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Worms

Games with Gold photo
Games with Gold

SSX, Worms Battlegrounds free with Xbox Live Gold in December


Also the first episode of The Raven
Nov 26
// Jordan Devore
November is almost over, which means more free-with-Xbox-Live-Gold games to look at and hopefully remember to download once they're actually available. Throughout December, Xbox One users with a paid subscription can nab Worm...

Review: Worms Battlegrounds

May 30 // Chris Carter
Worms Battlegrounds (PS4, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: Team17Publisher: Team17Released: May 27, 2014MSRP: $24.99 Instead of going with the piecemeal approach of adding in new features and promptly taking them out with the next iteration, Battlegrounds feels like a natural evolution from recent entries. It has the clans from Clan Wars. It has the classes from Worms Revolution. And it features the same old turn-based gameplay it had in 1995. Just like Clan Wars there's a tiny setup involved, once again featuring a magical artifact called the Stone Carrot, and a thieving villain. It's not exactly Pullitzer material, but it's a better effort than churning out game after game with zero cohesive thematic elements, so it's much appreciated. Here, the setting is a museum. So does it look like a current-gen game? Not really. It's a decent middle-ground in terms of a downloadable title, but the 3D effects and the backgrounds can often get in the way (concealing key objects and platforms) more than they will awe you. In short, it looks like a very high quality game from the Xbox Live Arcade era. I would love it if Team17 could go back to the hand-drawn look, and make it stand out as much as the new Rayman games. [embed]275257:54018:0[/embed] Gameplay is still the same, for better or worse. You'll get an arsenal of weapons at your disposal (now it's up to 65 tools), and you'll blow the other team to smithereens. Sometimes there's stuff in the way that you have to traverse by way of jetpacks, drills, and ropes, but most of your time will be spent blasting away with rockets and strategically placing mines. The new tools (Aqua Packs, Winged Monkey minions, and the Mega Mortar) are all fun in their own way, but you'll likely want to limit their use in multiplayer. Just as always the controls can be finicky if you aren't used to them, and back-flipping or rolling down a hill to your death can be pretty common. As a turn-based game it doesn't necessarily need a fully twitch action system, but more precision would be appreciated in future iterations. Still, even if it's just for a while, watching a worm back-flip to his death from 100 feet up (comparatively) is pretty funny.The aforementioned classes help add a tiny bit of strategy to the proceedings, and the Soldier, Scout, Heavy, and Scientists return. All of them play out just like you'd imagine (well-rounded, fast, resilient, and resourceful), and even though you'll likely just play them relatively the same way, it helps that there's a little variety involved, especially in the customization process. Story mode is very short, with 25 levels (that go by very quickly), and 10 "Spec Ops" missions that don't amount to much more than training exercises. Like its predecessors, Battlegrounds' real worth is in its multiplayer -- so you'll want to grab some friends immediately, or try to find some online with the included matchmaking tools. Four players are supported to be exact, with a scant two modes -- Deathmatch, and Forts, which is basically just Deathmatch with teams starting in their own structures. The customization elements are the bulk of the game's content, including the power to design a clan and bring it online, as well as create an emblem and send trash talk clan-to-clan. Actual worm customization returns, and you can play dress-up as well as change your team's voices to say, pirate lingo. It's a ton of fun just flipping through all the different voices and finding your favorite. There's also a level editor, which is highly functional from a console standpoint (since the feature hardly makes it there), but relatively bare-bones if you're coming from the perspective of a PC gamer. Like most Worms games, you'll need other people to play with or risk monotony. Enemy AI still isn't the sharpest tool in the shed even this far in the game, and they can take far too long between turns, leading to boredom. Given the price tag of $25, it's perfect for those of you who haven't played a Worms game in years and have the itch. But if you've been playing along for the past few years, you might be able to skip this slightly upgraded collective of recent entries -- unless you're a fanatic, of course.
Worms Battlegrounds photo
An amalgamation of a few wormy adventures
Coming up on the 20th anniversary of the Worms series, yet another Worms game is upon us. This is technically the first current-gen title though, worming its way onto the Xbox One and PS4. As you can imagine so...

Worms Battlegrounds photo
Worms Battlegrounds

Worms Battlegrounds to bring annelid anarchy to PS4 and Xbox One on June 3


Finally, the new generation can begin
May 19
// Darren Nakamura
Since what feels like the dawn of time (or at least shortly after Scorched Earth existed), Worms has been a mainstay of videogames in general. With its odd humor and ridiculous arsenal, it has graced over 25 platforms with i...
Team17 photo
Team17

Meet the Flockers: Worms dev finally working on new IP


'This is the most important game we've worked on in over a decade'
Feb 26
// Brett Makedonski
For the first time in a long time, Team17, the developer behind the long-running Worms franchise, is working on a new property. The new game will be called Flockers, and that's all that Team17 had to say about it at this...
New Worms game photo
New Worms game

Worms Battlegrounds announced for PS4 and Xbox One


One of the first games for ID@Xbox
Feb 10
// Chris Carter
After Microsoft dropped the news this morning of a mysterious new Worms game for the Xbox One, developer Team 17 has announced Worms Battlegrounds for the XB1 and PS4. Team 17 makes a special mention of its participation...
PS Plus photo
PS Plus

Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons free for PS Plus this week


As is the portable Worms: Battle Islands
Jan 20
// Jordan Devore
Out of all the games I feel bad about missing last year, Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons has got to rank among the top of the list. It shouldn't take this much convincing to get me to play something I'm fairly sure I will enjoy...

Review: Worms Clan Wars

Sep 03 // Fraser Brown
Worms Clan Wars (PC)Developer: Team 17Publisher: Team 17 Release: August 15, 2013MSRP: $24.99 Maybe you don't have a clue what Worms is. This is unlikely, and certainly embarrassing for you if true, but I'll refrain from judging you. The Worms of a decade ago is much the same as the Worms of today, with newer titles adding a few spins and twists on the classic formula but generally sticking to what made it work all those years ago (other than the terrible 3D Worms titles).  Teams of tiny, pink warriors (now up to eight, once more) fight each other across a 2D, fully destructible and obnoxiously colorful map, using weapons from the mundane -- but not too mundane, these are worms after all -- like uzis and bazookas, to the completely mental, like exploding sheep and banana bombs. It's all in the name of good, not-very-wholesome fun. Until one of your pals slaughters your beloved army of diminutive soldiers with an airstrike, that is.  All the lovely new features from Worms Revolution have been retained by its wriggling, younger sibling: classes, water, and physics, most notably. Combatants are split up into soldiers, scouts, scientists, and heavies, all with different movement speeds, health, and special abilities, like the scientist worm's knack for healing his chums. They've been tweaked and balanced since Revolution, with area of effects for special abilities being added or increased, for instance. Water, which was probably the most welcome addition in Worms Revolution, returns. It's much the same as it was before. Chucking water balloons at enemy worms will see them sliding down slopes and into a watery grave, and maps are filled with objects just waiting to be dislodged or blown up by missiles. But it's been augmented by machinery, with water gates, for example, allowing players to flood entire areas and drown their enemies.  Physics puzzles have been thrown into the mix, too, with all manner of buttons, levers, swinging bridges, and the aforementioned gates being strewn throughout the battle arenas of the war-torn museum that Clan Wars resides in. Oh yes, the museum -- that's definitely worthy of a mention. There's a story, you see. I know, you're incredulous. A story! How preposterous. And you'd be right, it is preposterous. A nefarious chap has pinched a sacred artifact known as the Stone Carrot, and is attempting to control all worms, because that's just what you do when you're completely barmy. The only thing that stands between him and complete worm domination is a ragtag band of worms and sociopathic crypt-robber Tara Pinkle, who's basically a loony Lara Croft voiced by Katherine Parkinson of IT Crowd fame.  You might recall that Matt Berry, also from IT Crowd, narrated the worms' last outing, so clearly Team 17 have a bit of a crush on the cast, and rightly so. While Berry's hilarious narration is sorely missed, Parkinson is delightfully silly while briefing the A-Team of the worm-world and describing all the terrible things that she's done while looting treasure from unfortunate tribes.  The single-player stuff isn't usually the draw of Worms, and while it's hardly the highlight of Clan Wars, it's an entertaining romp that eventually becomes tricky in places, sometimes because of fidgety platforming, sometimes because of challenging level design. There's a checkpoint system now, too, so replaying entire levels is a thing of the past unless you explicitly want to. Maps loosely follow the museum theme, with Stone Age, Viking, and Aztec-style battlefields, just to name a few. A day and night cycle adds a bit of visual variety to these maps, to boot. They are, as you would expect, ripe for deforming with explosive weaponry, and littered with objects that can be dislodged to block the route of an enemy worm, loosened to let forth a torrent of water previous held back, or just blown up to create a gargantuan explosion. While Revolution's object interactions were a bit on the fiddly side, Clan Wars offers a greater level of control over item placement mid-battle. What really elevates Clan Wars above its predecessors is the effort that has been put into the multiplayer component. There's local multiplayer, then your standard online PvP shenanigans, but the truly special, properly new addition is the titular clan feature. With the same tools used to make a team of deadly, slimy worm-warriors, you can put together a whole clan, with a distinct appearance along with a shiny emblem and a clan name, and then recruit members to this clan.  Clans compete for leaderboard positions, creating a perpetual worm-war and, hopefully, all the splendid drama, grudges, and competitive intensity found in eSporty games. Ultimately, its success lies in its ability to maintain a healthy population, which certainly won't happen if Team 17 keep churning out more Worm titles, so one hopes that they will take a breather.  In a novel twist, the floodgates have been opened up to user-generated content, with Steam Workshop integration. So in addition to the new weapons like flying monkeys and teleporter guns -- both of which can be used to help and hinder by moving objects and worms around the map -- there are a slew of cosmetic items and player-created maps just waiting to be downloaded.  While it doesn't stray too far from Worms Revolution, a game less than a year old, the focus on competitive multiplayer and custom content adds both longevity and depth to the long-running pastime of wormicide. If Revolution was the best that Worms had ever been -- and it was, because I said it was last year -- then Clan Wars is now the definitive version. 
Worms Clan Wars review photo
Bigger, fatter, and juicier
I think that Team 17 needs some help. Some dastardly villain has clearly locked the developer up and abandoned them, because less than a year after releasing the excellent Worms Revolution, the invertebrate-obsessed studio ha...

Worms Contest photo
Worms, Worms 2: Armageddon, and Worms: Ultimate Mayhem
[Update: Contest over! The winners are NovaKnight21, CabooseMiller, TheSunNamedMoon, DrButler, irishladdie727, and cnaltman62!] Our friends at Maximum Games have just released the Worms Collection for Xbox 360 and PlayStation...

New releases photo
New releases

New releases: Monkey around in Donkey Kong 3D


Plus Resident Evil, Van Helsing, Call of Juarez, and more
May 20
// Fraser Brown
For the love of god, somebody get me a 3DS. I made the unfortunate mistake of backing the wrong Nintendo console, grabbing a Wii U late last year, when I should have put my eggs in the portable basket. Now I'm not able to pl...
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Worms Revolution DLC pack out today


Bring your ticket and your Bazooka!
Oct 24
// Jason Cabral
What could be better than worms and ice cream? How about worms, ice cream and a arsenal of crazy weapons that you can blow up your friends with. Team17 has released the first piece of DLC for Worms Revolution, the Funfai...

Review: Worms Revolution

Oct 16 // Fraser Brown
Worms Revolution (PC [reviewed], PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade)Developer: Team 17 Software Ltd.Publisher: Team 17 Software Ltd.Release: October 10, 2012MSRP: $14.99 If you love Worms and you're just looking to sink your teeth into another colorful artillery game then stop reading, and go and buy the bloody thing. The core gameplay is, despite the new engine, nearly identical to the rest of the 2D installments; which means it's still pretty great.  Two teams of battle-hardened worm warriors meet on destructible battlefields and use a highly customizable variety of weapons, from the mundane, like shotgun and bazookas, to the absolutely bonkers, like explosive grannies and holy hand grenades (if it's not from Antioch, you've been ripped off), just to name a few.  If you're like me, however, and you've played the countless iterations, and they've all started to blend together, then you're probably wondering if it's worth picking up yet again. Do you like water, physics, and the consistently hilarious Matt Berry of IT Crowd and Mighty Boosh fame? If you don't, then you should probably just go back to playing Worms 2: Armageddon (or Worms Reloaded on the PC) which, up until now, was the most polished and content-heavy title in the series.  [embed]236702:45441[/embed] For those of you still with me, you answered correctly. All three of those things are awesome, and two of them are awesome in Worms Revolution. You get a gold star.  Water has been pushed as one of the defining features that sets this version apart from its predecessors. Water bombs, water pistols, pools -- it's like summer time. Unfortunately, it's actually October, so there's always the risk of pneumonia, too. Water-based weaponry makes up a small part of your wormy arsenal, while also featuring prominently as dangerous environmental hazards.  A water bomb or pistol can be employed to make enemy worms slide down slopes, and presumably to their doom, or just get them soggy and even more gross. Nobody likes a soggy worm. Similarly, a pool of water above some unsuspecting worms can be blown up, showering the worms below. It might push them down a hill, or it might create another pool that slowly drowns the little soldiers. The water acts more like runny jelly than good old H2O, and that's cool with me -- jelly is a lot more funny than water.  It's just another reason to pay close attention to the environment, and murdering foes in such a way is immensely satisfying. It's one of the most welcome additions to the series, and in the likely event we continue to get more Worms installments, I hope it becomes a mainstay.  The physics shenanigans are a little less impressive, sadly. Large objects are scattered throughout levels -- the refuse of humans. Worms are actually scaled appropriately, so mobile phones, zippo lighters, and water bottles are all significantly larger than the suicidal wee beasties. Telepathy and UFOs can move and drop these objects, some of which explode and drench the area in flames, and they are also susceptible to weapons fire, which can dislodge them or blow them up.  Much of the time, interacting with these objects is just a lot of hassle. Using telepathy to move objects is incredibly imprecise, and very rarely does it feel like you've achieved anything by doing so. Whether or not an object is damaged when you fire upon it also seems rather arbitrary. Directly hitting a bottle with a rocket might do no damage whatsoever, wasting a turn, whereas using the same tactics with a zippo might actually blow it up, or it might not. It feels random, and thus isn't a particularly solid tactic when there are actual explosives like mines or barrels, or pockets of water that will definitely unleash a torrent if struck.  Team 17 haa tried to mix up the dynamics of one's squad of worms by introducing classes, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The giant cranium of the Scientist allows them to make better turrets, for instance, and their knowledge of medicine means that every worm on their team regenerates a small amount of health each turn. The sneaky Scout is smaller and faster than his fellows, and can get into wee nooks and crannies that larger worms can only dream about (they are worms, so chances are they have weird dreams). The Heavy is a slow, ponderous behemoth; soaking up damage and smacking people around is his business. And finally, there's the basic Soldier -- the all-rounder, if you will.  I tended to favor the Soldier over the other classes, but the inclusion of such a feature definitely changed the way I played the game, even if it was only marginally. I'd frequently ignore easy kills so I could take the healing Scientist out quickly, or hunt down a Scout before he managed to worm his way into a tiny hole.  Worms Revolution comes with a surprisingly robust single-player campaign, along with a puzzle mode. I honestly don't see the appeal of playing Worms by one's self, but if I did, I would be all over this. There are some ingenious -- one could even say devious -- maps which are genuinely enjoyable to play through, even if it is against AI opponents. The campaign, and to a greater extent the puzzle mode, teaches players slightly more advanced tactics, encouraging players to think outside the box. Matt Berry narrates the whole thing in typical loin-melting fashion, and between the jokes and mockery he usually gives a hint (and often outright instruction) on how to tackle particular levels.  If you want to brush up on your worm-slaying skills without embarrassing yourself in front of friends and strangers on the Internet, then you can't really go wrong with the single-player shenanigans. The fact that you'll laugh your arse off thanks to Mr. Berry is just the icing on the cake. Really delicious icing. None of the cheap crap. Multiplayer is where the action is, however, and not simply because it's fun to destroy the hopes and dreams of a human opponent; although, that is certainly a factor. The joy of the multiplayer is in tailoring it for your own perfect battle experience. The PC version comes with a level editor, so of course there's the whole act of designing your battlefield, but there's so much more. Confession time: I'm nutty about menus. I could scroll through menus tweaking a game until it perfectly fits my specifications all day long. Unfortunately, the menus of Worms Revolution are fairly awful, but if you can get past how badly laid out they are, you may very well find yourself in customization Nirvana.  You can customize each mode (Classic, Deathmatch, and Forts), and alter how many times you can use the ninja rope, how frequently you encounter mines, how much health worms have, if they take damage from falling, if dynamic water will be used, how often crates are dropped, the length of the fuse on sticks of dynamite... needless to say, it's rather in-depth. The modes themselves aren't particularly surprising, but even before you start tinkering with them, they are more than serviceable. Classic removes the new features like water, Deathmatch doesn't, and Forts places the teams on two opposing land masses. More variety would have been welcome, but the customization options covers that if you're willing to play about with the settings for a bit.  Worms Revolution is as good as the franchise has ever been. It's good old psychotic fun, and that's all I really wanted. Yet, after 17 years, it's still very much the same game. Those looking for a refreshing take on the basic formula might be a tad disappointed, but in the face of watching suicidal grannies take out wriggly cannon fodder, or self-destructing moles, I think that disappointment will be short-lived.
Worms Revolution Reviewed photo
Let slip the worms of war
One cannot help but wonder, after so many years of senseless violence and bloodshed, what is it that makes worms so murderous? I guess that if you lived in the dirt, looked a bit gross, and were so often at the mercy of a tro...

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Worms Revolution has warring worms and exploding grannies


Sep 24
// Harry Monogenis
Worms Revolution is some two weeks away from being released, and Don Keystone is attempting to, for the last time, explain Team17's strategy game to us with his oh-so-seductive voice in a new gameplay video. The 2D game...

Preview: Worms Revolution for Johnny No Mates

Sep 21 // Fraser Brown
Worms Revolution (PC [previewed], PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade)Developer: Team17 Software Ltd.Publisher: Team17 Software Ltd.Release: October 10, 2012 Most of my fond memories surrounding the Worms franchise involve other people; people who were once friends but became, at least for the length of a round and probably the rest of the day, sworn enemies. Given the online mode, there's little reason not to want to take on another human commander of worms, however, on the off chance you don't want to deal with people or you have a repellent personality, there's a healthy amount of single-player content in Worms Revolution.   Even if you are eager to take on your pals in worm-on-worm conflict, it's probably worth taking the first part of the campaign, the tutorial, for a spin. You only get one worm to control, and enemies are static, passive things just waiting to be brutally murdered. There are quite a few new features, so it's a good place to come to grips with them.  Throughout, players are mocked, berated, and occasionally congratulated by the sexy voiced funny-man, Matt Berry (IT Crowd, The Mighty Boosh) in his role as disgraced, mentally deranged wildlife expert Don Keystone. Fans of his comedy stylings will find a lot to delight them here, as the writing seems tailor made for his delivery, and I have no doubt that you lovely Americans will enjoy the oh-so hilarious accent and funny British words.  The tutorial stage of the campaign is drawn out over eight levels, which strikes me as a ridiculous number, and I must admit I found myself extremely bored after only one or two of them. Only Berry's narration made it tolerable. Thankfully, once that's over, it starts to pick up, and you finally get your full squad of violent, psychotic beasties.  The campaign will take you to many colorful battlegrounds; mundane places turned interesting due to the worms' tiny size. You see, unlike in previous titles, the worms and their surroundings are actually scaled more appropriately, and animated scenes play out in the background with large rats scurrying about, or massive pelicans. Littered around the environment are human items such as mobile phones or Zippo lighters, and they can often end up obstructing your progress and require a lovely big explosion to remove. Sometimes, these obstacles can be transformed into weapons to turn against your enemies, especially if these obstacles happen to be explosive or, even worse, filled with water. Right from the start, the battles can actually be a bit tricky. It's not because the AI is particularly good -- though sometimes it seems like the enemy worms have the accuracy of Robin Hood -- but rather because of the obstacles scattered throughout the levels. While mines and explosive barrels are undoubtedly threats to watch out for, or use to your advantage, it's the water that you really need to keep an eye on.  Water has always been a threat in Worms, but never before has it been used so widely, and as a weapon, no less. Water pistols and water bombs can be used to drown or knock down rows of foes, the jelly-like liquid carrying them down to their doom, while the water in the actual environment can also be manipulated to great effect. Pockets of water locked away in caves exist above and below the battlefield, and a well-placed explosive or an accurately fired rocket can turn these wee pools into deadly weapons.  One of my favorite things about the campaign was how it showcased some wonderful level design. Team17 clearly went all out to create interesting game-spaces, and it really made me eager to try my hand at it, too. Unfortunately, the landscape editor was unavailable in the preview build, so I had to console myself with the developer's intricate creations. On top of the campaign mode, the other single-player feature is the puzzle mode. Instead of straightforward battles, these levels teach players slightly more advanced strategies, and task them with thinking outside the box a little bit. To call them puzzles is a bit strong, though, as they struck me as more like extra tutorials, especially given the hints provided by Don Keystone. Still, they can be quite fun and feature interesting scenarios from defending fellow worms to murdering worms using only a weapon which will not actually kill them.  The single-player content seems surprisingly robust, if not nearly as fun as playing with other people. As a way to practice and hone strategies, the mode more than does the job, but it's unlikely that people will be spending very much time with it. I really hope they do, though, as Don Keystone is quite the character and makes the campaign and puzzles amusing.
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Since the mid-'90s, I've been unable to look at the common garden worm without wondering "How many kills does it have?" or "Does it have a shotgun?" I blame Team17 for this entirely; their military-minded, wriggly warriors ma...

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Worms Revolution: These tricky worms mean business


Sep 06
// Fraser Brown
These Worms Revolution videos have been causing quite the chuckle to rise up from my belly, or wherever my chuckles actually come from -- I don't know, I'm no scientist. The latest one is a Public Service Announcement m...
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Worms arrive on Facebook in closed beta


Aug 07
// Conrad Zimmerman
Those wacky Worms are on their way to becoming socially acceptable. Team 17 has announced that a closed beta test for the upcoming Facebook version of their classic artillery dueling title, Worms, has begun. Fans of the aggr...
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Worms Revolution: Think I'll go eat worms


Jul 13
// Fraser Brown
When I'm digging holes in my garden for completely normal and not in the least bit criminal reasons, I often see worms. They are always wearing the latest fashions and spouting hilarious quips. It makes gardening a delight. ...
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Drown some worms in Worms Revolution


Jul 06
// Fraser Brown
Worms has always brought out the worst in me. I become a vicious, hateful, overly-competitive, incredibly angry arsehole. I love it. This has followed me through the entire series, even the ones that weren't particularly goo...

Preview: Worms Revolution brings a deluge from the past

Jun 29 // Casey Baker
[embed]230262:44236[/embed] Worms Revolution (PC [previewed], PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade) Developer: Team17 Software Ltd. Publisher: Team17 Software Ltd.Release: End of September (PC), TBD (PSN, XBLA) Genesis of Worms: In the Beginning... The earliest genre of a strategy game in the vein of Worms appeared sometime in the '70s, with a simple demo program on the Apple II known as Artillery. This early prototype featured two pixelated squares meant to represent tanks facing off against each other on a very simple battlefield. The game featured actual physics that showed the trajectory of your projectiles as you shot at the opposing tank. Meanwhile, across the pond, a slacker student was designing his own form of Artillery on a graphing calculator while trying his hardest not to sleep through his mathematics class. As Andy Davidson tells it, "...The earliest form was on a Casio graph-plotting calculator -- we were meant to be doing maths lessons and everything, and I had a little bet with my mate. He said, 'I bet you can't make a game on that.' and I said, 'I bet I can.' ...it was just a basic artillery game, similar to the ones on the Commodore 64...and I showed it to him and he said, 'How the hell did you do that?' and looking back, I'm not sure how I did it -- but that's how boring maths was at school." When Davidson got his hands on an Amiga computer -- especially popular in the UK in the '80s -- he ported over his little project onto his school computer, and even began to add his own features, such as the bottomless water pits that caused instant kills, and "little things running around" that you could individually name. As his game ideas expanded, fellow students became obsessed with the game -- often to the frustration of his teachers. "It was purely a game for me and my mates rather than to do schoolwork; college-work and everything ... eventually it got people skipping lessons to play it. The corner of the art room was basically anarchy -- all you had was people shouting at each other, explosions going off. My form teacher eventually banned it, he just went, 'I never want to see that bloody game in school again.'" At this point, Andy Davidson decided his dream was to get his game published. "So then instead of going to university, I thought -- this is what I want to do. And with it being banned, I knew there was something in there. If a song's been banned, it's usually good. If a film's been banned, it's usually good. So I told them, 'I'm not going to go to University, I'm going to get my game published.'" My form teacher turned around and said, 'Andy, you're good -- but not that good.' Which was, you know, Cheers for the encouragement. So that drove me on as well..." From this point onward, Davidson rewrote and tinkered with his pet project while working in an Amiga shop. He chose to use worms instead of tanks because at that point in game's history worms hadn't been featured as characters yet, and because Davidson knew he could keep it simple and retain humorous animations using the annelids. Davidson offered his customers a chance to play his game, making them unwitting testers who would often spend hours in the shop just to keep playing "Total Wormage." "...I wanted people to like the game who hated video games, I wanted to create a really social thing -- because that's what it was, for you to play with your friends." At a London Computer Show known as the ECTS (European Computer Trade Show), Davidson brought his game forward to be considered for publishing and found a home with Ocean Software and development Team17. The original Worms was published in 1995 on the Amiga personal computer, and later ported to other electronic devices. Worms Revolution: The Approaching Flood Davidson left Team17 after working last on Worms Armageddon for PC because he didn't really like where the series was going. Some time after his departure came the first (somewhat disastrous) foray of Worms in 3D, and then several reiterations of Davidson's basic formula. Interestingly, exactly 17 years have passed since Davidson has returned to work on the series, and with Worms Revolution he and Team17 hope the game will appeal to a larger audience through its new gameplay engine and polished graphics. I had a chance to play a round with Davidson to get an idea of what this next iteration will add to the series. The first immediate noticeable change is the sense of scale in the game. With three-dimensional implementation, the worms appear in an environment more suited to their size while animals and people wander around as giants in the background. One of the first environments I saw was sort of an underground bunker in a mound of dirt at a farm. Other environments include within a sewer, on a beach, and in a scientist's "spooky backyard." The 3D implementation will also be important for a few special weapons, such as one that Davidson showed me where one of the original Worms of the series zip-lined into the foreground and was able to aim at a specific area of the map to blast the opposing team with a grenade. The environments are still structured very similarly to earlier games for strategic purposes, though with a new water physics implementation they're formed in such a way to make it fun to let water splash around and flow fluidly through tunnels and across barriers. The water physics are the biggest new mechanic draw to the series, as two of the water-specific weapons included a water-balloon grenade and an air strike of water balloons that can flood an area, sometimes washing nearby worms into the ocean depths. During my preview, I pelted Davidson's team of worms with several water balloons, slowly drowning at least one of them while pushing the rest just barely to the brink of death. The water physics add an interesting new wrinkle to the strategy as you can try to push the opposing worms towards explosive objects, chemically noxious beakers, or the bottomless sea itself. The water moves fluidly and realistically through the map, flooding areas and causing turn-based damage to worms who sit mindlessly under it. Another strategic implementation is the use of different classes of worms. When the player customizes his/her team of worms, they can choose between four classes for each worm. These classes include a tank type that can both deal and take a lot of damage but moves very slowly; a scout type who moves quickly through the level and can tunnel through dirt quickly but is highly vulnerable; a brainy type who offers health to his teammates and also can set up turrets; and finally, the stock soldier type that most players are already quite familiar with. The worms seem even more expressive than before, as they squirm and wriggle a bit more realistically through the environment and make hilariously dumb faces at the realization of imminent death. The new engine makes everything seem more cartoonish and expressive, including the background animations and player deaths. Worms Revolution includes four basic game types, including a campaign mode with about 40 specific missions, a deathmatch mode, a classic mode for hardcore gamers who want the original weapon set, and a new "Fort" mode, where each team has their own uniquely themed fort, and the strategy is found in deciding whether to infiltrate the enemy fort or defend your own as you lob projectiles at one another. I played a single deathmatch round with Andy and we both blasted each other with a few well-aimed shots of water and shrapnel and misfired a few others with often hilarious results. Though the match was a close one, Andy proved his worth as both a gamer and a developer and won by taking my team down with some incredibly well-aimed hits. The new water physics proved to be a blast to mess around with, and the overall gameplay still retains the same addictive sense of strategic mayhem that has made the Worms series such a lasting gem from the earlier days of gaming. Worms Revolution is planned to be released at the end of September on Steam for around $15.00 and later on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network for an equivalent price.
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The history of the Worms franchise is a long and storied one, spanning all the way back to the very early days of gaming. In an interview with Andy Davidson, the main creator of the original Worms game, I was given insight in...

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Worms Revolution to introduce class-based mechanics


May 03
// Conrad Zimmerman
Team 17 revealed information on a new class system being implemented for the upcoming Worms Reloaded, expected to hit PCs and consoles later this year. Players will be able to build their four-man teams using worms with class...






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