Team 17's Worms series declares sequel war on PSP and DS in Worms: Open Warfare 2 this summer, the follow-up introducing new single-player and multiplayer modes and beefs up the wacky Worms arsenal with 11 typically crazy new weapons. Online, players will get to enter Deathmatch bouts in maps based on famous historical battles and fictional confrontations from the future, and there'll also be the likes of daily updated stats and leaderboards on the official Worms website.
Lead game designer Kevin Carthew tells us more.
So can you kick off by introducing us to Worms: Open Warfare 2?
Kevin Carthew: Well it's the sequel to Worms Open Warfare on handheld platforms Sony PSP and Nintendo DS. It is the most fully featured game in the Worms series yet.
What prompted you to develop a sequel?
Kevin Carthew: We had ideas for another Worms game and we looked at the criticism that we had received for the previous Worms games. Worms: Open Warfare 2 addresses all of these issues and includes new weapons, environments and an online element.
Obviously series fans will be expecting new features - what major new additions are you introducing in Open Warfare 2?
Kevin Carthew: The major new addition to the Worms series is that the game is on handheld platforms and will have the ability to be played online. With the new customisation element of the game this aims to bring personality to the Worms. The game also offers new weapons, environments which play totally differently from each other and a new feature which we call special events. They relate to the theme of the level that you are playing in. The special events serve to speed up the average amount of time a round lasts, and also make the game more interesting. They happen during play and at random times.
What opportunities does developing a Worms game for handheld open up that aren't possible on home console?
Kevin Carthew: The main opportunity that we have taken advantage of is the ability to play the game online all around the world.
How much of a challenge is to come up with new stuff and keep the series fresh?
Kevin Carthew: To be honest it's not much of a challenge. We always have new ideas for the game and the opportunity to implement these and then test them to see if they could work.
What about multiplayer for Worms: Open Warfare 2? What are you doing here?
Kevin Carthew: There are 3 types of mode to play here. Death match, race mode and fort mode. The special events add to the experience when playing in multi player mode and make the game more challenging and fun to play.
Have there been any interesting experiments you've conducted with the Worms formula but ditched because they just didn't work?
Kevin Carthew: There have been hundreds of these. We thought about making Worms real time / FPS / 3D and even some of the features we thought of haven't worked, such as volumetric water which meant that there would have been splashes. We didn't want to use anything which at the end of the day would tip the balance of play too far.
Now that you've released a Worms game on Xbox Live Arcade, do you see offering the series via the download services of 360, PS3 and Wii the way forward for it on the new home consoles?
Kevin Carthew: The digital gaming area is definitely very interesting and gives us more opportunity to target our games at a non specific market.