The PC version of Worms 3D has a very pronounced edge over its PS2 and GameCube counterparts in the multiplayer game, largely because of the inclusion of LAN and Internet support. There's a lobby area where you can join games, create your own game, or just hang out and chat. Actually, the chatting proved to be a little bit rocky for us, primarily because the majority of the people were speaking languages other than English. It makes casual conversation difficult, but since there's no chatting during the actual game, the international flavor of the current Worms 3D crowd doesn't really get in the way of the fun. We also found that the game's network performance wasn't quite optimal--we experienced pronounced pauses in between turns. The game also crashed on us a few times, though this occurred only when we were setting up a game or trying to join a game and never during the actual action. The quirks we encountered with the online multiplayer in Worms 3D were just that--it's still really great to be able to play this game against live opponents.
The look of Worms 3D is usually very sunny and very cartoony. There's no consistent theme, really, and the levels you'll do battle on include a spooky graveyard, a re-creation of King Kong climbing the Empire State Building, and the moon. The graphics are pretty simple, looking kind of blocky and sporting some rather simple textures, but it has a clean look to it, and the personality definitely helps the game overcome the relatively basic technology that powers it. After seeing Worms Blast, where the worms were cel-shaded, it's a little disappointing to see that the worms here are just textured normally, though they still look and move pretty well, regardless. Worms 3D looks markedly better on the PC than on the PS2 or GameCube, which can be chiefly attributed to the higher levels of resolution the PC version can run at, though the textures also seem to be a bit crisper.
Worms 3D is faithful to the trappings of its predecessors, almost to a fault.
The voices of the worms have been a linchpin to the aesthetics of the series from the beginning, and Worms 3D knows not to mess with a winning formula here. On the whole, the worms will make off-the-cuff comments in a cute, squeaky voice, but the beauty here is that there are just shy of 40 different voice themes that you can assign your worms, giving you plenty of options if you grow tired of a particular set. The bulk of the in-game sound effects have been lifted directly from past Worms games, and the familiarity of the squeaky noise the worms make as they inch along, the hollow clank of a grenade bouncing off surfaces, and the solid kerplunk when worms end up in the water not only let you know you're playing a Worms game, but also complement the game's outlandish tone on their own. There's a bit of music in there too, which is light and upbeat, though not in an overly cartoony way. Think of MIDI music from an Apogee shareware game using improved instrumentation, and you're almost there.
The only nagging issue to really be had with Worms 3D is that it maybe seems a little too much like the 2D Worms games of yore. If you're new to the Worms series, then this is a nonissue for you. Worms 3D stands up as a cute, quirky little strategy game that has some excellent multiplayer capacity. However, the old-timers out there may find that though the transition to 3D is novel, it doesn't really have much impact on the overall experience. There are worse things you could say about a game, and ultimately, it's good to see that Team 17's nihilistic annelids have survived the transition to 3D without much incident.