Who’d have thought that a game involving worms, hardly the world’s favourite creature, would be so successful that 15 years after the original game we’re still getting new stuff and re-releases of older titles? Well that’s where we are, and we’ve had a chance to have a good look at the new Worms Collection. Bringing together the original Worms game (with an HD spit-shine), Worms 2: Armageddon and Worms: Ultimate Mayhem (reviewed individually right here) the Worms Collection is a huge slice of nostalgia with pointed reminders of how to make a great multiplayer game, but also why some things are often best left alone.
What’s nice about this collection is being able to see just how things have changed over time. The 3D Ultimate Mayhem is proof by itself of the effort Team 17 put in to reinvigorating the franchise, but at the same time it’s also proof that the original formula of side-on 2D worm slaughter was pretty spot on. Starting off with the original Worms takes you back to those lost nights sat with a friend on front of your PC, getting annoyed when your grenade bounces off some scenery and takes out your last worm. But even with an HD redraw it’s clear that thing have moved on since those early times, and despite the game still being great fun with more than one player, it’s not the ace in the collection.
That honour instead belongs to Armageddon, which takes the best of the first game and adds more features, options and a hefty single player campaign to the graphical overhaul. Chances are after the initial nostalgia hit of the original title has worn off this is where most of your time will be spent, and if you can track down a friend or two who haven’t long since got bored of the Worms series then there’s every chance you can spend a long long time playing this.
But when you can already download Worms 2 from the PSN, is there enough elsewhere to make you dig out a few extra quid? Well that depends on if you’re after quality or quantity. Ultimate Mayhem gives a whole different way of playing by dropping everything into 3D, and while the amount of content in this game is pretty impressive and the challenges that are on offer give a very different spin on things, the game itself isn’t quite as slick and playable as the other two in the package. That said, if you haven’t tried a 3D Worms title then it’s an interesting experience for sure, but it soon becomes clear that the charm of Worms is in its side-on gameplay.
The Worms Collection is a tough one to call. Those who have never played a Worms game should take a look and see what the fuss is about – more so if you can find other people to play with in a similar situation. Even fans of the series have a lot to do – the inclusion of every bit of DLC gives you so much to play you could keep playing for months without running out of new stuff to try out. But at the same time, two of the three games on offer possibly won’t hold your attention and the other – Worms 2 – can be picked up already as an individual download.
It’s still fun and amusing to play, and it’s certainly good value so give it a go if you like the sound of some old style gaming, but don’t forget that these games always were, and still are, better played with others.
Reviewed on PS3