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Worms

You just can’t seem to keep the worms down. No matter what you throw at them, whether it be exploding sheep, a Holy weapon from a Monty Python film or even the questionable foray into the third dimension, they just keep soldiering on. Having fought the eternal struggle between the Red, Blue, Yellow and Green factions on almost every console known to man since the PSOne, it was an inevitability that the war would spill onto the PlayStation 3. Enter Worms for the PlayStation Network (PSN), bringing the classic turn-based artillery gameplay expected from the series and not a whole lot else.

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For the uninitiated, the Worms series tasks you and your opponent with blowing away anyone on the playing field that isn’t on your own team. To aid you in the destruction of all other worms is a smorgasbord of deadly weapons that would make the most hardened space marine envious. Battles take place on multi-tiered levels that are littered with various objects and hazards, including mines and the age old video game staple, the exploding barrel. As players take their turns trying to eliminate one another, they have to compensate for the wind’s effects on projectile trajectory, manage the amount of ammunition in their inventory and think about strategic positioning on the battlefield. Worms is a series first and foremost about blowing stuff up and can often be rewarding to play in a reckless manner, but it also requires a lot of patience and strategy to emerge victorious.

After you’ve nailed down the basics of worming in the tiny bit of single player that Worms provides, you’ll be all set to play it in the manner intended, with friends or complete strangers. Like the other titles in the series, the single player campaign (if you can call it that) is there simply to exist as a tutorial, sure you can play a game like Unreal Tournament with bots, but what’s the point? The point, like any other competitive based game, is to kill your opponents, maybe talk a little trash and look totally awesome doing so. Worms lets you do this in both 4-player local or online matches, although curiously doesn’t allow you to play online with multiple local players. While it isn’t a major issue, it seems like a relatively simple feature to have added when even huge 3D games like Resistance 2 can support it.

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Being the primarily multiplayer-focused game that it is, Worms lets you customize the game experience in a number of ways to your liking. By default there are a handful of different game styles that give players different weapon arsenals, which, depending on what is available or not, will completely alter the flow of a game. You’re also free to create your own game style from scratch, as well as create your own team and select a unique set of voices for them. You also can alter the terrain in literally thousands of ways prior to a match, which can severely change the tactics involved from one game to the next.

Despite all the customization found in Worms, the game as a whole feels stale. Utilizing many of the staple weapons and modes known throughout the series, Worms on PSN is still a ‘unique’ entry in the franchise. What makes it ‘unique’ is that it isn’t a port of any other specific Worms title, but it also doesn’t do anything different than any previous Worms title. Sticking to what has worked in the past is both a curse and a blessing for Worms. The same classic gameplay and tongue in cheek humor of the series is firmly in place but for any long time wormers out there, you’ve seen this entire game before.

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If you’re new to the series entirely or simply need a version of Worms on your PS3, than it’s hard not to recommend Worms for PSN. Although it’s content to remain almost completely unchanged, Worms is still just as much chaotic multiplayer fun as it ever was. On the other hand, if you currently own another version of the series, there is absolutely no reason to pick this one up. Without any new weapons, relevant single player or major multiplayer additions there isn’t anything truly ‘unique’ about Worms on PSN. It’s fun, it gets the job done, but it fails to genuinely improve on any of the overall Worms experience.

7 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is an Associate Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in April 2008. Get in touch on Twitter @_seankelley.

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