It’s been 21 years since the first Worms game released, and since then we have had so many releases in the series and it’s still going strong. I remember playing one of the older games for PC when I was a child and I liked it: I wasn’t too good at it at that time it was fun and wacky. And that has always been the strength of this series; it has been fun and wacky.
Worms W.M.D is much like its predecessors. It is a 2D turn-based strategy game. You take control of a group of worms and fight other groups using weapons such as bazookas, grenades, and even other wacky weapons like sheep. It’s all quite easy to get in to if this is somehow your first Worms game, but returning players can also look forward to tanks, buildings, helicopters, and mounted guns.
The real strength in the game is its multiplayer modes. Here you’ll make and name your own group of worms; you’ll pick everything to what your worm wears, how he/she talks, its gravestone, music that plays when they win, and names for each of them. Personalisation is actually important in Worms, because the more you connect with your little team of heroes, the funnier it is when a wayward grenade blows them to smithereens. Multiplayer matches allow for up to six players, and with a full complement boy can that action get hectic.
Outside of the multiplayer, Worms starts players off with some tutorial levels. In these levels, you learn the basics of gameplay, but these levels also act as a time trial of sorts where you can beat the time limit to earn a better rank. There are also leaderboards for these levels so if you are fast enough you could wind up in one of the top spots. Campaign levels, meanwhile, have you trying to kill all the other worms as is standard, but all levels have three additional side quests that you can do if you want to. These side quests can range from drowning a certain number of enemy worms to killing one with a specific weapon. Doing all side quest rewards you with a gold check mark next to the level, and if that wasn’t enough of a reason to replay levels, hidden in the campaign levels are wanted posters and once collected they open up a new type of mode; challenge mode.
In the first challenge mode I played I was only given a jetpack (not exactly a weapon) and had to kill the wanted worm. The jet pack does no damage at all but on the ground were mines that could be set off and barrels that explode and causes a fire that will harm any worm it touches. this is more of a puzzle mode, in other words.
One neat new feature to the game is the ability to craft weapons, allowing you to dismantle stuff you’re not interested in using, and use it to create weapons and items that do fit in with your play style. Players should also appreciate the use of buildings in this game, as it opens up some deeper tactical options. Now, you can use to hide your worms as the enemy can not see where they are inside unless they are inside of the building also.
The biggest new inclusion, though, is the tanks, helicopters, and mechs that can be piloted. Tanks are strong and powerful where you can fire a barrage of shells at your enemies. Helicopters can be used to travel fast across the level but has a pretty weak machine gun. Mechs pack a pretty big punch when in close to an enemy. All of these are stronger than a worm and the worm will receive less damage when inside one. The vehicles can take damage also and when they take too much they can explode which is not too good while still inside it. Team17 has done a good job of balancing these vehicles in so that they’re powerful, but not overpowered.
W.M.D is a fun game, loaded with tons of content that should keep Worm fans and newcomers alike very busy. The series still has that sense of humour that it is so well known, while constantly adding in new features to deepen the gameplay experience. This one, in particular, is a really well formed game, and deserves to be on high multiplayer rotation for a long time to come.
– Jim S.