Worms. A staple of the video game industry now for, what, 20 years? Has it really been that long? Shocking as it may sound, it is true indeed. I remember playing Worms for the very first time, back on my Playstation. The chunky grey box of awesomeness. Yes, this is a word. I got it on release date and proceeded to invest a ridiculous amount of time playing some local Co-op with my younger brother and two best friends. The laughs were endless, and the Sheep and Banana Bomb weapons served as torment for those on the receiving end. With the occasional Prod to add insult to injury. Fast forward to 2016, and in all honesty, not a lot has changed in two decades. The recipe remains the same. Take command of a team of four worms, and defeat the other team by any means necessary. A simple, and pleasing concept, that has been enjoyed by thousands upon thousands of fans since the games inception. The pick up and play feel to the game is still there, enticing you to just “have another go” as it has done all these years. Except for Worms Battlegrounds, I just wasn’t feeling the urge to play it, and a lot of community member s I have spoken to feel the same. Was Worms on the downwards slope? Was the legacy really coming to an end? The answer is a resounding no. As it happens, it was just a small blip on an otherwise excellent record of Worms games.
What makes Worms WMD the turnaround for such an iconic series then? For starters, the campaign has been implemented in a far superior way, and the annoying female voice has been ditched. The menus have been redesigned to allow an easy access to the content on offer, from Tutorials, to Campaign, and extra content should you have the All Stars bonus pack I have had the pleasure of playing. All neatly set out on one screen for you I might add. The aforementioned content is vast, and various challenges await any budding Worms fan, looking to destroy their opposition with some of the gaming worlds most unique, and downright outrageous weaponry you could ever see. Team 17 have returned in style and bang on form with the latest iteration of the classic franchise, and I salute them. One of the best known in the UK and I am happy for the fact that after the slip up with the previous title that they have bounced back and created one of the most entertaining games of 2016.
What makes this a fun romp you ask? Well, for starters the voice acting is top notch. Albeit in a squeaky voice kind of way, but the humour and comedy value is delivered perfectly, and the quick wit will make you grin like a Cheshire Cat, and chuckle like your having your feet tickled. I had a permanent grin plastered across my face, and the fun memories from 20 years ago came flooding back in waves. The value for money from this title makes it a must buy for any fan, even those who have stayed away in recent years. The All Stars add on pack adds 7 bonus levels, and these are fun to play too. Come on, you can never have enough levels to blow each other up on Worms. I know I would love more levels, but if there remains no more content to come our merry way, I wont be disappointed either. It’s Worms, it’s back, and it’s a barrel of laughs. A barrel the size of the Titanic.
So what has changed with the formula for Worms WMD? For starters, the 2D hand drawn look that Team 17 has employed, is beautiful. No really, the visuals are lush, and full of vibrant colours, without being too over powering on your retinas. The whole game looks refreshingly new, and Team 17 have spared no expenses here. If they set out to make the best looking Worms game yet, then they have succeeded in style. Weapons next, and there is a whole host of new bits and bobs to talk about. First up, Dodgy Phone Battery. This is a fantastic weapon, and whilst I enjoyed it’s end result, I wont spoil it by letting you know what happens. Needless to say, it worked far better than I had hoped when it came to unleashing it’s might. Machine Gun and Sniper mounted turrets make an appearance, and I don’t need to go into too much detail as they are pretty self explanetory. But these make for an interesting battle approach. Whoever gets there first can have a huge advantage. Then there is the Mortar Launcher. Raining Death as I lovingly refer to it as. Seriously, if this reaches your Worms, kiss your team goodbye, or laugh at the enemy if you are the sender. You now have the ability to gain access to vehicles. Yes, that’s right, vehicles. A brilliant and genius idea. But how goes the execution of said idea? Superb. You get Tanks, Armoured Mechs, Helicopters an finally, Rocket League car. The implementation must have been a fun one when it came to brainstorming ideas for this one. They work well, and are a welcome addition to the game. All the old favourites like Holy Hand Grenade, Super Sheep and friends return to the line up, giving you a wide variety of ways to torment, maim and finally kill the opposing team of Worms.
Another new addition is within the Campaign, where you have 3 tasks per mission to complete should you so choose. Varying from taking no damage, to completing the mission in a set time, to finishing the round with all your Worms inside a building. Oh, I forgot to mention this. A rather fine idea, and one that can protect you from incoming fire for a short period of time. That is, until the opposing team bomb their way through to you. Customisation has a multitude of options available for you, with plenty more unlocked via leveling up as you play through Campaign and Tutorial missions. The boys and girls of Team 17 have been rather kind spoiling us like this. Not only have they made the series great again, but they have added a wealth of new goodies for us.
Gameplay is the same formula, and this is good, as having to learn a new control scheme would have been a step back. You do get the options to choose what action the A and X button perform, whether it be Jump or Fire, and this is presented to you before you start your first round. The vehicles can sometimes get caught upon the smallest piece of land left should there have been an explosion nearby, which can make navigating the land a treacherous affair. Some may question why they were added in the first place, given that levels are small. But they are just silly and a bit of fun in their defense. Controls are easy to use, and it’s good to see that fresh, new ideas still making their way into a game that is older than a lot of gamers today.
The myriad of explosions and other sound effects do the job as required. Along with the Hallelujah chorus when the Holy Hand Grenade comes into play. Concrete Donkey isn’t as funny any more and just falls from the sky and the whole event passes without so much as a smile. But at least you have crafting available in game. Yes, yet another new addition. How much love are we gamers receiving now!? Plenty I’ll tell you. You can craft in game, and crafting is taking the gaming world by storm these days, and is everywhere you look. Not a bad thing by any means, as it adds an extra dimension to the game and can certainly change an outcome.
The additional content within the All Stars Edition, offering a nod to well known games is as follows: Rocket League – Rocket League Car, Goat Simulator – Goat on a Rope Weapon, Saints Row IV – Dubstep Gun, plus masks to dress up your worms as characters from the following: Payday 2, Unturned, Orcs Must Die, Unturned, Yooka-Laylee and The Escapists. But that’s not all, Classic Worms weapons Ming Vase, Sheep Launcher and Kamikaze. Including 5 classics missions to relive again and again. But wait! There is still more. Exclusive to Xbox is the Rare All Stars Edition, which includes characters from the Rare golden era, such as Joanna Dark. Pplus a five mask set from classics as Blast Corps, Jet Force Gemini, Battletoads, Jetpac and Killer Instict. Available with pre orders before August 23rd.
To summarise, Worms WMD is a belter of a game, and one that fans old and new will lovingly offer some space on their HDD to the grand daddy of gaming for the last two decades. It’s like a fine wine, as it gets better with age. The only problem I can foresee in the future is; what happens if Team 17 runs out of ideas? What would become of Worms then? Does it sail off into the sunset, does it hang around like an unwanted guest at a dinner party, or will it become stale like a week old loaf of bread. Hopefully the latter pair will never rear their ugly heads, and the ideas will form in the minds of the quite literally, silly people who thought that a moving piece of string for an animal was a great idea to base a video game on. Worms is back, Worms is here to stay, and it is a lot of laughs to boot. Buy it, and prepare yourself for one fun filled night of gaming, as you wont want to turn it off.
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