Worms Battlegrounds PS4 review
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All eventualities considered it's a matter of refinement rather than revolution for PlayStation's best-loved worm-based series, with developer Team17 tinkering and toying to make Worms Battlegrounds the most definitive entry in the series to date.
- The classic gameplay we all know and love.
- Landscape editor provides the tools to make the game your own.
- Online and clan-centric modes extend the game's replayability.
- Not a massive amount has changed.
- Single-player is still naff.
The inclusion of dynamic level design also forces players to be more aware of their surroundings – it’s no longer a case of just watching your opponents every move, eyeing up what weapons they could use at their current range, you’ve now also got to be acutely aware of what’s in your immediate vicinity and whether or not it could prove a hindrance or a boost. Additionally, weapons like the UFO and even the Holy Hand Grenade (yes, it’s back) prove that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to hole up in the crevice of a map, in the vain hope you’ll miraculously outlive your rivals stuck on lower ground.
As was to be expected, Worms Battlegrounds finds its feet most firmly in the multiplayer realm. That’s not to say the single-player is merely making up the numbers, it does prove to be a welcome enough distraction with a humorous, if not trivial, story and a batch of puzzles to keep the levels fresh and ticking over. It’s not exactly an afterthought but with some questionable AI and tedium it does eventually reveal itself as an effectively by-numbers precursor and practice session for the real grit that is the multiplayer. Worms Ops is another bite-sized contrivance that’s featured alongside the single-player campaign, and it does make for a dynamic breakaway from some of the more laborious aspects of the campaign – it just doesn’t last all that long. As it was with the original – released a staggering 19 years ago – local four-player co-op is the be-all and end-all arena where friendships are forged and rivalries created. It’s certainly refreshing to see a current-gen game embracing its roots and thriving on coach-based multiplayer rather than the online exclusivity which has become commonplace these days.
That said, developer Team17 hasn’t rested on its laurels, instead providing a decently-sized online portion for those wishing to take the fight worldwide. Expanding upon some of the features introduced in Worms Clan Wars, players can create their own clan, design a custom emblem, trade messages with rival war-mongers, and of course team battle to their heart’s content. In terms of standard online modes, the usual suspects are present: ‘deathmatch’, ‘player match’ and even crowd-favourite ‘forts’ - all of which extend Battlegrounds’ playability but its real worth again boils down to if the game’s renowned gameplay is something that tickles your fancy.
Aside from the multiplayer-based additions, perhaps the most interesting component of the package is the landscape editor, which allows you to create your own backdrop of chaos for your little platoon to populate. Ranging from the ability to add various shapes and items to even forging the scenery with a paintbrush-like cursor, the editor makes for some interesting, if a tad conceptual, visualisations of what the optimum battleground would entail. Whatever your creation you’ll be able to load it up for local deathmatches, showing off to whoever’s willing to challenge you in your home ground. The more barrels the better, we say.
All eventualities considered it’s a matter of refinement rather than revolution for the latest version in Team17’s flagship series, with the developer firmly sticking to what it knows best - tinkering and enhancing a well-loved formula to make it the most accessible artillery-based game around. And while it could be seen as either smart or even a tad un-ambitious (we’d pip for the former), there’s little doubting that Worms Battlegrounds reveals itself as the most definitive entry in the series to date.----
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