Worms: UM: First Impressions

By Degtyarev, Posted 03 Oct 2011

Regular visitors of the site should have noticed that we, the NF writing team, have been doing our best to supply you with a constant stream of reviews of the latest games. Have you read Daav's enthusiastic review of Space Marine, for instance? Or Marco's review of Cities in Motion? What about my own review of Off-Road Drive? In order to keep the stream of content (not consciousness!) flowing, however, we continuously have to try out new games. While this is fun (in most cases), it's also very time-consuming. While writing a review normally takes no more than 1-2 hours, playing a game can take up anywhere from 5 to 20 hours. Sometimes even more; I had played over 40 hours of FUEL before writing my review of it.

This is why some reviews may arrive a bit later than intended, as is the case with Worms: Ultimate Mayhem. Team 17's new title is a revamped version of Worms 4: Mayhem featuring additional new stuff, and content from Worms 3D, as well. I've been playing this game since the weekend, but I still have a lot of content to explore before I feel I can make a proper judgment. So in order to compensate for this slight delay, let me share with you my first impressions.


What makes judging this game especially difficult is that I'm a relative newcomer to the Worms series. This means that I haven't played any of the 3D Worms games before, so I don't know exactly to what degree Ultimate Mayhem is better or worse than the original games. At the same time, this may actually be beneficial, as I'll be able to judge the game from a fresh perspective, allowing me to give rather concrete information on whether or not this game is worth it for the other newcomers that are undoubtedly out there.

Based on what I've played thus far, the answer to the question in the previous paragraph is simple: hell yes. Priced at €13 on Steam (or around 1200 Microsoft Points), Worms offers a huge amount of content. And if you, like me, haven't seen this content before, it'll take a long, long time before you get bored of this game. There's two campaigns (the ones from Worms 3D and Worms 4: Mayhem respectively), and the Worms 4 campaign at least really got me by surprise. Artillery-based TBS games like Worms are usually more suited for multiplayer, but while that aspect is definitely the fundament of the game, this campaign is all but an afterthought. I initially expected a series of AI skirmishes, for example like the one seen in Hogs of War, an underappreciated 3D Worms 'clone' that actually preceded Worms 3D by a good 3 years. So I was pleasantly surprised when I was presented with a campaign that actively explores the possibilities of the Worms gameplay, featuring target shooting, platform-based levels and even a stealth section, in addition to some well thought out battle sequences covering a respectable array of historical settings.


Part of what made me play through the campaign at a considerable pace (apart from the fact that it makes for a damn good time) is the fact that every map you encounter in the campaign becomes available in the item store once beaten. The map can then be played in the amazingly fleshed-out versus/skirmish mode, which I will discuss further in my actual review. This makes playing the campaign instantly rewarding, and it's infinitely preferable over the game just throwing a few arbitrary extras at only after you've beaten the game. Unfortunately, maps from the Worms 3D campaign aren't unlocked in the item shop after you've beaten them, but according to Team 17 employee Bill, who posts on the Steam forum as well as the official T17 forums, this was unintentional and will be fixed with a patch later.

This leads to one of the few complaints that I, the great Worms noob, have with this game: the bugs. While I have personally not encountered some of the issues mentioned on the Steam board (game crashing, not starting up at all, or lagging), I have noticed a few weird glitches, such as explosions and smoke not appearing on the screen. Alt+tabbing can also result to some problems, and at times the AI does inexplicably stupid things (though not nearly as much as in Worms: Reloaded). Normally these issues wouldn't be too noteworthy, but seeing as a large chunk of this game is basically a rerelease of existing content, and Team 17 is an experienced developer, it is not wholly unfair to expect some more polish. I'm just hoping T17 will take care of these problems soon enough by releasing another patch.


In the end, though, I really ended up liking Worms: Ultimate Mayhem so far. Granted, part of why I'm having so much fun now is because I missed out on the 3D Worms games back when they originally came out, but if anything, it pleads for the game that relatively old gameplay can still make for more entertainment than quite some brand new titles. And with added customisation (I'll write more about this in my review as well), new challenges and an overall charm that is hard to resist, this game seems like a very good investment for those who missed out on the 3D Worms games and/or are just looking for a content-rich game that allows for numerous types of gameplay. Be sure to check out my full review once it's up.

Jesse Dolman, NoobFeed.

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  • I played Worms 2: Armageddon and it wasn't bad for someone that have never played a Worms game before. The concept is simple and can be lots of fun. In my opinion, Worms: UM is more of the same...

    Posted Oct 04, 2011

  • I'll look forward to the review but I'm not too sure whether I'll play this one. @FetusZero got me into playing Warms Reloaded and I found it very annoying playing with keyboard. Specially the double jumps and special moves are really hard.

    Posted Oct 04, 2011

  • @Sleven You can play both Reloaded and this game with the 360 controller, though. And I'd say that, control-wise (and also in a lot of other aspects), UM is a lot more playable and just plain better. But yeah, my review will clarify most of this. :P

    Posted Oct 05, 2011

  • hahaha you had me laughing with it. Guess I don't have to wait for the review anymore. xD Well, I have an USB controller and I can give the demo a try before I buy UM.

    Posted Oct 05, 2011

  • I'm still undecided on 3D worms games, in the same way I'm not overly enthusastic about any Sonic game they happened to release with an added dimension. I guess I may check it out simply because I respect the job Team 17 do and keep my fingers crossed I find some personal enjoyment in it.

    Posted Oct 30, 2011

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