Team17’s action Annelids make their way onto Sony and Microsoft’s shiny new machines.
Worms, the videogames, have been around for nearly 20 years now and have made an appearance on pretty much every console, so it makes sense that they would turn up on the PS4 and Xbox One so early in the consoles life. Arriving both digitally and in a box through retail stores, Worms Battlegrounds brings all of the crazy multiplayer action to the Wormy fans. However, with only small changes coming in each new entry in the series, does Worms Battlegrounds really shine on the current gen consoles?
I would imagine that there are very few gamers out there who have never tried out a Worms game. They really are prolific, and much of the reason for this is that Team17 managed to hit onto a really entertaining, turn-based multiplayer game nearly 20 years ago, which is still as much fun today. Sure, the games have evolved over the years to include various new mechanics, new game modes and loads of new ways to wipe out the enemy team. However, the core game of waiting for your turn, moving your worm into an advantageous position on a 2D landscape and then choosing which weapon to unleash on the enemy worms until one team is wiped out, remains the same. It is multiplayer gaming at its best.
To ensure that the lonesome player has some worm action to get their teeth into, there are single player options available in Worms Battlegrounds. A comical story mode involving the mythical Stone Carrot, the evil Crowley-Mesmer and the Katherine Parkinson voiced Tara Pinkle (Worms’ very own version of Lara Croft), will carry the player through some 25 levels of single player fun. It is not exactly deep, but players of the Worms games would likely not want to be left thinking too heavily about a story. It is entertaining though, and pretty good fun. It also serves as a nice break from the multiplayer madness and as a handy training ground.
The same can be said of the special individual missions, or even playing against the AI. Being able to check out each of the weapons that are now available is essential for judging their capabilities and forming tactics before launching into the various multiplayer games. That being said, many of the most hilarious moments in Worms games actually come from when things go wrong, and it may be a shame to miss out on those.
So, despite there being ample content for the single player, multiplayer matches are where the real fun is. And one of the ways that the Worms games have improved over the years is with the chance to customize your team before taking them against rival teams, and Battlegrounds has an enormous wealth of customization options. Classes allow the player to choose exactly how each of their worms will play, with each of the different classes (Soldier, Scout, Heavy and Scientist) having different advantages, although these differences are generally minor. Customization continues though the team with overall looks, voices, tombstones and the like.
The emphasis on competition also sneaks into the customization with the Clan aspect of the game, allowing the player to create their own emblem and stand out against other clans. The customization is finally rounded out with a level editor that allows the most creative of players to express themselves.
Taking the game online brings both league games and the less stressful friendly matches (if worm killing can ever be called friendly). There are straight up deathmatches or the more interesting forts matches, which put the worm teams on or around their very own structure, which can be destroyed in the same way as the rest of the scenery. Whether you play Worms seriously online, or on the couch with friends and family, it is always hugely entertaining.
Worms Battlegrounds is more of the same. There is more content, but the changes to the tried and tested formula are few and far between. Playing on the PS4, a quick weapon shortcut has been added to the controller’s touch panel. Otherwise, the game could easily be mistaken as a PS3 title, especially visually.
Does the latest Worms title warrant a purchase of the latest home consoles? Well, there is nothing particularly needing the increased power of the machines. There is also not really much new to offer. However, everyone should have a Worms game in their collection and Worms Battlegrounds is the latest and greatest. If it has been a while since playing a Worms game, and you really need some multiplayer fun for your new console, Worms Battlegrounds is well worth picking up. However, if you play Worms religiously on various platforms, then there really isn’t anything new here. Wait for the next Worms game.