Worms: Open Warfare review

Why oh why couldn't this be online?

Pros

  • Four players with one game
  • Same game
  • addicting
  • Landing impossible shots

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi Connection support
  • Jittery graphics
  • Created teams can't be shared

When we heard Worms was heading to an online-enabled handheld, naturally our first thought was, "Oh cool, you'll be able to play people on the Wi-Fi network." But for whatever reason, the turn-based, surreal invertebrate war is limited to your portable's wireless range.

Online omission aside, Worms: Open Warfare is the same game you've been playing for years. Up to four people pick their mouthy, racial-stereotyped army of worms and start lobbing grenades, tossing dynamite or upper-cutting enemies off the dreamlike, 2D battle maps. Projectile weapons, like bazookas and homing missiles, are affected by the ever-changing winds and randomly-generated terrain. It's all about eyeballing the situation and using the most appropriate weapon, with just the right amount of "oomph" behind the shot to make it strike true.

And with friends, this is video game heroin. So few games make you laugh at your own mistakes or want to bust the system because the daring, Tarzan-esque attack you just attempted blew up in your face. But playing the schizo computer is, as you can imagine, not something you'll want to spend a lot of time on. One second you can almost sense its geometry-calculating mind sizing up the perfect attack, which it flawlessly executes. Then it sends another worm right into a glowing red landmine. Screw that.

If you can't find buds to play with, you're stuck fighting the stupid-genius computer in a series of increasingly difficult challenges. Other than altering the number of worms and their hit points, however, there's no "challenge" that changes. Just more of the same. Why not throw in a few specific goals, like beat them using just the exploding bananas?

The DS game, thankfully, offers single-card game sharing. With just one copy, you and your pals can dig in and really tear up the lunar, jungle and beachy landscapes. In a bizarre twist, there's no multicard option at all. Any worm armies you've created are forever stuck on your machine, unable to annihilate those wormy bastards on another DS. You can still hot-potato the system, passing it around turn-by-turn, but that seems like a waste of the expensive hardware.

More Info

GenreStrategy
DescriptionCleaner, sturdier graphics put this version slightly above the DS game, but the same wonky AI and lack of online play bring the total package down.
PlatformPSP, DS
US censor ratingEveryone 10+
Release date20 March 2006 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)