will hurt worms, but aside from "ouch!" and some damage being taken, you wouldn't know the worm got hit at all. The worm just stands (sits?) there while the explosion takes place, and then you see he got damaged. It just seems stupid to me that worms are suddenly so solid on the ground, when any explosion, no matter how small, would at least make the worm slide around a bit in previous games.

Also, the perfectly-rounded craters (and jagged charred destruction of napalm in Worms Armageddon) have been replaced with awkward, small "staircase" craters and seemingly no effect from fire. This probably has to do with engine limitations, but, it's just damn stupid. I want big deep round craters that my worm can fall and get stuck in. In previous games, that was an unfortunate outcome and forced the player to devise new strategies -- or heck, dig a tunnel with a blowtorch (which has also been removed, I might add) and pop out of some ledge somewhere. With the craters as they are in Worms 3D, I've never been able to just hop my way out of one.

Land area is ridiculously sparse. In previous Worms games, my favorite maps were the ones that had the most land, because it was just FUN to see the destruction the worm war caused, and even funner to dig tunnels, blast craters and build girders around the area. In Worms 3D, even with the land set at 100%, you're basically given five or six TINY floating platforms. Most of the time they don't even sink into the water, they just HOVER in the air. And they're thin! Two blasts from a bazooka and you fall right through, into the water, dead.

The shotgun used to be a very strategic weapon. Unless you were very close to the target, you had to make some pretty judgemental shots. It could mean victory, it could mean a wasted blast. But in Worms 3D, the shotgun is the equivalent of a sniper rifle. Aim, line target up with crosshair, boom. And what's even dumber, the worm usually goes flying with the shotgun. So I ask, why would you BOTHER with any other weapon that may or may not send the worm flying, if it even hits, when you can just use your 100% accurate shotgun that always sets the target airborn? The only motivation you might have is the fun of watching the world get destroyed, but that simply IS NOT FUN in Worms 3D. At least not after the first four minutes.

There is much more to complain about, but you get the idea.

The Bottom Line

The sad part is, this game should have been great. It feels like it was being developed when the technology wasn't available to make this game what it should have been...but no. The technology was readily available. Did Team 17 have a major staff change? What the hell happened that made this game so pitiful? You would think that long before this game got released, someone would point out that they forgot to add 90% of the things that made the Worms series so great.

Skip this game, I say. Aside from some shiny new 3D graphics that aren't so great anyway, this game is just a dumbed-down version of Worms Armageddon.