Critic Score: 50 / User Score: 7.7
The Army Men series has fallen out of the limelight in recent year, they were being made in abundance by 3DO back in the day. A true bubble effect, early COD even if you want to draw parallels there. We got so many Army Men games that we just turned the series out after a while, as 3DO just kept giving and giving. It was all a bit much to take!
But while the series now all but defunct despite a dedicated fan base, the casual fans have plenty of fond memories of previous games in the series. A series that often jumped between RTS and Third Person Shooter, Army Men is a classic game series that does deserve a fair amount of praise. A lot of the games are fantastic at their core, but towards the end of the series’ lifecycle a lot of critics seemed to be so burnt out that their opinions were being affected by the notion of ‘Oh look, another Army Men game.’
We think that is pretty lame. So we’re looking at a title where the critics seemed to be divided, but the users spoke everything. Army Men: World War is the first game in the World War series and started everything off, and we know plenty of people who fondly look back on this title and wanted to explain why everyone holds such fond memories for the game! Army Men may be guilty of being overexposure, but the World War is not one of those titles and should be praised as a good game without a doubt!
The story of World War is no different than previous games. The evil Tan army is up to no good, starting trouble on the battlefield as usual. It’s up to the lone Green Army soldier to take care of them, all by his lonesome. No seriously, the game will throw around words like backup and allied forces, but you’re on your own in this fight. It’s fine of course, as the previous games have followed a similar nature. But just be aware you’re an army of one in this so called ‘World War’.
You are treated to a neat cinematic about the terror of the Tan army, but it does show its age quite a bit. But it goes by pretty quick and you get put right into the game with little warning, put onto an enemy beach and tasked with taking the nearby radio communications of the Tan army. Once this is completed, you’ll be able to go further and further into the heart of enemy territory, because you aren’t just a single solider apparently, you’re bloomin Rambo! It feels like quite a lot of weight on your shoulders, especially since you got a rifle, bayonet, binoculars, and infinite ammo. That is it!
People like to make the controls out to be more difficult than they actually are. Move around using the D-Pad, X will shoot, you can zoom in with R1, and square and triangle will sort through the various weapons and items you can use. The response is perfectly fine. The only real drawback can be the speed they set the weapon switching too, it isn’t slow motion, but during a firefight, the ability to get to a specific weapon just that tiny bit quicker would be quite the saving grace but not game breaking.
Levels are spread out well enough. The main goal you’ll be focused on is made clear as an objective in obvious text, so you won’t lose track of what it is you need to do. A helpful map will also serve as a good point of reference if ever needed, and while a bit basic gets the job done well enough. Scattered through every level is a series of tools that you can use in your fight against the Tan army, such as grenades, mortars, RPGs, and more. Because of course the enemy would leave those just laying around! As the game fails to establish them as ammo drops, it’s amusing to just think of the Tan army as being that incompetent. The variety here is very good though and it’s the same fun you’ve had with every other Army Men game, and yes, the flamethrower is there and still a guilty blast to use as usual.
The graphics are also not as bad as the critics make it out to be either. They pop quite well and showcase a clear vision with the game, as the colours are all a bit darker than previous games in the series’ the soldier you play as not as striking of a green as you might expect. It gives the World War series a clear style all its own, trying to be a bit more adult, at least as much as it could be managed when you are playing as plastic soldiers murdering each other. While some complain that the colours are too dark, it isn’t really that bad and is easy enough to grasp so long as your playing method has good enough backlighting to support the appropriate colour spectrum. The only real bed bug is cutscenes which even for the time, leave something to be desired.
But one area that critics and users alike seem to agree on is the games fantastic sound design. Modern shooters fail to reach this level of perfection, the gunshots sound perfect. Powerful and get your attention right away. Everything sound effect wise just works, footsteps, conversations between enemy units, and all sorts of other elements prove to leave a fantastic sound experience. The music is not memorable by any means, but it does not grade either, and it is mixed enough to never make you want to put on music from a different source. Overall World War provides one of the most pleasing War time experiences when it comes to sound, and it’s a game about Toy Soldiers for crying out loud!
Army Men: World War is a fantastic game that improves on what Army Men 3D did. Moving around a 3D space to mow down hordes of toy soldiers, melting them with flame throwers, dodging gunfire and overall just feeling like an absolute boss is a treat. Not to also be remiss is the Multiplayer, which is just as fun as it ever was and works great in World War. You can get a healthy amount from this game by enjoying the main game and spreading it out further by playing the multiplayer modes with friends.
Did the Army Men series get stagnant and flood the market? Yes. Did it start at World War? Some would argue yes, but we feel that World War was a fantastic game and could have been a great series flagship if 3DO has just taken a step back and tried to work on the games with more time to allow for quality. World War is a great game, with more polish it could be a classic.
What did you think of the Army Men series? Did you enjoy World War? Let us know in the comments below!
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