What’s in a name? Not very much in the case of Worms Revolution: Extreme for the PlayStation Vita. Neither particularly revolutionary nor extreme, Worms Revolution: Extreme is largely more of the same; anarchistic annelids taking shots at each other using a dazzling, dizzying array of weapons in worm-on-worm warfare. Is it a formula that really needs much change though?
For those unaware, Worms Revolution took the familiar Worms formula and added a few nifty features, most notably an upgrade to the physics engine, and a lot of fluid-based gameplay involving water and its deadly effects on worms. Extreme is very much the same thing, just re-released a year later with all of Revolution’s DLC (Mars, Funfair and Medieval Tales packs) bundled together. It has, however, now found itself a home on the PlayStation Vita.
It’s very much a complete edition of said game, with just a few largely minor concessions. Worms Revolution’s biggest change was the use of rendered 3D backgrounds and characters, whilst still retaining the traditional two dimensional play. This mostly allowed for physics and water to impact the gameplay. A few compromises were made in getting that engine to play nice with the Vita – and it’s not the best looking game for Sony’s portable, with muddy-looking, low resolution textures and noticeably stiffer worm animation.
There’s a decently-sized single player campaign on offer here, where you’ll have to complete objectives with your group of worms, against a faction of others, using that psychotic weaponry the series is known for, replete, as you’d expect, with decidedly comedic jibber-jabber provided by fictional ”wildlife” documentary maker Don Keystone (a nod there, for faithful fans) who narrates the whole thing as if it were the subject of Sir David Attenborough’s pursuits.
The other big change to this iteration of the decades-old franchise is a Class-based system – where different worms have different stats and abilities; joining the regular slimy soldier are the Scout, Scientist and Heavy classes each sporting differences in terms of speed, damage,and agility, along with unique abilities. Scouts are able to pass by mines without tripping them, Scientists are able to regenerate 5 health each turn. Classes add a nice degree to tactics to the battle, but they’re unfortunately hidden away behind menus, and many players won’t even realise they’re there. It is also a little dull. Worms was always made with multiplayer mayhem in mind, and that doesn’t really change here. Where multiplayer battles are both exhilarating and exciting, playing alone is hardly any fun at all.
With its new home come new controls, and there’s some fun use of the Vita’s rear touch-pad for finer aiming. It works rather well, and gives you a nice degree of aiming prowess that’s difficult to achieve with thumbsticks alone. The front touch-screen is also used for menu selection, and general aiming. A problem though, is that the screen is a little too small to see what’s going on, so you’ll find yourself zooming in and out regularly, just so you can actually plan your strategies.
There’s very little else different otherwise; it’s still packed with over seventy single player missions, online and local pass-the-console multiplayer and single player puzzle missions as well. There is something new in that there’s cross-platform compatibility with the PlayStation 3 versions, so those who own both can work through the game on whichever platform they like, and pick up where they left off on the other system. A new mode known known as ‘Treasure’, takes advantage of this interconnectivity, whereby the PlayStation 3 version hosts ten chests, and the PlayStation Vita version is home to ten keys.
Completing pre-set activities in both the single and multiplayer, very much in line with the sort of things you’d get achievements for, unlocks these keys and chests, unlocking entirely pointless and superficial bonus items as prizes. It’s a nice little extra, but one that’s largely superfluous and unnecessary.