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13:aug//2K - worms world party and beyond

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06-08-2K: Lets face it, Worms: Armageddon is becoming tired - it was never much more than an add-on pack for Worms2 in the first place. When it was first released in had enough new stuff to keep everyone happy for a while, well just about. However, it wasn't long before most people became tired of the new features and we screaming out for improvements, the Fiddler caters for most of these - new weapons, new schemes, mission, whatever. But the fact is inescapable that all of the new stuff that the Fiddler has brought are merely minor variations on a theme. A fact Team17 brought home when Edward sent them some Fiddler weapons for consideration for WWP, then again the W:A weapons are merely variations on W2 weapons and they themselves are variations on Worms weapons. Is it actually possible to come up with anything new? Someone once said that there were only seven types of story that could be told, perhaps the same is true with weapons.

With WWP, Team17 are bringing out another variation on a theme, it does nothing that isn't possible already with W:A or indeed was possible in some fashion with both W2 and Worms. A few tweaks here and there and you have a "new" game apparently. Whether WWP is worth buying, even at the reasonable price of £19.99 as has been suggested to me, comes down to whether you really feel the need to have another Worms game. There is only so many times you can package the same thing up in a nice new box before everybody realises that they already have it. If you own a Dreamcast there isn't a problem, WWP is offering something new - online play, but on the PC that isn't the case.

Personally I would rather have seen the PC miss out on this version of Worms, or failing that have it released as an add-on pack, making no attempt to market it as something new. If we had to wait longer, wait for Worms3D to finally arrive then so be it - at least that will be new; new graphics and the problems of playing in three dimensions.

The game engine behind WWP is from 1997 and we are going to be playing with it well into 2001 - things have moved on since then, even for 2D games. Things which weren't possible then are, or should be now.

Aside from the actual Worms game, we are apparently going to see games that use the Worms brand but which aren't really Worms at all. Is this pushing the boat out just a little too far? Branding is obviously important, but there comes a point when enough is enough - if some of us are becoming tired of the endless Worms sequels, then how are we going to react to games which aren't even Worms but carry the Worms name?

I hope that any proposed games are actually good and worth buying and it is not the Worms brand alone which is going to be used to sell them. If it is they deserve to stay on the shop shelf next to all the other tie in games that for some reason continue to be released. Worms won an originality award back in 1995, it is in no danger of winning any more.



The above is a personal opinion and should not be taken as that of WM.V2 or any of its other staff.

//agi. []