Electronic Theatre Preview: Worms 4: Mayhem

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Electronic Theatre Image            With the Worms franchise having become a shell of it’s former self in recent years, the Electronic Theatre staff writers have been waiting with baited breath to see how the latest instalment, Worms 4: Mayhem held-up. Previous 3D iterations of the title have been decidedly disappointing to say the least, and so it’s left to Worms 4: Mayhem to perfect the 2D gameplay in the 3D environment.

            Much like fellow 80’s and early 90’s franchises CastleVania, Street Fighter and Pitfall, Worms hasElectronic Theatre Image had a hard time re-founding itself in the third dimension. Worms 4: Mayhem takes the title back to its roots – no more flashy scenery or confusing weaponry – simplicity is once again the order of the day.

            The preview build that we’ve received is very limited. The weaponry available includes the Bazooka, Grenades, Holy Hand Grenade and Jet Pack amongst other classic weapons while the new additions include a Bovine Barrage, Chattering Teeth and Poison Arrows. There are also only two arenas available – however from this incredibly limited selection it’s easy to see how the developers have realised that as much as they wish they could return to the 2D stylings, the three-dimensional presentation now limits the creativity the developers can have with the maps. Rather than having several pieces of terrain scattered about the arenas are now solitary islands – which are totally destructible.

            The title touts some average visuals and sound, although I would argue until I’m blue that this degree of display is certainly acceptable when you consider the immensely complicated maths that the system is calculating with every single attack.

            The customisation options are the biggest selling feature of the title. Not only do you have the ability to design your own game rules and levels, but also your own Worms and Weaponry! Although this mode is clearly the input that will differentiateElectronic Theatre Image the title from it’s predecessors, it appears that Team17 have made the ridiculous decision of only including two or three options within this mode and so, at current, the one feature that seems able to improve the 3D recreation over it’s 2D forefather remains un-investigated, and while Worms 4: Mayhem is clearly superior to any of it’s 3D brethren, this feature is the only touch that can propel such a familiar rendition above the standard that the first title created way back in 1993.

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