Review | Worms Battle Islands
More worms, more war, same fun…
Format: Wii | Genre: Turn-Based Strategy | Publisher: THQ | Developer: Team17 | Release date: 26/11/2010 | Price: £19.99
Greg Giddens takes his army of worms to war once again in WORMS BATTLE ISLANDS.
WORMS BATTLE Island is – much like the other recent Worms releases – just a slightly different take on the same old premise. That’s not to say it isn’t fun though, it’s just slightly lacking in originality, and if you already own a Worms titles then Battle Islands isn’t likely to encourage you to part with more cash. However, the platform gives it an edge this time round as the Wii has been missing Worms action for a few years now.
On the surface it’s back to basics for Worms. The SNES style of holding the controller is the default setup and is certainly the best choice, the weapons are familiar from previous iterations, and the challenges and campaign mode return, pitting you against differing levels of AI controlled teams and presenting some objectives and time based obstacles to overcome. Dig a little deeper and a few new additions show their faces,primarily the battle islands each team holds. These islands act as the base for each team and through victories you can upgrade elements within it. The result of upgrading is special abilities to use at the beginning of a match. You can steal weapons from the opposition, reinforce your starting weapons, and even parachute your worms on to the map in positions of your choosing. As each ability is upgraded it becomes more useful against the opposition, for example allowing you to start with more powerful weapons. It’s an addition intended to shake up the traditional game mode, but in practice it fails to change anything substantially. The AI can use the same abilities and often counters the ones you use, and against human opponents locally they can see what you’ve done and counter just as easily. Still, it adds something different to the mix at least; just don’t expect it to be a game changer.
A mode for any mood
The multiplayer and customised matches allow up to four players – human or a mixture of AI – to battle it out in several different modes, many of which have been seen before in some form or another. The standard Deathmatch mode is of course available as well as: Triathlon which consists of two standard battles and a ninja rope race over 3 laps, Race which consists of either ninja rope or jetpack races through underground passages, and Forts and Tactics which standout as the most original. Forts is designed for two players with each starting on an outcrop of land cut-off from each other, flinging projectiles until one team is eliminated. It keeps the fight as a long ranged affair and rewards accuracy, putting it apart from many of the other modes. The second stand-out mode is Tactics, which allows the use of the battle islands and the abilities each grant. Additionally, you can take the fight online. Friend codes are still required for private matches, but the quick match mode lives up to its name and allows you to jump into a lobby and starting playing in no time at all. It’s one of the easier Wii online modes to setup and get involved with.
Customisation also plays a big part in Worms Battle Islands. The usual changing of voices and tomb stones is available as well as the ability to customise game modes to a large degree. On top of this you can unlock various accessories for you worms, such as hats. It may sound silly on the surface but it’s surprisingly rewarding to unlock these additions, and it soon becomes apparent that there are a great deal of additional voices, victory animations, tomb stones and accessories to unlock, keeping you busy for hours.
Whilst the battle islands provide something a bit new, the experience still remains the same. The abilities the battle islands grant neither benefit or demean the classic Worms setup, it’s still the Worms we all know and love. Having a modern Wii version is a treat, but the original charm is fading fast and, despite huge customisation options, it’s still a predictable title.