The Worms are back in Worms 2: Armageddon, a continuation of the long legacy left behind by the original 1995 game developed by Team17. Don't confuse it with the 1999 release of Worms Armageddon though. Players are once again pitted against enemy worms in a race against time to see who is the last worm standing. It's an age old formula that works very well and as they say, if it's not broken, don't fix it; however, it's been out for a year on Xbox Live and Worms: Reloaded also just came out, so is there enough to warrant the $14.99 price tag? We'll find out in just a bit.
If anyone's familiar with the Worms series and its artillery type gameplay mechanics, then Worms 2: Armageddon will immediately feel very familiar, even if the last Worms game you played was the original. The mechanics remain very much the same and is incredibly easy to pick up for newcomers. Worms are spawned at random on a map and each will get a specified amount of time for their turn of attack. Players have to make good use of their arsenal of weapons, ranging from bazookas to dynamite and even super cows, in order to defeat the opposing teams. Crates are also dropped throughout each fight and can contain anything from health to rare super weapons of mass destruction.
The campaign boasts 35 missions to blast your way through and depending on your skill with the arsenal of weapons, each match can last from very short to very long. In addition, there are tutorial missions for the non-vets that will run through the very basics of the game like moving within your turn and reading the wind direction for optimal bazooka decimation. The campaign starts off incredibly easy, but as you progress towards the end, you'll have an entire army of worms against your team, requiring that you work that little noggin of yours to claim victory.
What's new is that players can fully customize each individual worm on their team, including their voices, outfits and grave markers. A nice touch that is complimented by DLC content. The PSN version of Worms 2 enables players to deck them out with Killzone and even LittleBigPlanet costumes. Additional costumes can be bought at the shop with the in-game currency which you'll earn after every successful engagement.
Worms 2 also offers a plethora of multiplayer options, ranging from Beginner, Standard and Pro matches to Crazy Crate, Fort and Rope Racing modes. The first three modes are the same, with Pro limiting the time and armoury available to players. Crazy Crate will have players spammed by a good many crates throughout the battle, increasing the chance of obtaining some wacky weaponry like the good ol' Super Sheep. Fort mode is quite interesting where players have to pick their forts and fight against the enemy fort. Rope Racing is, well, quite self explanatory. Players will have to race to the finish line with their Ninja Ropes. Worms 2 also comes completely packed with Trophy support as well as online leaderboards for the enthusiastically competitive players.
The visuals of the game are quite pleasing as well. Graphics are clean and crisp with special effects being quite entertaining. There is also a good selection of voice types for your worms, ranging from Sean Connery's 007 impersonations to the classic Worms voice. All of which are incredibly hilarious and can sometimes make one feel rather sadistic for putting the worms through that much explosive abuse.
Worms 2: Armageddon is definitely a fun game worth getting into. Does it bring a lot of new concepts to the table? Probably not and that's the real downside. However, with the myriad of wacky weapons, voices and gameplay that works to a fault, it's a formula that you've either loved or loathed since the original conception of the series. The campaign is robust and varied, but the online and local multiplayer modes are where the game truly shines. After all, where's the fun in using a Holy Hand Grenade if not on your buddy or some stranger online?