Worms: Revolution Review

October 8, 2012

/ by Tin Salamunic

Developer(s): Team17
Publisher(s): Steam
Platform(s): PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: October 10, 2012

The Worms series began in 1995. Since then, there have been fifteen sequels, remakes, and spinoffs. The sixteenth game in the series, Worms: Revolutions, is a strong, albeit familiar, entry. The game focuses on teams of worms blowing each other up with an arsenal of weapons, ranging from basic grenades to explosive old ladies. Worms: Revolution has two single player game modes, but it really excels when you and a friend sit down and go at it together.
  • Fun, exciting gameplay
  • Vibrant cartoony visuals, complete with dynamic set pieces
  • Plenty of weapons to choose from
  • The narrator’s jokes often fall flat
  • Most frustrating tutorial of all time
When Worms: Revolution is booted up for the first time, players are greeted with a tutorial. This tutorial goes over the basics of how the game works and what to expect. The time spent during the tutorial is time spent being told exactly what to do. If there is a weapon drop in front of you, enjoy being told to walk and pick it up. If there is a gap, the narrator will tell you to jump over it. Don’t worry, deaf gamers, there are visual guidances as well. (Visual guidances being labels telling the player exactly what the narrator just said placed on top of the goal). About ten agonizing minutes later, the front menu opens up. Now the game has begun: it’s time to pick single player and run train on some AI worms.

Wait, not yet. It’s actually time for eight more tutorials. The single player campaign is split into four maps, each map containing eight levels. The entirety of the sewer map is tutorial levels. A quarter of the single player campaign is a tutorial. These eight levels could not be more of a pain. The player will have their hand held in ways never imagined before, and instructions are given on every little action to take, no matter how obvious this action may be, or if it is not a new action. Hearing these instructions takes time, too. It’s not enough for the narrator, British actor and comedian Matt Berry, to make a joke and give instructions over top of the game. Instead, Worms: Revolution forces a cut scene for each of these tidbits. These short cut scenes add up over time and will really make you question what your time could be spent on instead of listening to these narrations.

It’s nice when games get actual comedians to do voice overs in games. The jokes work out better, and their voices tend to fit well with a comedic character. Unfortunately for Worms: Revolution, Matt Berry’s narrator is too unbearable for his celebrity to save the day. At first his character, a nature documentary film maker with a penchant for sadism, is humorous. The first few levels are livened up because of it. However, much like Pavlov predicted, the association between hearing the narrator and extreme handholding is made, and the anger that follows is inadvertently directed at Matt Berry himself. (I’m sorry, Matt, but your voice will always be a reminder of suffering.) If all of this wasn’t enough, there are instances where the subtitles don’t match up with what the narrator is saying. The mess ups are small (“I knew someone” instead of “I used to know someone), but these are the kinds of mistakes that there is no excuse for.

Once players manage to get past the tutorial levels, which, again, are a quarter of the single player game, the fun can begin. And there is fun to be had. Worms: Revolution is a great time. Even playing against the AI in the campaign is a good time. The AI can be dumb at times in how they respond to their surroundings, but that’s not a huge deal: the fun and excitement of the rest of the gameplay more than makes up for it. The single player campaign consists of the usual turn based gameplay fans of the franchise have come to know and love.

If a player is looking for something a little different, there is another single player option: puzzle mode. In this game mode, there is a single worm at your disposal with a goal of killing all of the enemy worms in the map. Ultimately, there isn’t a real challenge here. If the player dies, it’s due to using an item in the wrong spot, or mis-timing a jump. The enemy worms don’t get a turn to fight back and just wait to die. Puzzle mode is an interesting change of pace, but doesn’t add much to the game overall, other than fleshing out the amount of game modes available.

Single player is not the focus of a Worms game. Multiplayer is the real reason this series has been alive for seventeen years. You and a friend, or friends, attacking each other with a wide arsenal of wacky weapons is what made this series what it is. Things can get out of hand pretty quickly with four teams on the map, but the challenge and enjoyment stay constant. On a match to match basis, Revolution is fresh every time it’s loaded since the maps are randomly generated from four templates, a nice touch to keep the game fresh.

Customization such as this is one of the strongest parts of the multiplayer. In addition to ever changing maps, players have the ability to change which weapons are available, how many turns need to pass before a weapon is available, and the ammo for each weapon. A match with infinite concrete donkeys raining down on the map would be as hilarious as it is short and disastrous, but the option is there. The only thing not customizable, or the only customizable option hidden too deep in the menus to be found, are spawn points. The worms will always spawn randomly spread throughout the map. There is no way to start a match with one team on the left side of the map and the other team on the right side. This is probably done to balance things out, as the player that goes first would have the ability to rain hellfire on the other team right away; however, with the customization being as strong as it is, there is little reason to not have given players the option anyway.

There isn’t a lot to be said about Worms: Revolution that can’t be gathered from just the knowledge of previous games in the series. Teams of worms fight each other with a batch of explosive, melee, and bullet based weapons. If the nine tutorials can be ignored, and the narration doesn’t cause extreme irritation, then there are mostly just positive things to be said about this game. The gameplay hasn’t changed much, but when a system works, adding more than new weapons, maps, and updating graphics could lead to a weak entry in a series that knows exactly what it is: a fun multiplayer game.

Final Score “A Notable Entry in a Long Series” 8.0
Dynamic backgrounds, good sense of depth, nicely stylized water particles, and bright, vibrant colors make for a good looking Worms game. The cartoony style makes things fun, and the color scheme makes things ironically upbeat for a game about mass murdering cute characters.
Revolution is not a huge change in the Worms franchise. In this case that is a good thing, as fans of the series are not going to be looking for a complete change in the formula. If the player is able to get past the dreadful tutorials, or simply play with friends, than there is a large amount of fun to be had here.
For 1200 Microsoft Points, or however much real world money that is, Worms: Revolution is worth it for a fan of the series. For a new comer, there may not be enough to warrant the price. Price aside, there is a fair amount of content packed into this downloadable title, especially for people who may have friends heading over to play.
There are a few phrases spouted by enemy worms that will be heard over and over again. The one that sticks in heads the most would be “it’s like watching paint dry.” The only other voice in the game is that of the narrator, who Pavlov has taught us is worthy of a groan. The effects of the weapons either fit well, or are weird enough to be funny, for example: the war cry of the concrete donkey.

Review by Chris Lohr

Chris Lohr is a freelance writer currently in film school. If you’re looking for him to write for your website, manifesto, or Russian bride catalogue, send an email to Put today’s date as the subject line and include a picture of yourself. Must be DDD free and willing to host. All Articles by Chris.

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