Worms W.M.D – Review
PC, PS4, Xbox One
There aren’t many games that you can confidently mention in conversation knowing that the person you’re talking to will immediately recall with fond memories. Worms is one of the few titles that have this honour, sure it was an expansion on the gameplay and concepts that we knew and loved in Tank Wars or Scorched Earth, but in reality, it was so much more. A tonne of new features and absolutely dripping in its unique personality, Worms didn’t just take this to a new level, oh no, it exceeded all known levels before it! As a result, the title became an instant classic with many follow up titles over the course of its lifetime.
Sadly over time, the enjoyment fizzled down when they attempt at a 3D setting went bust and series fatigue set in. For years there had been nothing but silence and many thought that our days of Holy Hand Grenades and Ninja Roping across a randomly generated map were over. Then, out of nowhere, like finding a $50 note in your jackets pocket, Worms: W.M.D. landed in our review pile and we can pleasantly say that this title has ticked all the right boxes and successfully brought the series into this new generation of gaming!
There’s never been anything really wrong with the Worms’ formula. You command a team of worms and in a turn based system; each team tries to take the other out using a variety of weapons at their disposal. The series has always had a surprising amount of depth and the strategist who looks at the long game usually becomes the victor in what can be incredibly close battles. Where the series has always stood out was through its personality, humour and crazy weapons. This new title takes everything that worked previously and expands on them enough that even though things may initially seem the same, it always feels like a new experience.
As you’d expect, there are a variety of new weapons in your arsenal as well as all your old favourites returning, because let’s face it, a Worms game without a banana bomb or an exploding sheep is a Worms games I simply don’t want to play. Worms: W.M.D. also lets you craft weapons for your next turn and also allows you to dismantle some of your current items to do this. It adds that extra level of strategic thinking and planning ahead and at the same time an intoxicating element of risk and reward. For anyone new to these titles or is simply rusty, the game offers a fairly quick and straight forward tutorial for a bunch of the weapons and the games dynamics.
There’s also a decent offering of single player content in the form of campaign games and challenge matches, each of which has special scenarios in which you must overcome to win the match. As good as this sounds, it’s a fairly conservative effort from Team 17, where I never felt they went far enough with game conditions in order to make this feel completely different from simply playing a match against a buddy or some AI. The game doesn’t suffer for it though and it’s indeed a case where I’d much rather it was there in its current form that not there at all.
Returning, of course, is the offline / local play that the series is well known for and like previous titles much of the game is customisable. Because this is 2016 though you can also easily jump into some online games with Ranked and Quickplay options. Being turn based net code is a non-issue, however, this feature will live and die on the numbers in its community and judging from how well this game has been received so far, it’s a good indication that it’ll be around for a while.
Had this game been released five or six years ago you may have wondered if it was really needed. It’s amazing how much a little break in releases can reignite your love and excitement for a sequel (gives stern look at CoD and Assassins Creed). As a result, Team 17 has released a new and fresh addition to the Worms franchise that feels right at home on this new generation of consoles and systems. It’s the kind of game you feel confident about recommending to friends or bringing out for some fun casuals with anyone in the room. Whether you’re a fan of old or new, Worms W.M.D. is a wonderful game.