Worms 3D Xbox Official Website
by SEGA Europe
Developed by Team 17
Released: 31st October 2003
After numerous, and very successful 2D Worms games on the PC, there was very little Team 17 could add to the game in terms of features. Anyone who's enjoyed any of the games in the series (Worms, Worms 2, Worms Armaggedon, Worms World Party etc.) will tell you that it's turn-based gaming that's addictive as it can be. Basically you have a small team of worms who have to defeat another team of worms. You fight on terrain and use the craziest of weapons. There was one problem though, the series had gone as far as it could in the 2D environment. To take the series forward it needed to be moved into a 3D environment, which in the shape of Worms 3D, it now has.
The game's features will be instantly recognisable to Worms fans. There is a detailed tutorial that is made up of numerous tasks that successfully introduce you to the game. The core of the single-player game is the campaign, which is superb and contains more than just outright battles (I particularly like the 3rd mission on the campaign where you have to find the treasure in the graveyard). Having said this though there are plenty of battles and the campaign begins WWII style on Wormaha beach, which I found rather humorous. Finally there are the missions that can be undertaken to prove just how good you are. There is also a quick battle option that drops you into a battle very quickly indeed and is very useful to practice your skills. The multiplayer section is where most gamers will eventually reside and it features the excellent Wormpot, which creates a game of random conditions and the random map generator which allows you to set various conditions and then generates a map for you to play on. There is no Xbox Live feature, which is a shame because this would have been the perfect title for Xbox Live.
Customisation has always been the name of the game with the Worms series and Worms 3D is no exception. You can create your own team of worms (in name only mind you, you can't change their appearance) and customise the game options to give you any style of game you want. As we've already mentioned, the multiplayer game contains the Wormpot game creator. The Wormpot is basically a fruit machine where you can either choose three different types of game modifications (such as super firearms, power explosives, increase the power of cluster weapons, maximum fall damage etc.) or you can simply pull the lever on the fruit machine and have a random mix of game modifications. This feature was in Worms World Party but it's such an excellent feature that it is a most welcome inclusion in Worms 3D.
The random map generator allows you to create your own map by setting several conditions such as the amount of objects, bridges, size of land mass etc. You can also choose a theme for the map which determines the appearance. These themes are Lunar, War, Pirate, England, Horror and Arctic. Each generated map has a seed number so if you like a particular creation you'll have to jot down the number and inputting it at a later date will give you the same map. The game also allows you to alter any other setting such as the amount of health a worm has or the turn time (which ranges from 15 to 90 seconds) and whether you want to be able to select the worm to use etc. Essentially then multiplayer games can be exactly what you what them to be.
Moving the series into 3D was always going to change various aspects of the gameplay.The right analogue stick controls the camera and enables you to turn the map around. No 3D game in existence has perfect camera angles and Worms 3D is no exception. To combat this problem Team 17 have enabled you to have an overhead view by pressing the 'L' trigger and a first person view by pressing the 'R' trigger. Taking aim is superb when using the first person view and whilst the tutorial says it's merely an option, once you've used it you'll never use another camera angle to fire your weapons. The overhead view is preferred for setting up an air strike or the destination of the homing missile. Whilst water played a significant part in previous Worms games (your worm is lost if he falls into the water), it is far more important in Worms 3D as there is a greater expanse of it. Some of the more gentle attacks such as prod or fire punch have greater significance because it's much easier to knock your opponents into the drink (and vice versa of course) than it ever was in the 2D Worms titles.
Many aspects of the previous Worms games have remained though and that is a good thing as it was pretty much perfect anyway. The classic weapons are still there including the Holy Hand Grenade (my personal favourite), the sticky bomb, the cluster bomb and the sheep are all here and are as destructive as ever. Once again the terrain is fully destructible, although like the previous Worms games the terrain is not subject to gravity and should you blow the middle of an upstanding building or object then the top will not fall and remains suspended in air. This of course stays true to the earlier Worms games but it would have made a nice modifier to be able to have the unsupported objects or terrain fall, as it would have made terrain damage far more important.
Graphically Worms 3D doesn't push the Xbox and whilst it looks good, it could probably look better. Having said that though Worms 3D is a multi-platform game so the limitations of the other machines have to be taken into consideration. You also have to take into consideration that the game randomly creates maps and the game engine has to be able to easily support this feature. All things considered though the look of the game captures the spirit of the Worms series and that's all that matters. The weapons and the explosions all look good and satisfying.
Worms 3D is fine for deaf gamers with all the tutorials and campaign objectives being shown in text which allows you to read at your own pace, as you need to press the 'A' button to continue. The worms' speech is not subtitled though, which doesn't harm the gameplay but you'll be unaware of there, sometimes, humorous quips. The game also includes the famed Wormopaedia, which tells you about every item and concept within the game.
The move away from 2D to the richer environments of the 3D world has been a success. It does take a little getting used to but one advantage for the console versions over the PC version is that gamepad is better equipped to handle the 3D nature of the game than the keyboard and mouse. The inclusion of the first person aiming camera means that combat is as straight forward as it ever was. It's a shame that no Xbox Live support is present but it surely will come in the next version of the game and you can have four player games (even with just the one controller and you can allow a certain amount of seconds in the options for the controller to change hands). Worms 3D has arrived and instantly becomes the best strategy game on the Xbox and probably the best non-Live multiplayer game on the console too.
Game Rating: 8.9/10
Worms moves from 2D to 3D in impressive fashion and proves to be as addictive as ever. It's a shame that it doesn't support Xbox Live though.
The worms comments are not subtitled but otherwise the game is fine for deaf gamers.