Worm-aholics, fear not! The nearly decade-old, side-scrolling
strategy game “Worms” is given a breath of fresh air in
its latest update and moves into the three-dimensional world.
“Worms 3D” manages to maintain the sophisticated
strategy elements of the prior installments while adding even more
features to the constantly evolving “Worms” world.

The jump to the third dimension could have been disastrous for
the franchise if it wasn’t well conceived and well executed.
For the most part, Acclaim and Team 17 were able to maintain the
same tongue-in-cheek premise and explosive gameplay that made the
turn-based strategy game a hit so many years ago.

Players take turns commanding a team of up to six worms across a
vast — and often randomly generated — landscape in an
attempt to be the last team remaining. Standing in the way is up to
three other teams armed to the tooth with bazookas, flying sheep,
banana bombs and various other fantastical weapons.

While the original “Worms” featured a control scheme
that could easily be picked up by anyone, the scheme in
“Worms 3D” is one of the game’s weakest points.
Simply overlaying the two-dimensional controls on a
three-dimensional environment provides problems, as they are often
not as intuitive as they should be. Newcomers may find them
downright frustrating. Camera angles jump suddenly as worms move
over bridges or around buildings, forcing gamers to adjust their
patterns on the fly and making getting from one place to another a
bigger hassle than it should be.

Making up for this glaring weakness, however, is the sheer
amount of fun the game supplies. Boasting a stellar single-player
campaign that features specific challenges to unlock new and more
powerful weapons — as well as scenarios with goal-based
objectives — Acclaim provides a much richer single-player
experience than prior installments. In addition, the single-player,
last-worm-standing style of play returns unchanged, as does the
dynamic multiplayer modes. Classic attacks such as the air strike
and the homing missile have each been given a fresh new look,
adding to and dramatizing the comedic action.

Though “Worms 3D” is certainly not as intuitive and
user-friendly as its predecessors, the switch to three dimensions
has made it a much richer endeavor while still providing the
addictive turn-based style of gameplay worm-aholics have come to
recognize and love.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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