Effing Worms 2 Game

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Effing Worms 2 –Easily the best worm-based survival game since its predecessor

If you have ever looked at a park full of people going about their daily business and thought something along the lines of “there simply isn’t enough chaos and destruction taking place here”, I would strongly recommend professional psychiatric evaluation. Not being trained in the profession of the diagnostic evaluation and treatment of mental disorders however, I have only one thing to offer you, and that is the recommendation that you play ‘Effing Worms 2’by Effinggames. As one of the relatively few people in the world that can say they have exhaustively played a significant number of games of the worm genre, I feel it is my duty to inform you that if you have thoughts like the one mentioned above, this game might be the only thing that stops you from going on a real-life rampage, or at least delays it long enough for the police to intervene.

Generally, the game is based on a very simple concept;you are essentially handed the reins to an incredibly hungry and very intimidating looking worm-like creature, which moves through the ground on the screen with a lateral cross-section view. The main objective is survival with the secondary goal being to eat all the enemies which are wandering around without purpose on the ground above. The number of enemies left to eliminate is indicated on the screen, and when that number reaches zero, you are moved up a level. The levels themselves never change in appearance since the game is based on one piece of scenery. The number of enemies and their relative difficulty to defeat increases with each level, and the opportunity to choose an upgrade is given each time.

Using the directional arrows or the well-known WASD control configuration, you guide the worm above and below the ground. The controls are more than responsive, and there should be little confusion when learning to control the creature. Striking the balance between accelerating and turning does take a little getting used to but this is nothing that anyone with more than two fingers can’t handle. In fact, moving around is a lot easier than it is in some games of similar style which I have played where the main character follows the cursor around the screen, which often makes it difficult to turn properly or to direct the character towards a particular target. I managed to pick it all up very quickly, and I’m not exactly on the nominations list for any awards recognising my manual dexterity or even basic gaming ability.

The incentive to continue playing over and over again (which I found myself doing) comes with the offer of performance upgrades for the worm. There is no explanation as to the science behind it because, let’s face it, we’re talking about a giant worm with wings and teeth that rains down exponential amounts of terror and destruction on its victims here;I think therefore we can safely assume that science and conventional reasoning were on a leave of absence when this game was at the drawing board stage.

The upgrades themselves are useful, plentiful in number and are sometimes just downright cool. The first upgrade offers you a choice between increased speed (resulting in a reduction in size), increased power (increase in size at the expense of flexible movement). As you progress through the levels, you are offered increasingly useful powers such as armour (with spikes), weapon spikes (health increases also), skin mutation (which absorbs nutrients in the ground and leaves you with no hunger pains). Eventually, blood fangs and a massive mouth (during rampage only) are on the table.

 The remaining advantages are flame jets (which turns the worm into an insect torch), helmet (-50% damage) and shredding teeth that are able to cut through metal. The very final upgrade offers you a choice between the high-jump ability or alternatively, the power to suck enemies towards you, providing you are above ground.

Should you be skilful and remorseless enough to kill enough enemies in a single above-ground venture, you are able to achieve ‘rampage mode’. If you manage to rack up a sufficient number of kills in quick succession, the game adds the total up for you and this becomes a combination. These combination kills multiply your points as well as enabling you to go into rampage mode, where your speed and strength is greatly increased and the ‘camera’zooms out in order to allow you to properly witness the destruction you are causing with enough visual acuity as to have made me feel guilty about the absolute carnage (however fictional it may have been) that I was causing. Some upgrades (such as the giant teeth and flaming worm power) even require the presence of rampage mode to begin working, so it benefits you in more than one way if you are able to make multiple kills.

The inclusion of the Nyan Cat (a nice touch that I think most people who are familiar with the concept of the internet will appreciate) is an hilarious move in itself, not to mention the eventual entry of soldiers with jetpacks, tanks, jet fighters which drop instantly-exploding incendiary devices and some inconvenient mines. Helicopters also come to interfere with your worm’s feeding mission, as well as jet fighters and even a Captain America-like superhero. There is therefore no shortage of enemies to literally get your teeth stuck into, with their increasing number and use of lethal force becoming more difficult to survive by the round. 

Something I found particularly useful was the scrolling-terrain format where there are no lateral boundaries to your movement;instead, the screen scrolls infinitely, returning back to the starting point and cycling past again and again so that your movement isn’t hindered. This makes it a lot easier to gather momentum and allows you to take your time to select your targets and approach at the angle that you desire without having to worry about your gathering speed being halted by an insufficient allocation of space or annoying boundaries on the extreme left/right side of the game window.

I have found that the most effective way to kill the largest number of enemies is to approach the surface at an angle that is as acute as you can manage without still being zero and travelling in a completely flat plane of motion. You will find that this allows for the maximum amount of enemy-to-mouth contact which is very bad news for anyone in the way, but extremely good news for you and your incessant hunger. Be careful, however, since approaching from shallow angles makes it more probable that you will slam head-first into a cascade of mines, which I discovered to be the most damaging to your progress in the way that they inch you towards death very, very quickly.

You cannot rely on approaching at shallow angles for the whole of your human-killing, worm-controlling career, however. Doing so will actually limit your progress in the game and turn you away from one of the aspects of the game that makes ‘Effing Worms 2’more unique in its gameplay than most other worm-related games; this differentiating aspect is that of being able to fly.

One of the most entertaining aspects of the game which I find typical of the survival genre in general is the way the worm grows over time. Starting off as no more than an average earthworm on steroids that is having a bit of a bad day, you eventually nourish yourself to such an extent that the resulting scenes are nothing short of being truly catastrophic in every way. Your power becomes so great that you can take out upwards of twenty enemies at a time and knock planes out of the sky, and with the moderately-paced metal music playing in the background, you are left with the feeling that you are actually some kind of worm-god, toying in no delicate way with the lives of all those who live above;they are simply powerless to stop you.   

Your survival in the game depends upon you keeping an eye on the ‘hunger’meter, which is essentially just a health bar under the guise of a different (and more situation-appropriate) name. At first, your health isn’t really your main concern as you are just getting used to the gameplay and feel of the worm’s movement. Luckily there are very few threats to your continued existence at first, with only the occasional gunfire from the odd disgruntled idiot to worry about. Preservation of your hunger meter becomes more of a challenge with every level, however. The introduction of the army and their annoyingly effective firepower means that you have to use a little dash of tactics and rational though when planning your attacks. Being above ground for too long can be harmful and usually ends up with your worm being blown into several pieces.

At the very height of your power as a worm and progress as a flash-gamer, your worm has reached its maximum size and number of upgrades. At this stage, there is no quota of kills to fulfil but alternatively, you are entered into what is called ‘sandbox mode’;this is where you are free to roam your habitat and end the lives of a potentially infinite number of enemies above, which at this stage are swarming around like they want to be ingested and turned into chemical energy that provides you with the sustenance you need to continue killing. It is a vicious yet alarmingly entertaining cycle, and you will be glad to reach this stage since your very survival in the last few rounds becomes remarkably challenging.

I enjoyed every aspect of this game, all the way down to the metal music which doesn’t start until the moment you first break out of the ground;this creates a sense that what is taking place is indeed an absolute massacre and it makes the breaking out of the ground feel like a moment of unrelenting chaos. The humans above-ground even scream with terror when you first show your horrendously terrifying face-like collection of teeth and sections of body cavity;things even calm down if you stay underground for long enough, and your appearance up top creates the same amount of dismay every time.

There is definitely a feeling of smile-inducing ridiculousness about the entire concept of the game, and there is no shortage of self-referential humour lurking within the gameplay to show you that the creators of the game are aware of this: The character you play is essentially a worm with wings hunting various prey including businessmen who are going about their daily business (but not before a casual and fatal walk in the park), wandering cows, free-roaming chickens, and even members of the army.

From the very outset, everything is straight-to-the-point, including the instructions which simply consist of telling you to eat/grow and basic directional controls. This is exactly what the game is all about and the only other information needed is the nature of the controls, which are also explained very clearly before the first round. It is exactly this direct nature of instruction and the resulting destruction of unrelenting ferocity that makes ‘Effing Worms 2’so addictive to play, entertaining the player in no small way and compelling you to keep on playing until you have exhausted all eventualities and aspects of the fun. With a motto like ‘Eat. Grow. Profit’and a vast number of people to kill, you’d be silly to let this opportunity for mindless, simulated violence slip through your fingers, which look altogether too clean of blood and sinew in the first place.