Worms Ultimate Mayhem Review (XBLA)

Posted by David Vizcaino, Oct 14, 2011 16:56

Worms is a series that has existed since the glory days of the SNES and Sega Genesis. Back then it was practically the king of multiplayer warfare. It is a game that, no doubt about it, many gamers 18 and older have played at least once. Although, it seems like the fact that you practically have to be over 18 to remember Worms’ glory days seems to be the rub, at least that’s my opinion as to why Team 17 made Worms Ultimate Mayhem.

worms ultimate mayhem

What made Worms great, popular, and the inspiration of games such as GunBound, are its oturn-based battles, destructible environments, and overall humur. With moves such as the fire punch and Shoryuken, it’s obvious that Worms is a very tongue-in-cheek war game. What Ultimate Mayhem revealed to me though, is that, just maybe, one of Worms strongest features is the fact that it’s entirely 2D. I will say this right now: Worms Ultimate Mayhem is, by no means, a bad game; it just does not live up to it’s legacy. If you’re buying this game in order to relive childhood memories, then you’ll be making a mistake.

In the transition to 3D, much of what made Worms fun, and in a way, playable, was mostly lost.

First, the good: The environments are nice, though the graphics aren’t amazing. The bright colors are an excellent way to give the eyes a break from the brown and bloom military games that are now popular and it may even motivate you to play Ultimate Mayhem, every once in a while, when you tire of Call of Duty. Ultimate Mayhem is also full of the trademark humor and personality of the Worms series. The fire punch is still there and every turn a caption that may, or may not, elicit at least a chuckle will pop up informing you of who’s turn it is.

Worms more 3D action than needed

Ultimate Mayhem’s best feature though, is it’s customization options. You can customize your team’s outfits and team (I gave my team berets and eye-patches and named them the Snakes). In an added twist you can even customize your team’s signature weapon. As you play Ultimate Mayhem, doing story missions, campaign missions, etc., you’ll unlock coins you can use to purchase more customization choices. All of this adds an incentive to playing, if you truly like Ultimate Mayhem. The only issue with the unlockables is that there are a large amount of unlockables you may never get, unless you purchase Team 17’s previous games. Having loyalty based unlockables isn’t a bad thing, it’s the sheer amount of items you can only get by buying specific games that is annoying.

It’s important to note that Worms Ultimate Mayhem isn’t entirely a new game. In fact, it’s just a combination of Worms 3D and Worms 4. The characters have a low poly-count, and the overall graphics have barely been improved in the XBLA port, the worms’ shadows are noticeably pixelated. The controls also feel inaccurate and in a game like Worms, accuracy can be very important, especially in the third dimension. Add to that the fact that you can’t speed up the gameplay or skip enemy turns (which can be important in single player) and you’ll find yourself constantly watching a long sequence of actions, such as: movement, weapon choice, aim, fire, explosion, worm goes flying in the air, lands, goes ouch, stands up, then a second or two later, the damage total shows up above them, if they die they’ll say “uh-oh”, “oh no”, or some other quote, then they’ll explode, a grave marker will appear, then the funny caption announcing the next worms turn appears, then it’s your turn. This isn’t annoying at first, but after a while it can become extremely irritating.

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Our Rating for Worms Ultimate Mayhem Review (XBLA)
3.0 Replay
Good customization options, but other than that, the difficult controls and lack of good online means you’ll bore quickly.
7.0 Graphics
A low polycount and awful shadows are saved by colorful and well made levels that provide a break from all the “photorealism” of today.
5.0 Sound
The worm’s voices are funny, but quickly grow irritating. The rest of the sound effects are extremely unremarkable and forgotten.
4.0 Gameplay
It’s still the classic formula that made Worms great, but the inaccurate controls can quickly ruin any fun to be had.
5.0 Multiplayer/Online Content
There’s some depth to multiplayer and the turn-based gameplay makes lag a non-issue, but that lack of players makes all of that moot.
5.0 Overall
It’s still Worms at heart and, at times, it may even be fun, but such times are rare. The single-player is somewhat dull and doesn’t justify the price tag. Only fans of the Worms series may enjoy this, most others would do better playing the 2D series.

Rating: 5.0, votes: 1

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