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Publisher: Feral Interactive (don't use)    Genre: Arcade
Min OS X: 10.2    CPU: G3 @ 600 MHz    RAM: 256 MB    DVD-ROM    Graphics: 640x480 @ 32-bit, 32 MB VRAM

Worms 3D
June 2, 2004 | John Hood

One of my most enduring memories as an undergraduate (and losing valuable book time), was playing the original award-winning Worms (1995) on the Sony PlayStation! Team 17's turn-based opus relied on the player's ability to correctly judge the trajectory and the power necessary to inflict devastating damage (on a par with shock and awe) against the clock (usually around 30 seconds, but this could be adjusted higher or lower). All the while trying to achieve mastery over the wind. You see, the wind can be unforgiving and weapons that are vulnerable to air current can be rendered impotent.

After 9 previous iterations including Worms Pinball and Blast, the basic premise remains intact (and relatively unspoilt) as the franchise inevitably segues to luxurious 3D in 2004! And the impish dialogue and black humour (motifs of the franchise) still remains cuttingly humorous. Friends' star Matthew Perry would be pretty proud of that achievement!

Porting progress
Feral Interactive is never merely content to publish key titles ‘per se’ on the Mac platform! Whenever working with UK porting house Zonic, it is always the partnerships intention to provide Mac gamers with compelling "added value" as a reward for our patience. This release is no exception to that golden rule.

In the case of Worms 3D (alongside the development of XIII), a rare opportunity to improve the graphics arose. It was noticed that whilst playing Worms 3D that at high (or low) resolution the interface was blurred! The original Adobe Photoshop files, used during development, were leveraged to replace all the interface graphics and weapons that Feral had been given assets for. And to avoid alienating the Mac gaming community, the PC keyboard was appropriately replaced by a Mac version!

Carnage candy
Worms 3D inspires obvious graphical comparison with Pangea's Bugdom series! And possesses looks that would make even Earthworm Jim blush with envy! Everything has an organic Play-Doh look and feel, which would delight the artists at PIXAR. The textures are simpler than Unreal Tournament or Halo, but then that's wholly appropriate given the context, and the game runs smoothly under Mac OS X 10.3.4. Support for Full Screen Anti-Aliasing (FSAA) is available for those equipped with a compatible graphics card. Is it time for an animated television series from Warner Bros. and attendant merchandise such as action figures, I wonder?

Existing Worms fans will be delighted to learn that bazookas, grenades, dynamite, air strikes and sheep made it safely from 2D, with the addition of brand new weapons to take advantage of the more expansive 3D landscape.


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