It’s about to get Wormy, again…
Who would have thought that Team17’s Worms would still be around, spawning new and updated versions of the Annelid-based war game some 21 years later. I picked up the original Worms game with my first store bought PC (”A Pentium 75 is all you will ever need”) and since then the turn-based gameplay of Worms has been a constant feature on my various PCs and consoles. Of course, the game has changed over the years. There have been a variety of spin-offs, along with all manner of “improvements” to the core game, some of which have been more successful than others. It is this evolution while maintaining the pure joy of blowing opponents Worms into the air and watching them drown in the water that has kept Team17’s flagship title relevant today.
However, many gamers lament the direction that the game has taken since the much loved Worms Armageddon. This is something that Team17 are addressing with their latest Wormy outing, Worms W.M.D, taking some aspects back to a much simpler time while still adding new features to evolve the game. Team17 declare Worms W.M.D to be the best Worms experience ever, and after spending some time in the preview build of the game, they may not be far wrong.
The incredible Worms humour, something which sticks with me all the way back to that first Worms game, is still abundant in Worms W.M.D. One thing that has been constant through all of the Worms games is the great fun that can be had playing the game with friends locally, and the funny voices and great one liners are a big part of that experience. The classic gameplay of having teams of Worms using bizarre and impossible weapons to decimate the environment and wipe out opposing Worms, something that any Worms player from the last 21 years will instantly recognise, returns without the complications of the most recent games.
Any idea of 3D art has been dropped in this latest Worms game, with the game now having gorgeous 2D hand drawn landscapes and models that just beg for a Concrete Donkey to be dropped on them. Worms W.M.D may have taken a step back for the visuals, but make no mistake, this is probably the best looking Worms game to date.
When Worms W.M.D launches on August 23rd for Xbox One, PS4 and PC, players will be able to indulge in some 20 odd training missions and a full 30 mission single player campaign. But the real star will be the local and online multiplayer which will be featuring matches for up to six players with 8 Worms on each team. That will mean up to 48 Worms in a single match. Let the madness commence!
The wonderful selection of weapons returns, along with a few new additions. But it is the new crafting system that bolsters the weapon and tool selection from an impressive 35 to a mind blowing 80. Players will start out with a few crafting ingredients, if the game mode permits, and can then gather more from the randomly dropped crates. Once they have enough ingredients, the player can craft something new and impressive to deal with whatever situation the other team is creating. It’s a nice idea, but given the time limits on turns, I am not sure how much the crafting will be used by most players.
Another new addition for this version of Worms, are the buildings with interiors.Buildings in Worms are usually part of the randomly generated environment and can either be jumped over, dug under or blown to pieces, as with the rest of the environment. In Worms W.M.D however, buildings can be entered by Worms, with the interior being revealed once they go in. Although the buildings can still be destroyed, they now provide somewhere for canny Worms to hide unseen by other Worms and gain some cover from the opposing teams.
Vehicles now make an appearance in Worms W.M.D, offering something new for the veteran Worms tactician. Helicopters offer a great way for a Worms to get around the level, but offer a frustratingly inaccurate weapon. Tanks on the other hand, move much slower and are limited by the environment, but can make use of an incredibly powerful artillery attack. Vehicles spawn randomly on the level and the first Worm to reach them gets the glory.
My time with the limited preview version of Worms W.M.D on PC has been great, feeling comfortable and familiar while still offering new surprises along the way. I am looking forward to the full launch of the game and getting some serious Wormy annihilation on. For Worms fans, Worms W.M.D is one to watch!
Worms W.M.D is out for Xbox One, PS4 and PC on August 23rd and can currently be pre-ordered from the Xbox Games Store, the PlayStation Store, Steam and GOG.