Poison strike: Fun to look at, not to breath.

Poison strike: Fun to look at, not to breath.

If you’ve never played a Worms game before, then I wouldn’t be surprised, but I would be disheartened. About 5 years ago I was browsing the Internet and I came across a game called Tanks. I didn’t realize at the time that it was supposed to be educational (a little bit) so I played it. And played it and played it. Especially when our class would go down to the computer lab.

To get back on track, I was approached by another student in class one day and told that the game looked like a Worms rip-off. I told him I didn’t care, but deep down, I did. I was playing a rip-off? If Tanks was this good, then how good was the real deal? I got home, looked up Worms and the rest is history. It was back then I first played Worms: Armageddon, and even after playing many more rip-offs and different Worms iterations (including the exceptional portable outing Open Warfare on the DS and PSP), Armageddon remained my favorite of the side scrolling turn-based strategy game genre. It was funny, outrageous, and oddly adorable.

Now after last year’s rather lackluster Worms release, Xbox owners are finally being treated to the true Worms experience. I saw Worms 2: Armageddon available for download, and while hesitant, I immediatly purchased it for the going rate of 800 mps. After setting up my team (Team Stickguy) with Top hats, Scottish Accents and a superb set of names, we were ready to go. Of course the first place I went was the firing range to get a feel for the weapons. I was happy to find a more robust set of weapons than last year’s Worms, and I quickly got into the groove once again.

Super Sheep, Concrete Donkeys, Buffalo of Lies. These are all ordinary things in the world of Worms.

Super Sheep, Concrete Donkeys, Buffalo of Lies. These are all ordinary things in the world of Worms.

There’s 30 campaign levels, with an extra challenging extra 5 added on to the tail end. For the most part you’ll be facing off against an enemy team of worms with a limited supply of weaponry. Interspersed between these levels are special challenges that can range from navigating a maze using a jetpack to getting to the exit using only a few choice items, such as mines or the ninja rope (my personal favorite item in the game).

Of course, the Worms games aren’t about the single player (though to be honest, you can have a ton of fun if you play by yourself), it’s all about the multiplayer. Worms 2: Armageddon features ranked (2 players) and unranked (up to 4 players) online matches, along with the ability to create your own game modes. If you want only guns, go ahead. Just airstrikes? Knock yourself out. Heck, I made a map with just ninja ropes, girders, and physical attacks. It’s all up to you. Each battle takes place on a randomly generated map, and at the outset the host is given the choice to randomly generate a new one, including the setting (i.e. medieval, space, construction site, ect.).

I’ll cut in here to say that the choice in weapons is absolutely immense. There’s humble bats all the way up to massive airstrikes. You can make giant concrete donkeys fall from the heavens, or use a stick of dynamite. For the more strategic players out there there’s plenty of items such as blowtorches and jetpacks to help you traverse the large (and entirely destructible) levels. Every explosion is rendered in perfect cartoony detail that looks terrific, especially the napalm strikes. I’ll just end this paragraph by saying watch out for the banana bombs, they’re more devastating than they look.

To be blunt, this game is a must have. The only problems I’ve experienced is the somewhat annoying voices that the worms have. You’ll only really notice it if your trying to find things to hate, or during target practice, where it’s just one worm spouting off the same dialog over and over again. I did have some trouble finding a game, but lets face it, Worms: Armageddon probably isn’t at the top of many people’s “Must Play” lists, so it’s understandable. Besides, nothing beats playing Worms with people in the same room. Which you can. All in all it’s the real deal. A must buy for any Worms fan whom also owns a 360, and anyone out there who remains sceptical should definitely check out the demo. It is free you know.

This game's got legs, even if it's protaganists don't.

This game's got legs, even if it's protagonists don't.