We all love Worms. ‘Cept when you have to go to the doctor’s about it. Team 17 have been churning it out for fifteen years now though, so it makes us wonder whether this is really a justifiable purchase. It has to be said, first and foremost, if you have any other Worms titles laying about you could probably dismiss this quickly as surplus to requirements. If you’re enough of a fan to have been waiting for this game’s release, the chances are that you’ll already have numerous iterations. That said, if you’re looking for some part-time fun, with a slice of online flavour, this could be the perfect package for you.
Worms hasn’t changed – not really – for the fifteen years of its life. The core gameplay is as solid as it every was, with the humour that made it so enjoyable still very firmly in place. The real question is whether you have changed. If you still find quirky voices and throwaway cultural references funny, the chances are that you’ll find this as amusing as the day you first played it.
The core gameplay remains as solid as ever as you endeavour to blast your opposition with a ridiculous arsenal of weaponry. That arsenal has increased since the last outing, including things like the EMP grenade, which allows for a more strategic approach to proceedings. It’s as difficult or easy as the opponents you pick, either against the computer, online or when challenging a friend. Obviously, the addition of an online multiplayer offers greater longevity than others in the Worms stable, but if it’s an online experience you’re after more than anything else, you’d be better off going for the still-popular Worms: Armageddon on XBLA. Still, it’s a welcome addition, and without it, we would have been inclined to score it significantly lower.
One of the other welcome additions comes in the form of puzzles. These are something akin to many of the smartphone games such as Angry Birds, which see you trying to get negotiate landscapes with limited availability of your arsenal. These will keep you busy for a few hours, if you can’t find a friend online to play with, and do genuinely challenge you on occasion. Other than that, there’s nothing really new added to the formula that makes this stand out, bar the budget price tag. The motion control aspect is something that trumps many other formats’ versions, but it doesn’t warrant you buying this over any other.
There are plenty of customisation options offered to you with Battle Islands, and while these are amusing for mere minutes, they don’t add a whole lot to the game. Indeed, even the weapon customisation doesn’t really do it for us, as there’s already a significant range of weapons to choose from in the standard setup. As in many other versions, there’s also a level editor. This one is particularly easy to use, and seen as a whole, the game can be pretty much anything you want it to be. As long as it’s Worms.
So, while Worms: Battle Island is undoubtedly a great game, it’s pretty difficult to recommend except for a certain group of people who love the game, but don’t have any other iterations of it. Even then, when compared to Worms: Armageddon, it falls short, as the online multiplayer is pretty well realised in the XBLA title. All this makes the Wii’s Worm’s Battle Island kind of moot. Yes, it’s enjoyable, and often times can be nothing short of brilliant, but it’s a brilliance that you will have seen and played a hundred times before. Maybe, then, it’s time for Team 17 to start something new.
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