Worms: Open Warfare 2
If we can trust the ever-correct Wikipedia, the Worms series is already at part 12. After a couple of failed 3D experiments the heavily armed worms, like in Open Warfare 1, go back to good old 2D gameplay. And good for that!
They’ve once cost me almost a year, those crazy worms with high voices. As student the old PC-classic Worms seduced me all too often for some fun warfare. Throwing a holy handgrenade or a super sheep was more fun that studying for that unevitable exam.
Now any student will easily acknowledge that just about anything is more fun that learning and in the exam period even looking at the fishes in a pond may seem more interesting and meaningful. Still, by now I’m “member” of the active population and have to admit I can still appreciate those damn Worms and Open Warfare 2 more specifically.
For that loner that never saw any of the Worms games before, I’ll briefly explain the principal. Worms is a turn-based strategy game where you get a team of up to four Worms and have to take down the enemy. This can be done by killing the hostiles by drowning them, of by getting rid of them by means of an arsenal that’s equally brutal as it is original. The airstrike, firepunch and supersheep are once again present, added with a couple of new attacks like a boomerang and the buffalo of lies. The weapons have specific and various properties and intelligent use of them will determine the outcome of the battle.
This all plays in the so recognisable and destructable surroundings. It all looks pretty good and also the sound is very amusing. A special note is given to the sound effects and funny voices of the war-hungry main characters. You can choose from no less than 16 languages (going from German and Dutch to Stiff Upper Lip) to give extra punch to the battle cries of the Worms. Even when shutting or opening the DS you can’t get them to shut up.
The problem is that ten years ago, I also already had a problem with shutting those little pink thingies up and the gameplay was also the same. Compared with then very little has changed and you can almost state that the game has gone back in time. Still I would like to keep it in mind as a step in the right direction. Open Warfare 2 goes back to the old 2D formula that made the series so popular and addictive and it turned out well. Open Warfare 1 also tried this but the game was unfinished, less complete and dropped the ball in various occasions. This time the Dutch Two Tribes (contracted by Team 17) does show how it’s done, Worms is like Worms should be: plain and simple, but rock solid.
But is there really nothing new under the sun? Yes, next to the usual Campaign you can choose for “Laboratory or Puzzle”. In the first you have to collect crates, find the exit or get rid of the enemy. Thinking is of less concern than firepower. Laboratory on the other hand contains a lot of mini-games that use the unique controls of the DS. Draw with your Stylus a way out for your worm or just blow him towards freedom through the built-in microphone. The latter couldn’t really interest me but the puzzle mode is worth to be checked out. Add to that some cool customizing possibilities like an extensive landscape editor, and you understand that this game is once again a worthy new part in the Worms series. And that’s mostly seen also in multiplayer.
Where the standard game can keep you busy for a couple of hours, multiplay will have spending quite some more time. With 1 cartridge you can get busy and you can even test your skills online against all sorts of virtual warlords from all over the world. There are three modes called race, forts and the traditional deathmatch.
With race you’ll try to get to the exit as soon as possible with a rope or jetpack. With Forts you’ll shoot at each other from fortresses, and deathmatch speaks for itself. The latter remains the most fun as the basic addictive gameplay really comes out to play here. The loading times and sometimes unlogical starting positions are things you’ll gladly take along.
Don’t expect tons of innovations in this new part from the Worms series. The game is the same as years ago and I can only applaud that. This is the Worms I fell in love with and still have warm feelings for. Open Warfare 2 is an amusing total package that guarantees hours of gaming fun for young and old.