Like a parliament of owls, Team 17 has been dining out on Worms for many, many years (15 to be exact) and there’s no sign of the Yorkshire-based studio taking its foot of the dynamite detonator just yet. The latest iteration, Worms Collection, follows the popular trend of grouping a bunch of games that have already been released together with all their DLC and then packaging it up in a new, swanky-looking box and flogging it for a relatively modest sum.
As such, Worms Collection comes complete with Worms, Worms 2: Armageddon and Worms: Ultimate Mayhem, with the latter being the only 3D offering, which isn’t a bad thing as it was always the 2D environments that were the most appealing. It’s essentially a trip through the ages with the first game available around 15 years ago; though this latest version of the original has received the obligatory HD remake that was actually released in more recent years.
Unless you’ve had your head buried in a badger’s hole over the past 15 years, where there’s no way you could hear the high-pitched screams of “Revenge!” and “I’ll get you!”, chances are you’ll already know what Worms is all about. However, if by some miracle you haven’t, here’s a quick summary. Worms is a turn-based strategy game where teams of worms pit themselves against each other in warfare using a range of unique weapons, from exploding sheep to airstrikes. The aim is to use various weapons to kill the worms on the other team and hopefully survive the onslaught by having the last worm standing. Back in the day, Worms was essential gaming; utterly addictive, tactically intense and best played with friends.
After playing these three games for an equal amount of time however, it didn’t take us too long to discover that the doey-eyed nostalgia that we once had for Worms remains just that: a nice memory that really shouldn’t be re-lived, otherwise it inevitably leads to disappointment. However, there’s still value and lots of fun to be had if you haven’t played the series for a long while or if, God forbid, you’ve never played Worms. If that is the case, then there’s fun to be had out of this collection, though you’d do just as well to download the best of the bunch, Worms: Armageddon, straight from the PSN.
That’s not to say this collection lacks value. The original Worms, even with the HD remake, shows its age with the visuals and audio, yet it has all the elements that set the foundation for the entire series; and there’s no doubting that level design is impressive, battles are tactically thought-provoking and the weapon set entertainingly impressive. The pick of the bunch however is Worms: Armageddon, which had a dazzling cosmetic overhaul, brilliant missions and great backdrops to the action, along with a host of brand new weapons (the brilliant aqua sheep, for example). The final game, Worms: Ultimate Mayhem has so much content that it’s mind-blowing, so it’s good value for money in that respect, but it’s also the game that made us think that the series was in dire need of an injection of innovation.
The inclusion of all the DLC ensures that this collection is so full of missions and mayhem across its delightfully colourful game world that it would take you a few years to complete everything on offer. In truth though, it’s unlikely that many will stick around after the initial euphoria of nostalgic memories wears off. Undoubtedly an entertaining package that shows the best (and some of the worst) of the Worms series to date, Worms Collection is going to appeal to a niche crowd of Worms' die-hards and, hopefully, some new players too. Personally, we prefer the iPad game Worms Golf much more because at least that adds something totally new to the Worms formula and that's what we really want to see.
-The Final Word-
Worms is a great game of strategy but, for us, the nostalgia has worn off. Do we really need three Worms games packaged together?