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Posted by on Nov 2, 2011

REVIEW: Worms: Ultimate Mayhem (Xbox 360)

REVIEW: Worms: Ultimate Mayhem (Xbox 360)

Title: Worms: Ultimate Mayhem
Platform: Xbox 360, PC, PS3 (Reviewed on 360)
Developer: Team17
Publisher: Team17
TL;DR: A compilation of 3D Worms carnage
Family Friendly?: Worms is violence, but not as you know it. Just fine for the kids.

Many of you may remember blowing your friends, or the fiendish AI, to kingdom come in previous 2D Worms titles, and oh what fun it was. Moving into 3D was a bold step for Team17 to make, and hardcore fans of the series may have groaned when switching on their consoles to play the original Worms 3D for the first time. Nevertheless Team17 powered on to make more of the 3D adventures, and have now compiled two of them, Worms 3D and Worms 4: Mayhem, to create Worms: Ultimate Mayhem for PC and consoles alike. So as we get reminiscent about blowing these pink critters up, we encounter all the old frolics and faults of 3D Worms titles anew.

For those of you who may have resided under a rock for the past ten or so years, Worms is all about turn-based combat. One player picks his shots against the enemy’s static characters and vice versa, until one team has been obliterated. Team17 seem to have strived to make the wackiest and zaniest weapons possible throughout the series, including a farting granny and a sheep with super-powers. It’s a formula which has worked incredibly to Team17’s favour, and Worms has proved itself as a title for all audiences. The addictive gameplay of the 2D titles would always suffer from moving into the 3D realm, weapons feel clunkier and even under-powered. Aiming is also rather tricky, with the controls feeling out-of-place and shoddy. However, despite its faults, the adventures of Worms 4 and Worms 3D feel suitably wacky, with ridiculous weapons, and zany landscapes completing the Worms package.

Customisation has often played a role in notable Worms titles. Adjusting your team names, accents, graves and even attire can almost be as much fun as the gameplay itself. Weapons can also be customised, however the process here may not be as fun as you expect. Changing the aesthetic factors of a weapon feels slightly redundant, designing how the shots are fired, and how much power they will have almost seems farcical. As you adjust the sliders of damage, the amount you can actually change decreases, often meaning you create a weapon that was nothing like how you imagined, and the in-game weapons feel far superior. Probably best to stick to calling your characters ‘arse’ or ‘balls’.

The campaign has been copied straight out of the Worms titles this game is based on, 3D and Mayhem – well, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. That said, the story really feels rather unnecessary, as you find yourself itching to get to the action. And itching you shall be; load times feel bizarrely slow-for what is such a straightforward game formula. The campaign missions start off simple, and short, before you are tasked to topple a whole parade of worms. It’s not as easy as it sounds; AI is always a tricky adversary in Worms, whether it be of the 3D variety or otherwise. One minute you’re having a doddle annihilating the pink punching bags, the next you’re fighting the Rambo of Worms who seems to hit you from the most inconceivable angles. And while thisis has been a problem throughout the series, and is, admittedly, not specific to this title, that doesn’t make it okay … even if early adopters of the game are used to such shenanigans and can forgive the perplexing difficulty spikes.

If you get bored of slaughtering (or being slaughtered by) the AI, then there are number of other game modes at your disposal. The challenge mode offers a refreshing change of pace. This mode consists of testing your proficiency with a number of weapons, with the difficulty progressively getting harder and harder. Multiplayer is as you might expect, with a choice of either local or online play, players can face off against other humans in simple, but often amusing, bouts to the death. Worms is always better played with the guy/gal next to you, rather than the one at the end of the microphone. Seeing the anger and fear In your friends eyes as you line up that final baseball bat shot is not a moment to be missed.

While Worms: Ultimate Mayhem is the most comprehensive 3D Worms outing yet, players may nonetheless get caught up in the clunky controls and lingering load times. That said, at its heart is an enjoyable, simple, and classic Worms game. However, with the 2D titles being up on offer alongside this title, I can’t help but think this may serve to hurt Ultimate Mayhem given there’s little to no appeal of this game over the others. If you are a fan of the original 3D titles, and are looking for a slight nostalgia trip then feel free to download Ultimate Mayhem. If you are an advocate of the old-style Worms? Hmm. You might want to steer clear. Well, At least until the price drops a little.

Family Friendly?
Team17 has always pushed the right buttons when it comes to family friendly violence. It’s violence Jim, but not as we know it. There are guns, there are grenades, and there is airstrikes; but similarly, there are flying sheep, singing bombs and farting grannies. It’s a friendly style of humour that encapsulates all ages and something Team17 have refined into an art. There is no blood, so there’s no fear of the kids being scarred for life from Ultimate Mayhem. If kids are willing to put up with the dodgy controls then there certainly is a lot of family friendly joy to be squeezed out of this game. Just make sure your team of Worms made entirely of swear words is deleted first, ok?

The Good

  • Character creation is always a good laugh
  • Good old school worms fun
  • The looks on your friends face when you hit them into the sea
  • The Bad

  • Clunky controls
  • Long loads
  • Simply not as good as 2D
  • Tom Mackenzie

    Affectionately known as Beans in many circles, and I think gaming is awesome. I'll play pretty much anything. I love a good cup of tea.

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