|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Team 17||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: THQ||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sep. 4, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Adam Brown
Worms, as a franchise, has been around for quite a few years. It began as a 2D strategy combat game for the PC and has since spawned many sequels. Team 17 even tried a brief and somewhat disastrous attempt at moving the Worms franchise into the third dimension.
The tried and true gameplay that made the series the success that it is just didn't seem to transition well into 3D. Thankfully, Team 17 realized this problem and have refocused their efforts on making 2D Worms titles. Equally as terrible as their 3D outings though was last year's Worms Open Warfare for the DS. Although it was a 2D game, it had so many problems that it was virtually unplayable. After so many years of great Worms titles, these last couple have really shaken many fans' confidence in the franchise. Fortunately for Worms fans everywhere, Worms Open Warfare 2 will make you forget about these lackluster titles and remember how much fun gun-toting worms can be.
Anyone who has played a Worms game before knows what to expect from this title. You will name your group of four worms and then square off against one to three other teams of bloodthirsty annelids. If you haven't played Worms before, then this is a great one to start with. Immediately upon beginning the game, you will be offered a series of tutorials to help you grasp the basics of the gameplay. Each one will teach you very important skills by giving you instructions and then allowing you to try it until you are successful. While this may not sound like fun, unlike most tutorials, these are humorous, useful, and over fairly quickly.
Once you finish your training, you will notice that this can of worms is overflowing with customization and gameplay options. You will be able to customize just about every aspect of your worms from their color to the way they talk. There are several options to begin with but as you complete missions in the game, you will earn tokens that can be used to purchase even more zany ways to personalize your worms. This adds a ton of personality to your worms and is a lot of fun to tinker with between missions. Besides the worm customization, you will also be able to design and use your own landscapes. The tools you will use are quite simple, allowing anyone to make an interesting backdrop where their worms can create even more mayhem.
While this customization really adds to the longevity of this title, it is the gameplay and the many different play modes that will keep you coming back to this game. The controls are spot-on and thankfully don't overly rely on the touch screen. Much of the game is handled by using just the face and shoulder buttons. For a single-player experience, you can choose from campaign, puzzle, blow, blast, and draw modes. Campaign mode will have you playing through levels with your team of worms and squaring off against the occasional boss. These boss battles are all fairly unique and enjoyable. Puzzle mode gives players specific situations that will require strategy to find the most efficient way to accomplish their goal. This mode can be entertaining, but most of the time the puzzles don't offer much of a challenge.
Blow, blast, and draw modes all make use of the DS's special control inputs. Blow mode has you opening a parachute and blowing into the DS's microphone to keep your worm airborne while you navigate to an exit point. I really like this mode and was very impressed by just how sensitive the DS's microphone is. If you blow lightly into the microphone, your worm will basically just maintain altitude, but if you blow harder, your worm will proportionately gain elevation. Blast allows you to touch the screen to charge up an explosion that you will use to propel your worm through a maze. These mazes can be difficult to navigate but there is an incredible sense of achievement after successfully completing them. This was a pretty hilarious mode that would often make me feel guilty for frequently blowing up my helpless worm. Draw mode has you drawing land onto the screen using your stylus to guide your worm to an exit point. This is definitely the weakest of the three special modes. While the idea sounds good, playing through these missions is tedious and basically results in trial and error to achieve victory.