Worms 4 Mayhem sees another addition to the already massive Worms franchise, which has created numerous variations of the original game since its release in 1995. 10 years later and the larger than life wrigglers still have the same appeal, even when they're in 3 dimensions.
Worms 3D came under a certain amount of questioning as the gameplay that had been used in all the previous games was suddenly and rather dramatically changed. No longer could you just scroll along the screen and easily find your opponents but instead gamers had to get used to the idea of searching in all directions and for those who loved the original Worms games this was a bit of a problem. But don't worry. Worms 4 Mayhem, still in 3D, offers few problems with searching for opponents and after playing the game for only a couple of minutes the controls will come naturally. To make this even better new camera angles have been introduced to add depth and 'action camera' follows your shot and lets you see the full impact of the damage it causes.
Graphically this game shows no significant improvements from Worms 3D, which I found slightly disappointing, as the visuals have changed but haven't really got any better. Needless to say the game still has an aesthetically pleasing quality to it and does the job it sets out to do. In some ways if Worms was to start looking any better it could ruin the games appeal. Worms is meant to be cheesy and cartoony.
All Worms sequels offer new and improved features and Worms 4 is no exception, although old favourites are still there (inflatable sheep etc). The most important improvement as far as worms fanatics are concerned is the new weapons on offer and this game boasts a number of original yet quirky weapons such as the inflatable scouser. The moustache wearing Liverpudlian waddles over to enemy worms, picks them up and, like the stereotypical scousers fills with hot air. As a result the Liverpool native floats high into the air before popping and dropping the unfortunate worm to the floor or a watery death. Other fun weapons to look out for include the concrete donkey and bovine blitz.
Characters no longer get caught in areas of their environment, as the new and more varied terrain is easier for the worms to navigate. Not only is the landscape smoother to move across but also new themes have been introduced, including Jurassic, Camelot, Arabian, Construction and Wild West that add interest for veteran wormers looking for a new challenge.
What separates Worms 4 Mayhem from any previous games of the same the title is the wide variety of features available in the create-a-worm mode and the ability to create and name your own weapons. Although this does not improve your worms' strength, power or toughness it's still worth a look as its great fun using the weapon that you made all by yourself to knock out your enemies. What's even more fun is seeing the weapon you made yourself being used by the worm you made yourself. A choice of hairstyles, glasses, moustaches and hands allows for an almost endless amount of different worms to be made who can join a team that, once again, you create yourself.
As always the worms offer a number of one-liners that never fail to provoke at least a little giggle. Accents such as blues singers, scousers (which seem to be a favourite of the game now) and astronauts offer great quips and even the occasional short song. As far as sound goes the game is just worms speaking and the sounds of weapons, which is much the same as Worms 3D, and at times this can become a quite eerie silence. After sampling all the vocal talents of the worms they start to become repetitive and annoying and that's when you have to reach for the remote and hit mute.
Multiplayer mode is great on Worms 4 Mayhem and even though you know you're just controlling vertically challenged, animated animals you can still manage to translate a shotgun shell to the head as a personal attack (or is that just me). Best friends could quite easily become worst enemies if they play multiplayer Worms for too long, which is very possible as it is so addictive.
Everyone knows that you don't have to be a serious gamer to play Worms and this one is just the same. Pure childish fun that will have you completely hooked for hours and hours is the name of this game. People of all ages will love this game, imagine a two-player war between your granny and your little brother on Christmas morning and you get a good idea of this games appeal.
However, Worms 4 Mayhem does not offer enough improvements to really warrant a sequel game to Worms 3D. It goes without saying that the new game is better than any of the older ones but not a lot has necessarily changed. If you already own Worms 3D it probably isn't worth shelling out 30 quid just for the few alterations that have been made, even though they may seem cool at first.