Worms: Open Warfare 2
Why don't you just go eat worms?
Worms games have had so many iterations it really is hard to keep track of them all. Many people have fond memories of the original Playstation game, as well as less than happy memories of being burned by numerous crappy rehashes. Well THQ is going to try to do gamers right, placating our need for wormy combat while at the same time making their new Worms game, Worms: Open Warfare 2 (W:OW2), for the Nintendo DS, make up for all the wrongs of the previous DS Worms.
The first thing one will notice when seeing screens for W:OW2 is that it actually takes full advantage of the DS' two screens. Unlike the previous W:OW, which only showed the action on the top screen, W:OW2 displays the landscapes on both screens. This choice in design allows for players to see much more of the battlefield at once - a feature that was much needed in the previous design. And for those of you who are worried that this will result in the inability to choose weapons effectively, don't worry, they have you covered. You still bring up weapon menus with the bottom screen on the DS.
Worms games are all about the combat, especially against friends, and W:OW2 provides plenty of options on how to fight. Players can play skirmish battles with single cart, with multiple carts, or via Nintendo Wi-Fi. That's right, this version of Worms will feature online play. Moreover, the DS version of this title will track your wins and losses. With Worms being so multiplayer centric it's a wonder that the first one could have neglected such features as those above.
If multiplayer isn't your thing, Worms does have a substantial single player component. Players can play through several themed campaigns - pirates have been discussed - or play skirmishes against the computer, a puzzle mode, and a DS specific gametype called Laboratory. The campaign, puzzle mode, and skirmishes all focus on how good you can use your worms to shoot enemy worms, but the Laboratory takes advantage of the DS' unique capabilities. Laboratory will feature mini-games that use the microphone and the touch screen to have players do things like "blow" worms about on parachutes or draw obstructions to help guide a wayward worm. They aren't what hardcore Worms fans are looking for, but when is extra content, on top of the game you want, a bad thing?
People familiar with the Worms franchise will know that weaponry is important to making or breaking these games. THQ has reportedly provided not only the weapons that veteran players know and love, but also eight new ones. What they do is anyone's guess, but there is little doubt that it will be ridiculous and over the top -- true to the Worms tradition.
Worms: Open Warfare 2 isn't going to win any awards for its uniqueness, but it appears to be an attempt to offer something more to fans of the franchise. The game's online features are certainly going to be a plus, here's to hoping to the level design makes it great.