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DS

North America

Worms: Open Warfare 2

by Brad Mosbacher - October 3, 2007, 9:11 am PDT
Total comments: 8

9.5

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?

Worms

–noun

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.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
9.5 8.5 9 9.5 10 9.5
Graphics
9.5

This is some of the best 2D and 3D on the DS yet. Detailed and animated backgrounds catch the player's eye, and the 2D is the most impressive yet produced by a third party developer. Worms animate cleanly, and the background doesn't flicker this time around!

Sound
8.5

Excellent sound designed hampered by poor choice for the software's default volume level. The Worms have retained their cute voices, and Two Tribes have cranked out some catchy and memorable background tunes this time around. The weapons and explosions sound appropriately deadly, completing a solid, but quiet audio.

Control
9

Tight and responsive controls are the name of the game here, as is innovation with the use of the microphone and touch screen in many of the challenges present in the game. The level of care taken in adjusting and tweaking the various forms of control is very obvious, as they make precise movements extremely easy.

Gameplay
9.5

The addition of new weapons and the variety of terrains makes this one of the more interesting Worms games in recent history, easily eclipsing the fun, but limited Worms on Xbox Live Arcade. The core game play is intact, with numerous adjustments and tweaks here and there. This game feels more like an ultimate Worms compilation than a true sequel, and that's a good thing.

Lastability
10

This is as good as it gets for replayable content. At nearly every turn there is at least one element of the game you can customize or change to your liking. On top of that, there is a wealth of unlockable backgrounds, weapons, items, landscape props, and various items you can retrieve by playing through the campaign and challenges. The Wi-Fi mode is both the meat and potatoes and the icing on the cake for this game. The online experience is virtually lag-free, and each opponent brings a unique and interesting challenge. There are also multi-card and single-card multiplayer modes for those who can't play online.

Final
9.5

This is the definitive Worms experience. Two Tribes has managed to create the best Worms game in recent history, completely blowing away Team 17's offering on Xbox Live Arcade. For fans of the franchise and DS owners, this is as good as it gets. Go buy this game; it gets my highest recommendation.

Summary

Pros
  • A vast wealth of content
  • Quick and lag-free Wi-Fi multiplayer
  • Sky high production values
  • Tight and responsive controls
Cons
  • A lack of variety in backgrounds
  • Friend Codes
  • Lack of voice chat
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

Tigris AltaicaOctober 03, 2007

Awesome! Ever since the series went 3D it has gone down hill. I always thought that this was a perfect portable game and I am glad somebody finally got it right. I'll pick this up as soon as I can.

MaverickOctober 03, 2007

My favorite part of Worms was the Team47 logo theme music. :-P

But I agree with the above post, about time they got it right on a portable system. Sure beats luggin' that old laptop around.

planetidiotOctober 03, 2007

It's the best worms in years, for certain. It's far easier to list what's wrong with it, and just assume everything else is spot on:

They very slightly reduced the damage bazookas do. A perfect shot with a bazooka used to do 50 damage. This is significant because that's half your life. Two perfect shots and your dead. Now there's no point in getting a perfect shot, 3 perfect shots will kill a worm just as well as 3 shoddy shots.

I really, really, really miss the baseball bat. It's a simple, effective weapon with no splash damage. And unlike the fire punch you can aim with it. Sometimes there's a worm just asking to be clocked over a hill to his doom.

The ability to pick which worm to use at the start of the match has been dropped. This feature is really critical. It can mean the difference between a close match and getting completely creamed due to a bad starting location. There was no reason not to include this standard Worms feature. It's been in every other version. Cycling through all your worms also gives you a quick close up look at your situation. Now you have to scroll around with the d-pad, or settle for the mini-map view as to who's in the most danger (not that there's much you can do about it since you can't pick your worm).

Sometimes the camera spazzes out with no explanation. It isn't very good at following shots in the first place, but sometimes it just jumps to a corner of the map away from the action. It is a mystery.

The water level seems too high for most of the cave maps. There's a ton of land up at the ceiling and half the map is underwater. Seems like a developer oversight.

Also they added these really annoying "random events", which while can be turned off, are present in most of the preset schemes (which are the ones you have to play with online). So you have to practice with them or you won't know what is going on. They do things like raise the water level each turn, or cause an earthquake. Mostly they just randomly kill a bunch of guys. They give you warning before they happen, but there's no point. Since you can't pick your worm, most of the time you can't do anything to protect the vulnerable ones.

A higher resolution screen would have made it better, but that's hardly the games fault. The computer will be doing his amazing bad ass shots, and you'll struggle with a simple arc across the map, because you can only see a tiny bit of it. I bet the PSP version is nice in that respect.

All that said, it's still a damn fine port of the game from worms 2, with a number of improvements, not the least of which is the ability to take the game with you.

UltimatePartyBearOctober 03, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: planetidiot
It's the best worms in years, for certain. It's far easier to list what's wrong with it, and just assume everything else is spot on:

I agree with everything you said, but just want to add on a few things.

Quote

They very slightly reduced the damage bazookas do. A perfect shot with a bazooka used to do 50 damage. This is significant because that's half your life. Two perfect shots and your dead. Now there's no point in getting a perfect shot, 3 perfect shots will kill a worm just as well as 3 shoddy shots.

I've noticed that the absolute most damage I can do without falling damage added on is 46 or 47 points (46 is more common, 47 is rare enough that I'm not sure if falling is involved). This is weird because the manual still claims the bazooka can do 50. The same is true of grenades. A grenade laid gently on someone's cranium does 45 damage every single time. Related to that, I'm slightly disappointed and relieved at the same time that the cluster grenade insta-kill I'm used to from Worms 2 (no subtitle) has been removed at some point.

Quote

I really, really, really miss the baseball bat. It's a simple, effective weapon with no splash damage. And unlike the fire punch you can aim with it. Sometimes there's a worm just asking to be clocked over a hill to his doom.

It was also handy for smacking mines away, or into enemies, even. It was also the best weapon for skipping worms across the water.

Quote

Sometimes the camera spazzes out with no explanation. It isn't very good at following shots in the first place, but sometimes it just jumps to a corner of the map away from the action. It is a mystery.

It seems to me like it's a matter of the pan function not taking into account the fact that I've moved the camera. It's especially annoying when it happens when I start charging a shot. It never fails to ruin my aim completely.

I'm also annoyed by the wind speed indicator. It can only show 9 possible wind speeds, but simple experimentation shows that there are probably two or three times that many actual wind speeds. The indicator is too small and simplified to do its job, making bazooka aiming a crapshoot sometimes.

Overall, the camera weirdness, unreliable single card local multiplayer (which I've opined on before), and lockups I've experienced knock it down a couple of points in my opinion, but it's still a great game.

SheckyOctober 03, 2007

One downside of a portable is that hot seat play looses some of its luster as the opponent doesn't get to see you clobber his worms (or your own).

Infernal MonkeyOctober 03, 2007

Well deserved score, this game is awesome. The amount of content and options crammed in is amazing. This, Drawn to Life and Saaawwwnic Rash Adventure within a month of eachother = THQ is my new favorite DS publisher. Wish it let you record your own voice ala Sk8land. Then it'd get 11/10.

GoldenPhoenixOctober 03, 2007

This is definitely a great game, heck I've been having more fun with this than ::gasp:: Zelda: PH.

planetidiotOctober 03, 2007

Another thing is the computer can be dead stupid. If you die against 2 computer teams and they can't get a direct shot at eachother, you might as well quit. They just keep skipping turns until time runs out, and then who knows. I'm not waiting that long.

The old AI strategy when they couldn't get a shot was about what a human's is: start blasting through walls!

I always complain about games I like more than ones I don't. It's a compliment or something.

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Worms: Open Warfare 2 Box Art

Genre Strategy
Developer Team17
Players1 - 2
Online1 - 2

Worldwide Releases

na: Worms: Open Warfare 2
Release Sep 04, 2007
PublisherTHQ
RatingEveryone 10+
eu: Worms: Open Warfare 2
Release Aug 31, 2007
PublisherTHQ
Rating7+
aus: Worms: Open Warfare 2
Release Aug 30, 2007
PublisherTHQ
RatingParental Guidance
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