Team 17, a developer based out of the United Kingdom, has been pumping out the Worms franchise for nearly 20 years running, getting its start on the PC and original PlayStation and practically making its way through every console in the process.  Now, in this current generation, it's been thrilling fans with high-definition remakes of its first two Worms games, complete with online play and a handful of team customization options.

But for Worms Revolution, the team is adding a number of new changes to make this the most strategic Worms game to date.  No longer is it just about dropping exploding sheep (yes, exploding sheep) or figuring out a strategy on the fly through the same old battlefield.  This time around, there are some new ideas to figure out, as well as the introduction of classes, which make it crucial to put the right man – er, worm – in the right place.

First of all, Worms Revolution is actually going a long way at introducing some single player content.  Unlike just going through random matches as you've done in the past, this sequel introduces 32 campaign missions, each against increasingly tougher teams.  There are also 20 puzzle levels that require figuring out, as you have to wipe out certain worms within an estimated amount of turns or time, depending on the rule set for the stage.

Like previous games, Revolution provides you plenty of tools to do some damage.  You can use long-range weapons like missiles and air strikes; closer at-arms assault rifles, shotguns and pistols; or up-close Street Fighter-style attacks, like the dragon punch and fireball, as well as a baseball bat that's seemingly good for "hitting a worm out of the park," as it were.  Some new weapons, like the concrete donkey and the introduction of slippery water guns, keep things interesting.

The strategy of what's surrounding you on the stage that will really decide the fate of your team.  Along with the enormous pool of water that sits at the bottom of the stage, just waiting to send worms to their watery grave, there are also clusters that are stored in sections of the walls and ceiling.  By getting off a well-timed shot with a weapon, you can free up this water, sending it tumbling down and washing away anything that gets in its path to the pool below.  Now, keep in mind that all worms are affected by this, so if you have teammates that are standing near your target, you might want to think twice before drowning everyone.  "Traitor!"

In addition to level perks, Worms Revolution is the first game in the series that also introduces classes.  Rather than just controlling a team of four similar worms, your squad is now made up of special types – the soldier, who is perfectly balanced for combat and movement; the scout, who isn't so savvy in weaponry but can move around a map very quickly; the tank, who can absorb major damage but doesn't move as quickly as the others; and the scientist, a brainy style of worm that can help level up his allies while activating machinery quicker than the others, including turrets and electromagnets.  Because worms have access to those, you see…

All of these really come in handy, especially with the game's multiplayer.  As with previous releases, Worms Revolution lets you battle online against others through Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network, tweaking rules however you wish with different weapons, sound boards, team names and more, and then sending you in to battle.  From the sessions we've tried with the game thus far, it's immensely fun, and you can keep track of your stats at the end of each match, if you feel like rubbing them in your friends' faces.

Along with the addition of classes and bigger levels, Worms Revolution has also employed some extra presentation perks.  The game is in 3D, but plays on a 2D level, so you don't have to worry about roaming around in a space like in Worms: Ultimate Mayhem.  The maps look great, and seeing everything with a touch of the third dimension is rather cool.  The worm animations come more to life as well – even as they're killing themselves.  For good measure, Matt Berry (from The IT Crowd) provides fun commentary, along with the worms themselves.  You can change their dialect however you please, pitting a full group of Texan worms against Scottish ones.  The results may just have you rolling around in laughter.

If you were a fan of previous Worms games, or just like a good strategy game with a twist, Worms Revolution is just the thing you'll be looking for this week.  But even if you've never tried it, this looks to be the most accessible game to date.  It's well worth a look – even if you hate actual worms.

Download Worms Revolution for Steam, Xbox Live and PlayStation Network when it releases later this week.