Worms: Armageddon (Windows)

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Worms: Armageddon

Windows - 1999

Alt names WA, Wormageddon
Year 1999
Platform Windows
Released in Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States (1999)
Germany, Russia, United Kingdom (2002)
Germany (2004)
Brazil (2006)
Worldwide (2013)
Worldwide (2016)
Genre Strategy
Theme Artillery, Comedy, Editor / Construction Set, Generated Levels, Turn-based, War
Publisher Acer TWP Corp, Imagineer Co., Ltd., MicroProse Software, Inc., Russobit-M, Sold Out Sales & Marketing Ltd., THQ Entertainment GmbH, Team17 Digital Limited
Developer Team17 Digital Limited, Team17 Software Limited
Perspectives 2D scrolling, Side view
4.44 / 5 - 16 votes

Description of Worms: Armageddon

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One of the little known qualifications for becoming a game designer is to be absolutely, completely and utterly, weird. Bonkers. Stark raving mad, one wave short of a shipwreck, fruity, nuts, kerrrazy. As an example, I only have to point to the following game - Worms. Let's take an outside perspective on the game for a moment. You control an army of worms. Ummm...okay. This army of worms does battle with another army of worms. Right, I see. It attacks them using bazookas, grenades, holy hand grenades and mad cows. Huh? The battlefields range from scrapyards to the statue of liberty. Ah.

You see? Absolutely loopy, but strike me down with a snorkelling hippopotamus if it isn't jolly good fun, too. Worms Armageddon is, unfortunately, the last Worms game we will ever see (apart from a possible 3D incarnation in the distant future). This is a shame because the Worms series must have been the funniest turn-based strategy game you will ever come across (see our reviews of Worms, Worms Reinforcements, Worms 2, and The Full Wormage. If you've never played any of the Worms series then get this now before it's too late. You won't regret it. Basically, it's an old-fashioned artillery game like Barrage or Gorilla. You pick an angle you wish your troop to fire at, select the velocity and watch the shot. Of course, this isn't as simple as it sounds. You have to manoeuvre the shot over the terrain, and move your own worms to take advantage of it. Then you have to keep an eye on the wind-speed, decide which weapon you want to use and, of course, which target to send mercilessly to its doom. This basic simplicity of the gameplay makes it easy for the newcomer to pick up, but the multitude of weapons and different landscapes make for a unique experience every time you play it. The old cliche of `easy to pick up, but hard to master' applies rather snugly to the Worms experience.

Fare Thee Well, Dear Friend

This being the final game in the series there are more options available than you could count even if you had fifty pairs of hands. You can alter just about everything: the chances of a certain type of crate falling, how long you want to give the other player to sit their big fat bum on the hotseat, how much damage each weapon does, whether to force a sudden death mode, blah, blah, blah. The list really is endless. And then you can create your own team. Choose a team name, the names of your troops (or randomly generate them) pick a soundset, an anthem, a flag, choose a special weapon, gravestone, blah blah, blah. The list, again, really is endless. Of course if you got bored with this you could create your own landscape, though the game does a pretty good job of generating its own.

The graphics are also pretty good. The main view is a good old-fashioned 2D parallax scrolling screen and the graphics are done in a very bright, cartoony style. The animation is silky smooth, the game engine hurling those little sprites around with no problem whatsoever. Oil barrels explode with a Batman-esque 'FOOM' and missiles go 'POOT', adding real atmosphere to the game. The sound effects are more than up to scratch, and the music is also quite entertaining. While everything else in the game is customisable, you can't edit the graphics, but you don't need to.

I Have the Powwwerrrr!

Of course, what you really want to know is how well the game plays. Well, it's fun, but it's hard. Very very hard. This has been a problem with the entire series, and although it's less of a sticking point in the 3rd edition, it's still very noticeable. In the previous two incarnations, the game was virtually impossible to play as a single player game because the computer got every single shot spot on every single time. Now it's still very accurate on the highest skill levels but you definitely have more of a chance. There are also the training missions to guide you into the game if you've never come across the Worms trilogy before and these are really quite helpful, but require a heck of a lot of patience before you can really make progress. Practice, as they say, makes perfect. There's also more to do than in the previous two games. You can play a quick game against the computer (actually there's no such thing as a quick game of Worms, well, there is, but it's then followed by another quick game, and another, and another). You can play a deathmatch against the computer, matches becoming harder the more you win, or you can elect to take on a mission. The missions are perhaps the most interesting as they give a bit of variation to the standard all-out battle. You have certain objectives to achieve such as picking up a crate, or killing a specific worm, and usually a very lean time limit to accomplish them in.

As always though, the game is far more fun in multi-player. Played with three or more people Worms is quite possibly the best 'hotseat' game of all time, period. The number of ways you can nuke your friends is absolutely amazing. It's even possible to set up a number of 'trickshots'. Mine surfing is one particular favourite, although it's damn hard to set up. It's also fun trying to see how much damage can be inflicted in one turn, how high you can make a worm fly and how many worms you can kill with one shot. Worms is one of the few games which is more fun when you share a single computer rather than competing over a LAN or the Internet (and is without doubt my own favourite hotseat game - Ed.). This could well be because it lends itself to a more personal or communal aspect. You're certainly not guaranteed to remain friends by the end of the game (the `art' lies in convincing the player in the hotseat to go for anyone other than you... -Ed.).

It's Not All Rosy, Y' Know

As to be expected, though, Worms Armageddon is not without its problems. First up is the fact that the scenery is left hanging when the ground underneath it has been blown away. Perhaps to describe this as 'unrealistic' would be more than a tad inappropriate, but nevertheless, it's still very annoying when your shot misses thanks to literally a single pixel of earth being in the way. I would also have liked my worms to have progressed, earnt ranks and skills, and more importance to be put on the leader of the team. This would have made things so much better and increased player involvement tremendously. It's also a bit hard, but you could just as well argue that as it's not as ridiculously difficult as the first two, it's at such a level where you need persistence, but this persistence is rewarded.

Still, these are really the only problems with the game, and to be honest pretty minor ones at that. If you haven't played Worms at all then I can't recommend this game strongly enough. If you've played the first two games, then this is sufficiently advanced to be worth purchasing. Worms Armageddon is the kind of game anyone can enjoy, from grotty little kids to crusty old folk and that's definitely a rarity. Put simply: Buy it. Now.

Review By GamesDomain

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Worms: Armageddon is available for a small price on the following websites, and is no longer abandonware. GOG.com provides the best release and does not include DRM, please buy from them! You can read our online store guide .

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