Worms World Party takes the irascible creatures to the next level -- online play. If multiplayer action isn't your clod of dirt, more than 40 single-player missions are included along with the 20 cooperative team missions. New game modes include WormPot, which allows you to select and combine over 30 various modes of play into more than 1,000 possible styles of play, all usable online, in single-player or a mix of both. Multiplayer action accommodates up to six players.
In addition to the multiple modes available, this turn-based strategy game offers a myriad of adjustable play features. Just some of the options include hot seat timing, sudden death, interactivity of objects (none, few, normal, many), length of mine fuses, use of dud mines, artillery mode (worms not allowed to walk), stockpiling, anti-stockpiling, injuries from falling too far and energy reductions. General options include turn and round time, starting energy levels, number of victories required to win each match, worm select mode, random or teleportation placement. In multiplayer, you can choose the number of worms per team, alliances, rosters and even establish team handicaps.
Weapon options include amount of ammunition, damage, delay factors and ease of supply as well as secret weapon availability and user selected special weapons. Nearly 60 weapons, ranging from sheep launchers and earthquakes to shotguns and baseball bats are available. Worms World Party comes with an editor that allows you to create, edit and store a variety of landscapes featuring island and cavern venues as well as an import tool for converting nearly any type of image as a battlefield.
A storied and venerable franchise in computer gaming is the Worms series. Spanning over several incarnations, the Worms games have remained basically the same: cute little worms try to blow the mess out of one another. This simple premise, coupled with interesting weapons and a cartoonish overtone, has made for a great sequence of games. The latest is Worms World Party, where the gameplay hasn't changed much from the other versions, but the surrounding package has. Will Worms World Party successfully destroy its competition, or drown in the ocean of despair?
Worms World Party comes with an impressive list of customization and gameplay options. The games themselves are basically the same (eliminate the other team), but you can embark on different ways of doing so. There are single player affairs, such as time attack, training, missions, and deathmatch challenges. If you wish to play others in equally matched competitions, you can play the AI, or over a LAN or the Internet, in the classic Worms killing fest. As for the computer created teams, they can be set on five difficulty levels, which adjust their accuracy during a match. As for the levels themselves, there is a very easy to use terrain editor included in-game, so you can make new levels on the fly with ease. You can also change your team's attributes, changing the sound effects associated with it, the flag, and the names (using the random name generator if you wish, although it seems Ainsley is a popular choice).
The customizations of the rules of the matches are very open for the user. You can choose all the aspects of the weapons, including availability, relative power, and delay. The rules can also be changed, affecting worm placement, turn time, round time, victories required, and many more aspects of gameplay. Luckily, there are several presets included in the game, so the beginner can easily select a starting point. The Wormpot is a neat idea: it's a jackpot machine that comes up with several mutators (think Unreal Tournament) for gameplay. For example, you can have a match with maximum fall damage, powerful explosives, and high friction. Conflicting gameplay elements are designed so they don't appear at the same time. The features of Worms World Party are well thought out, and it's easy to change the game to your personal preferences.
There are a lot of soundy goodness in Worms World Party. First off, there are 3,029 sound bytes for the Worms to say, organized into 55 tongues, ranging from dialects such as French and Portugese, to more sillier choices like Angry Scots and Thespian. I have to say, I haven't been impressed at the range of the sound of any game in quite a long time. It seems that the designers have covered all the bases. And the same phrases are not uttered in different accents: the actual sayings are changed depending on the appropriate character. The weapon sounds are also very well done: from sheep to (my favorite) the Holy Hand Grenade, everything is depicted in a cartoonish reality, which makes the game oh so much fun to play.
The gameplay is very, very fun in Worms World Party. It is a turn based affair (I usually hate turn based strategy games), and there isn't any other way to do it. Strategy revolves around using the correct weapon at the right time, and the knowledge of the specifics of each weapon is paramount to winning the game. There are not very many weapons that are completely useless (although the handgun might qualify), and each has their special place in the game. The basic weapon is the bazooka, and several variations include the homing missile and mortar. Time delay weapons include the grenade, cluster bomb, and holy hand grenade. Close quarter weapons consist of the battle axe, baseball bat and fire punch. Several guns are available at your disposal, such as the shotgun, uzi, and minigun. Dynamite and mines can also be placed on the landscape. To round out the impressive list, we have silly weapons, such as super sheep, old woman, concrete donkey, and homing pigeon. To augment your weapons, several crates and utilities are placed on the map during a round, which can give you special abilities (like fast walk and a jet pack) or refuel your ammunition supply. All of the features complete the Worms World Party package with a ribbon of awesomeness.
You just need to look at the minimum system requirements to see what quality level the graphics are at. Still, we are presented with the Worms universe in a clean and easily understandable cartoon world. Really, if anything more was added, things might become too confusing, and detract from the fun element of the game. This is great news for all of those people with low-end machines, as everyone should be able to run this game with ease, and should prove to increase the online participation of Worms World Party. The graphics are not bad at all, they just aren't in three dimensions like so many games of today. And that's fine with me.
Any fan of arcade strategy should invest in Worms World Party. The sheer number of features, both in gameplay and sound, should convince any gamer that this is not just a cosmetic upgrade, or an attempt to bank off a successful franchise. Worms World Party is a legitimate turn based strategy game, and is, most importantly, thoroughly entertaining. The holy hand grenade is waiting for you!
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