Those lovable, homicidal Worms return for a second time on the Nintendo DS. Is this second outing better than their first, or has the Worms franchise truly gone stagnant?
1. Zoology. Any of numerous long, slender, soft-bodied, legless, bilaterally symmetrical invertebrates, including the flatworms, roundworms, acanthocephalans, nemerteans, gordiaceans, and annelids.
2.Video Game. A game in which cute, homicidal cartoon creatures called Worms blow each other to hell using various implements of war.
Worms: Open Warfare 2 is the sequel to the fun, but flawed Worms: Open Warfare on the DS. This iteration improves on nearly every aspect of the original, while maintaining the original Worms gameplay formula that has made the franchise so famous and so popular. The basic premise of Worms: Open Warfare 2 is the same as the past iterations of the franchise. You take your own team of lovable, killer Worms and lead them to victory against the opposing team.
At the very beginning, the game creates a save file on the game card that allows you to build your own team of murderous dirt crawlers right from the get-go, and you will be using this team of Worms to conquer the single player campaign and triumph over other players in the wireless and Wi-Fi modes in the game.
By completing the campaign, you earn points which you can spend on unlocking various maps and items to use in multiplayer matches and single player skirmishes. Some of these campaign missions prove themselves to be quite difficult until the proper strategy for them is revealed. It's not always obvious what needs to be done to progress past a particular mission, so trial and error is often the name of the game. However, the rewards for dealing with the sometimes difficult nature of the missions are more than worth it when it comes to unlocking goodies that you can set loose upon your friends in battle. Worms combat comes in the usual flavors: Beginner, Intermediate, Pro, and Full Wormage. On top of that, the game introduces two new game types: Forts and Race, plus four customizable game types, further adding to the level of depth this game has in options.
Adding flavor to the game is the aforementioned Wi-Fi mode, in which you can either challenge random opponents or take on your friends, if you have their friend codes and they have your friend code. The Wi-Fi mode is surprisingly lag free and plays just like anyone would expect a Worms game to play. The franchise lends itself well to online gaming, and this game is pretty much all the proof that anyone could want. Along with the Wi-Fi game play mode comes the obligatory stat track and ranking website that collects various data including win/loss records and posts them on the website for everyone to see, adding that extra competitive edge to the Wi-Fi mode. The only thing Worms Open Warfare 2 doesn't have is voice chat, but its absence is negligible.
The visuals of Worms: Open Warfare 2 are much improved over its predecessor in every way imaginable. Worms animate fluidly, textures are much higher resolution, and impressive 3D backgrounds sport a wealth of animation and detail. There is so much more to this game than the original, and it shows. The project was handed to developer Two Tribes after the disaster that Gamesauce's DS version of the original Open Warfare was. Two Tribes really went all out on the graphics engine for the game, completely scrapping the original game and starting over from scratch. It's really a shame that this Worms game isn't being given a completely different subtitle, because this is a very different game from its predecessor.
Sound is great as well. Those adorable killer Worms have retained their voices for the DS game, and the background tunes aren't half bad either. The sound itself is rather quiet on the speakers of the DS Lite, and turning the software volume to max doesn't really change that. Nonetheless, the explosions and weapon sound effects are effective and well done, rounding out a great audio and visual experience.
The controls are spot-on. Each weapon controls accurately, and the touch screen and microphone controls are also extremely accurate. Unlike in the first game, the ninja rope works perfectly this time around, making it one of the most useful tools in any Worm's arsenal once again. D-Pad and button controls are tight and responsive, making this the best controlling Worms game in a long, long time.
When everything is said and done, and you look back at this game after not playing it for a while, it becomes clear that the guys at Two Tribes have created a masterpiece that truly does the franchise justice. There are no sacrifices, no compromises, and no settling for second best here. Two Tribes has gone above and beyond the call of duty and have created an instant classic. This is truly the best Worms game ever made.