Worms has been around for quite some time debuting on the PC many years ago and for most of the games released it hasn't changed all that much. It's always been 2D and featured some crazy weapons. Worms 3D changes all this but it's not the evolutionary step that many would have hoped. It's a great game but only because it relies on its history so much.
Worms 3D features numerous game modes for players to peruse. Quick start will throw you head first into a match of randomised worms, a random map and a variety of weapons to use. This follows the traditional aim of worms. For those who aren't aware the primary aim of worms is to have the last worm standing. To do so you use a variety of weapons to obliterate the opposition in often comical fashion. The main area of the game however is definitely the campaign mode.
Although there is no storyline interconnecting the missions, each section does contain both objectives and a story. The first mission is based around the D-Day landing at Normandy. You take charge of the Allied worms and must defeat the German worms situated at the top of the embankment. The mission's aren't all about blowing each others worms to smithereens. Some missions will task you with having to find an item, but in essence the primary objective remains to be the last worm standing.
For those new to worms, tutorials are included and it comes recommended that even worm veterans check these out. This is because the transition to 3D has had a significant effect on the way the game plays. One down side to Worms 3D is that it is much harder to get going in then the other previous games. The first half hour or so will be spent trying to get used to the new aiming system. You still choose the angle and trajectory but because its not a 2D platform, it can be at times impossible to see enemy worms. You can fire weapons from a first person view by holding R1 and this makes the task a little easier, but be patient because it does take time to get accustomed to the new aiming system.
During rounds each worm is giving sixty seconds to perform their tasks. During this sixty seconds you can walk as far as you like, shoot weapons or skip the worms turn. Sixty seconds may not seem very long, but you can move the worms a great deal of distance in this time. Weapons the worms can use include some classics like the exploding sheep, shotgun, mortar and bazooka. There are also some heavy weapons such as calling in an air-strike, and defensive weapons like covering yourself in ice. During these animations is where the worms really shine.
Like in previous games the worms have some serious attitude and a great sense of humour. They will show emotions such as when a rocket just misses them they will wipe their forehead as if to say phew. Other animations include looking scared when an enemy is nearby with a weapon, and putting on a beanie before covering themselves in ice. Worms 3D will make you laugh at times especially when you see them using items such as the jet pack. Nothing has really changed in terms of the way they move, but hey they don't have legs so how can they really improve on crawling.
Whereas you have to become accustomed to the 3D engine and challenges it brings, the AI know their way around the levels straight away. They do tend to miss quite a bit in levels without line of sight which is good, but eventually they will hit. Worms of course can't swim so on levels with water, blowing up the ground from beneath a worm is a useful tactical move. The AI is tough, but not so tough it can't be beaten. The main challenge comes from the aiming system until you get accustomed to it and the elements such as rain and wind.
Worms 3D features a random map maker. Each time you refresh or choose a multiplayer game a brand new map is created. These maps can be built around various themes such as Pirate, Space, Arctic and others. The levels are also destructible so if a worm is hiding behind a wall, destroying it will make them visible.
As mentioned before the elements can play havoc during games. They can send rockets off course, make a grenade spin back towards your own worms or other problems. Keeping an eye on the wind meter is a requirement to gain victory in Worms 3D.
Worms 3D won't win any awards for graphic splendour on the PS2 but the little guys have made the jump to 3D in a decent way. The maps are heavily varied and feature many places for worms to hide. The actual worms are animated quite well and as mentioned before will show emotion, a great effect. The frame rate is rock solid and the cartoon style graphics fit the franchise extremely well. On the sound front Worms 3D is quite impressive with them belting out wise cracks every so often and featuring a fairly catchy theme song. Weapons and explosions are as expected.
Multiplayer is only offered on the same console but you can create your own worm teams. Doing this allows you to customise the special weapon your worms carry around with them (banana bomb, exploding sheep etc) as well as personalise their names. Another feature of Worms 3D which infinitely adds to the replay value is the wormpot. The wormpot is a slot machine that brings up three different game conditions. If you're happy with them you can use them in the game.
Worms 3D is a decent game with the only down side being that the franchise hasn't changed all that much since its debut such a long time ago. For some fans however that will be great news and more great news is the jump to 3D has been done successfully, it would be nice for aiming to be more refined and polished but overall a solid package that worms fans will love.