If there’s one casual series that has managed to stand the test of time and adapt to the constantly changing demands of the gaming industry, my top pick would definitely have to go to Worms. This year will certainly be a big one for the wormy folks at Team17, as the developer is gearing up for the launches of both Worms 3 and the PC-exclusive Worms Clan Wars for the rest of 2013. I recently had a chance to experience first-hand all of the awesomeness that is Worms 3, and all I have to say is that Worms fans should be in for quite a treat this summer!
At launch, Worms 3 is set to feature a sprawling campaign with 27 different missions, in addition to online multiplayer bouts, a new survival-type game mode called Body Count, and a Pass ‘N’ Play feature that lets you and your friends play a game against each other on the very same device. Seriously, Team17 has thought of everything you could possibly want in a Worms game this time around, and everything is presented in shining 3D visuals, with that same core gameplay and 2D perspective. Each of the four different environments that predominately make up the game (Beach, Sewer, Spooky, and Farm) are wonderfully distinct in their own right, with lots of interesting details going on in the background amidst the destruction.
Worms 3 also feels the most like an actual platforming game than any previous title in the series before it. The brief series of tutorial missions at the start of the campaign showcase just how easily you’ll be able to navigate around each battlefield, with a virtual d-pad and jump button to move around with, as well as a slew of special items like ropes, jetpacks, and teleport portals to really get your worms to moving. And with the amount of environmental obstacles and strategically-built scenery always standing in your way, I could easily see a Worms-themed sidescrolling platformer turn up one of these days: which would be a totally, totally welcomed thing in my book.
One of the biggest new additions to the world of Worms 3 is in the introduction of collectable cards that bring new physics and gameplay parameters to the traditional Worms battlefield. Cards come in three categories: Bronze, Silver, and Gold, with Gold being the most helpful (and most expensive), but with Bronze still packing a pretty nice punch when used with a few other Bronze ones in tow. Up to five different cards can be applied before one of your turns, and can do everything from adding a +10 health boost for all Health Crates on the field, to changing the direction and strength of the wind.
For instance, in an early tutorial mission when the cards are first introduced, I activated an anti-gravity card, which let me jump an otherwise impassable gap to get up close and personal with an enemy worm. Not only did the new anti-gravity measures make my own worm jump ten times as high, but it also made the enemy worm fly ten times as far once I punched him in his little smarmy face. And speaking of the worms themselves, Worms 3 features a few different worm body types, which change how the squirmy soldiers function in the actual battles: ranging from the smaller Scouts, to some seriously large and ugly gargantuan ones.
In the short amount of time I’ve had to play around with Worms 3 so far, I can already tell that it will stand apart from other entries in the series as the definitive Worms game. It tries lots of exciting new things, gives players every kind of game mode they could ever ask for, and still brings that essential Worms gameplay that we all know and love. We’ll find out for sure once the full game gets released on mobile devices sometime in August.