Worms: The Director's Cut (Second Review)

Title           Worms: The Director's Cut (Second Review)
Publisher       Team 17/Ocean (1996)
Game Type       Miscellaneous
Players         1-4
HD Installable  Yes
Compatability   AGA Amigas only
Demo            magazine coverdisks or the original Worms demo
Game data/utils Scores of levels, DIY landscapes and sample sets on aminet
                Worms:DC official patch & update direct from Team17 only.
Submission      Cathy Macdonald Profiled Reviewer

The follow up to "Worms" and, sadly, Team 17's last production for the
Amiga. In fact, they were simultaneously porting it to the PC in
production. Up to eight people can play the game, each controlling a team
of 4 worms. Or, you can go crazy and have up to 48 players if each
controls a Worm! The general idea is to survive whilst having fun, i.e.
compete with, and destroy, the other team(s) whilst having fun. This is
the ultimate object of the game - having fun, whilst killing Worms!

It's not the most graphically sophisticated game, but then, it's not meant
to be. It's all about fun-and-fast game-play. The graphics, which are
noticeably improved on the original, do the job well as do the excellent
speech and sound effects. There are many, highly imaginative weapons/tools
options from which your worms can choose to wiggle, jump, swing, bungee
around the landscape destroying opponents (and the landscape). Some
weapons/tools are always available, others only under certain
circumstances, e.g. exploding sheep (The A.L.F. would probably hate this
game. Chill guys, it's just fun. I actually like animals too). The game is
mouse and keyboard driven, generally place your Worm and set your target
with the mouse, all other functions (choose weapon, set angle/range,
fire/jump etc.) by keys. These are mainly the space bar, and the enter,
shift and cursor keys, so nothing complicated to slow the fun-time.
Additionally, this game is highly configurable and customisable. All the
usual in-game options and more. The game has a training mode to let you
(try to) get the hang of controlling that essential bazooka and some other

After the opening screens - complete with Wormy voices and a bouncy
grenade to play with - you have a host of options with which to twiddle
for game types ('Tournament', 'Friendly' etc.) weapon options, timing
options, teams and individual Worm naming and options, custom graphics
sound effects... This is not as tedious as it sounds (or actually is in
many other games) it can be fun and allows almost unlimited variations for
styles and levels of play. In addition, you can even design your own
landscapes, random level options and import your own sound effects/voices
for the Worms. You can not only store different team combos, but even
favourite Worms for re-use in further mayhem. Once set up, you are faced
with a scrollable screen (across the landscape with the projectiles or as
the 'camera' follows the Worm of choice). The teams are set within the
landscape - either together and facing in the general direction of their
opponents, or randomly scattered and thus separated from their team mates
- according to how you set up. The Worms then take turns to take whichever
tactic suits the moment or forward strategy. Different weapons naturally
require different kinds, and levels, of skills, varying effectiveness and,
thus, use for any particular purpose. Some things are not weapons, but
tools, e.g. the rope for bungee jumping, and some tools can fiendishly be
used as weapons e.g. the pneumatic drill, some 'weapons' are Worms'
martial arts ability e.g. the Dragon Punch and such like. So, where do
Exploding Sheep, Ming Vases and Old Ladies fit into this? Well, they're a
whole new ball game and I leave you the joys of discovery! Your Worms all
start with the same amount of hit points. How you play the games, your
skills with the 'weapons' etc. determine how effective you are in bringing
this to zero for each your opponents, and thus killing them - or rather
watching them commit Hari Kari with a detonator, when they're dead any
way. Hmm, intriguing? What fun! You've no idea! But, beware! If your Worms
are not careful they can make life so much easier for the opponent by
killing themselves - think, move and handle with care!

So, how was it to play? A hilariously amusing and absorbing game - for no
one/several obvious reasons. State of mind/nature not a question here -
even the most ardent (well, maybe not the most ardent) pacifist would have
a ball with this. Some landscapes are bit tricky e.g. caverns, but
'tricky' in this game doesn't detract from its enjoyment. OK, you may get
a bit peeved at tricky 'weapons' just 'cos you haven't quite got their
handle yet but you quickly get over it. Also, oddly enough, you can become
attached to your favourite Worms. This can only mean (apart from the
suspected psychological defects) than you are more careful/devious in your
tactics and strategy - Frodo must survive to fight another day and stay at
the top! Ahem, sorry - to conclude...

Overall?  Having played other Shoot-'em-ups (normally with my wee brother
who owns those particular ones) no one (well except perhaps my brother)
was more surprised than me that I so enjoyed this one. No, I doubt, it's
just that they (i.e. the Worms) are cute. There's something else about
this game. Well done Team 17! It was good while it lasted guys. Alas,
again, so many good things start with Amiga then, go elsewhere. But,
apparently, back then, the other platforms couldn't match Amy for SFX and
in-game GFX. (The consoles had a fancy animated intro, but seemingly,
'that's all folks') Again, like even so much current stupendous stuff in
the film/TV graphics/animation field, "Only the Amiga" made "it possible".
That, if nothing else, may be her elegy.

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