Worms 4: Mayhem, the newest game in the long-running series, looks to be a return to form after the slower-paced Worms: Forts. Classic Worms action in full 3D, with new weapons, items, and customization options, promises to deliver some of the best and funniest multiplayer action around.
The Worms formula is an old and familiar one- take a group of worms, up to six of them in Worms: Mayhem, and try to destroy the opposing forces in a turn based battle. One team's worm moves, selects from a collection of wonderfully insane weapons and tools, uses it to wreak destruction in the most comedic way possible, and then it's on to the next player. Forces such as wind and trajectory have to be taken into account for the most explosive weapons, like mortars and the Holy Hand Grenades, while other armaments just need careful aiming or a touch of creativity to use best. Crawling up to an opponent, dropping off a stick of dynamite, and creeping just outside the blast radius as it explodes should always be one of life's simple pleasures.
In addition to the classic arsenal, new weapons for this version include the old warfare favorite of the sniper rifle, as well as the wonderfully insane exploding cow air strike. Weapons can now also be created in the new Weapons Factory. Other customization options include the ability to dress up your team any way possible, whether in a standard theme or mix-and-match fashion from the assortment of available parts.
What do we think? The 3D Worms games are still working their way back to the quality of the 2D ones, but the PC demo shows that Worms: Mayhem has some very good promise. The level design shows a noticeable improvement from Worms 3D, and customizing the looks of one's team should be a lot of fun. The new addition of the Weapons Factory, where a team weapon can be created and assigned paramaters and damage (within reason), also looks to add not only a note of creativity but some truly bizarre strategies as well.
The Worms series has faced some challenges moving into 3D, and though they still aren't all addressed yet, it does look to be improving. Now if only Team 17 could get in a working camera, address some aiming issues, and rework the Ninja Rope, we could all stop reminiscing about the 2D games and get on with enjoying what's available.
Worms 4: Mayhem is also in development for the PS2 and PC.