Worms is one of those games that revives so many great memories for me of the 90’s. Growing up, playing Worms (along with Resident Evil, Tekken and many other PS1 hits) was as much a part of my childhood memories as any significant family event. Have you ever thought of a game you played more than twenty years ago and discovered you don’t just recall the games features or catchy tunes as much as you recall exactly what was happening in your life at that specific moment? For me, playing Worms on the PlayStation brings back a memorable Christmas, a sweet spot just before high school and several nasty fights with my brother because he was just way better at Worms than I was.
The original Worms was released on pretty much every system that displayed on a screen, but it was Worms Armageddon on the PS1 that I really loved. It was the perfect sequel; the graphics were better, the weapons were hilarious and the competition was brutally fierce. The only problem however, was that this was where the series peaked for me. It’s my personal opinion, but I don’t think any other Worms game that followed ever took the franchise beyond what Armageddon offered.
I played Worms Revolution when it came out, and it was great, but what I really wanted was a more visually traditional Worms game with a few fresh ideas to set it apart. Worms WMD, the newest upcoming addition to the franchise from Team 17, is shaping up to be the perfect solution for fans like me. I’ve been lucky enough to spend a little time with a demo build of the game ahead of the proper release on August 23rd, and while it only contains a fraction of the final product’s features, it’s safe to say we can look forward to another great Worms game.
Unlike Worms Revolution, which employed a 3D engine and 2D landscapes, Worms WMD sports a completely 2D display with great artwork, charming animations and an altogether glorious nostalgic feel. All the weapons that the series is famous for are still here, along with a few bizarre and devastating additions to bolster your arsenal. There’s the classic banana bomb, holy hand grenade and the super sheep which Worms veterans will be familiar with, but the OMG Strike and dodgy phone battery make a debut to catastrophic effect. None of the new weapons will really change how you play however, and are best described as just another entertaining way to vaporise some worm butt.
The main addition to look forward to though are the turret weapons and drivable vehicles. Randomly placed tanks and choppers throughout the map put a fresh spin on the classic formula. For example; tanks can speed up your movement in a turn, and you can fall great distances without injuring your worm. The tanks cannon can also be used, allowing you six shots before your turns end. The helicopter has the obvious advantage of being able to fly all around the map, but its also got a machine gun fixed to the bottom for raining death upon unfortunate worms below. Its tricky to manoeuvrer, aim and fire at the same time though, and any damage sustained while piloting the chopper will have you instantly grounded in a vulnerable position.
I was rather sceptical when first learning of vehicles in a 2D Worms game, but they’re implemented skilfully by the developers and they never feel out of place. The mounted machine guns and sniper rifles also ensured plenty of options for a worm in a pinch. Speaking of which, if you ever find yourself under-equipped in the heat of battle, you can use ingredients you’ve salvaged from the map to craft new weapons. Crafted weapons are available on your next turn, and your still free to kill something or find shelter in one of the many buildings if you’d rather just wait it out til then.
With these minor alterations to the classic formula, what we can expect come August 23rd is, simply put, another great Worms game from Team 17. Keep em’ coming I say.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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