Review: Worms Battle Islands (Wii)

Originally planned for WiiWare, Worms: Battle Islands brings the franchise to Wii for a second time, throwing away the sci-fi theme and sticking to the regular militarised theme the Worms franchise has had since the very beginning.

For those who have yet to experience a Worms game, it’s a game where cartoon worms battle each other with brilliantly over-the-top weaponry. Players take it in turn controlling one of their worms, positioning them in strategic locations and attacking enemy worms with one of the iconic Worms weapons – from a Bazooka to a Baseball Bat. A worm dies if it loses all it’s health or gets knocked into water.

Battle Islands comes in three main modes: Campaign, Puzzle and Multiplayer. Campaign mode is standard Worms affair: 30 levels of increasingly difficult levels. Enemies go from blowing themselves up with grenades to shooting a bazooka through a tiny gap in the scenery, bending it perfectly in the wind and hitting your well-placed worm dead on. Throughout the campaign you’ll earn experience points and unlock new items for customising the look of your worms, new soundbanks for your worms and blueprints that can be used to create your own variations on the game’s weapons.

Puzzle mode is much more varied. Like campaign mode there are thirty different scenarios. While the campaign is made up of straight-up battles and boss fights, the puzzle mode gives you a wide range of objectives – one early level has you taking out a load of worms with a bazooka, with your movement abilities removed – to keep things varied. From a single-player point of view, this is where you’ll spend most of your time. However, Worms has never been aimed at single-player.

The biggest thing missing in Space Oddity was the online mode. Thankfully, Team 17 have included it this time round. While the online servers are extremely sparse, Worms has always been about playing with friends and with the right people, Battle Islands can be really fun. In friend only games you are given plenty of customisation options – you can use user-created levels and your own schemes. While you can make plenty of variations, there could still be a lot more variations.

Graphically, Battle Islands is extremely dull. The thick-brushed style makes the whole game look cheap, and there is no style to be found anywhere. There are six different backgrounds. Other than that, you’ll find little variety in graphics here. Worms doesn’t need detailed or impressive graphics – they simply need to be pleasant to look at. Battle Islands is remarkably ugly for how simple it is. The speech and sound effects also seem to lack the cheeriness of past Worms games.

Controls are simple enough with the standard Wii Remote set-up. While the Remote is held sideways, the A button brings up the weapons panel while 1 jumps and 2 shoots. Other control options involve holding the Wii Remote in the standard position and tilting it backwards to control how much power is going into a weapon. It’s quite faffy but it does give you a little bit more control over power than the standard method.

Even though Worms: Battle Islands is a very poor Worms game, the core gameplay, in multiplayer, still holds up today. A local multiplayer game of Worms: Battle Islands can have you laughing, screaming, crying and cheering all at the same time and I can easily recommend this if you can find it at the right price. If you are a Worms fan already then you can easily skip Battle Islands and go back to Armageddon – even on the N64 it had more customisation, more gameplay modes and better graphics than Battle Islands on the Wii.

Graphics: 2
Sound: 3
Gameplay: 4
Playability: 4
Lifespan: 3

Pros:

  • It’s Worms.

Cons

  • No effort from Team 17
  • Looks ugly
  • Poor version of Worms.

Final Verdict:
Worms is slowly getting stale and Battle Island is doing nothing to prevent that.

6/10

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