Worms: Battle Islands (Hands-On) (Wii) Preview

By Mike Mason 27.09.2009 6

Review for Worms: Battle Islands (Hands-On) on Wii

My my, how things change. Released at Wii retail, Worms: A Space Oddity was not as fully featured as it perhaps should have been, with online play critically axed before release, and yet Team17's new WiiWare-exclusive Worms game, Battle Islands, is quite possibly the most feature-loaded edition of the game yet.

Team17's Kevin Cathew describes Battle Islands as a download title that has had a retail game's development cycle, and from the looks of things that's bang on the money. Whereas its latest Xbox Live Arcade counterpart has 35 challenge levels, Battle Islands not only has a number of puzzles but also a full campaign. It has the same modes, only with two extra. There's a pointer-exploiting level builder, more customisation and, most crucially, full online play and downloadable content such as new landscapes.

The main new mode is Tactics, which allows a new level of sneakiness and odds balancing. Before the match, players choose an island to represent their team before entering a war room to take advantage of the benefits that their chosen island gives. They might view the starting positions of all Worms on the map and then decide to re-parachute their team to more convenient vantage points, or even set an air strike to go off before the first turn has even been initiated. It may sound like it's going to create unfair situations, but bear in mind that all players will be selecting their own individual perks in secret, all to be unleashed at near simultaneous times. These things can only be used once per game, but they give things a whole new tactical edge; can you predict what advantages your foe is going to use, and do you have the necessary abilities to counteract and one up them? It's going to be interesting for grudge matches. The second additional mode is the Triathalon, wherein you charge through a standard deathmatch, a rope or jet pack race and another game mode to see who's best once and for all.

Screenshot for Worms: Battle Islands (Hands-On) on Wii

Customisation is key now. You are able to create your own levels, though I did not get to test this. As well as being able to give your Worms some natty shades you can create your own weapons after earning enough points through the single player. Bullet size, range and power can be altered, as can special conditions such as whether it is affected by wind or not. What this means is you could create an ultra-powerful wind-resistant bazooka - and then take it online. Yes, you're able to save up to eight custom weapons and then bring one at a time online with you to carry out that special kind of vengeance. Beware, though; opponents bested by you can clone your customised beast and use it to spit hellfire right back at you.

Online play is the big new addition for Worms on Wii over everything else, and Team17 appear committed to getting it right. All game modes are playable with remote friends and randoms, and text chat is available. Lessons have clearly been learnt, though I was unable to take it online to test performance. The controls have been carried over and adjusted from Space Oddity. The d-pad still aims weapons, but many tools have Wii-specific controls: pull back to decide power, hold B, then flick forward while releasing the button for a grenade; guide Super Sheep with the pointer; drill by acting as if you're holding the tool and digging into the ground with plunges; fire punch with an uppercut of your own. It works pretty well, but you can flip the remote sideways and play with buttons instead if you prefer. The most brutal is a new air strike. A helicopter will descend and unleash bombs with every shake of the Wii remote, causing damage equivalent to the air strike of old but looking far more evil in the process.

Screenshot for Worms: Battle Islands (Hands-On) on Wii

Final Thoughts

Worms: Battle Islands is going to be an essential WiiWare download when it's released this year. It takes all recent titles in the series and expands, expands, expands - it's incredible that they've managed to fit it all in. See you online, once I've customised my shotgun shells to explode upon impact...

Developer

Team 17

Publisher

THQ

Genre

Strategy

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Sounds great! And for €15 max... good deal. (Unless they lock away stuff as DLC Smilie)

Looks like fun but I would like to try it before I buy it.

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I never quite got into the Worms craze...not sure why. Perhaps it's because when I tried it years ago I wasn't very good Smilie

Missed this at the Nintendo event, but may well have to give it a whirl when it finally comes out.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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On the contrary, I'm obsessed with Worms...and this seems like it switches things up sufficiently to be worthwhile!

Rikesh K (guest) 18.10.2009#5

So cool classic worms on Wii! Can't wait nice one guys.

How many worms cam u have?

friends if somebody has the game of worms battle islands is creating a clan toy that game involved coming here

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