The king of party games returns, with a fresh new Worms title from the longstanding masterminds of the series at Team 17. This is the latest in a multitude of sequels that have been released since the 1995 original first gave us all that wriggly, violent goodness, with nearly every title improving on the previous one by refining and expanding on the core feature set. This latest game continues that trend; bringing back some more familiar features while adding several new ones exclusive to this game.
Worms W.M.D. has a variety of single player modes, including the return of an old favourite with the inclusion of a mission-based campaign. This can unlock other customization options for your Worms as well as additional levels as you go through the campaign. Each mission has the tried and tested main objective of defeating the other team, but there are also several optional challenges in each mission to jazz things up whilst also unlocking other content.
Another neat distraction are the posters which can be found in the Campaign mode, as these can be used to unlock slightly harder challenge modes that force you to use specific weapons to defeat a range of opponents against a time limit. For players who might be new to the game, or just those who fancy a refresher, there is a training mode to practice some of the new features and weapons, including tanks, helicopters and mounted machine guns to name a few. You can also unlock more training modes for advanced weapons by completing the original basic ones, with completion unlocking more outfits, voice lines and other goodies for your team of squirmy soldiers.
The range of customization options has always been a standard feature for the Worms franchise, with the ability to edit the names of your worms, edit the team name, change the fanfare and so on. Returning for Worms W.M.D, these features help make your team feel unique when playing against other players online; especially if you have put in the time to unlock some of the additional content through the campaign mode (I’m quite the sucker for the unicorn headpiece personally speaking). Furthermore, you can create schemes for matches that allows you to customize any parameter in the matches to your heart’s desire, including an increase in turn time, round times, how many rounds per match and so on.
Almost anything you would want to change is pretty much an option here. You can make the game completely overpowered by giving everyone unlimited ammo and unlimited crafting supplies, or, you could decrease all the weapon spawns and just have everyone start with just the prod weapon ability and a ninja rope. From the get-go, there are already a number of default schemes for people who wish just to start the matches right away, but a lot of the fun is in just toggling what weapons you want to abuse other people/worms with. You can save multiple schemes too, this way you can play the game however you wish, and as quickly as possible. For Worms W.M.D. Team 17 has also added several new features that expand the way you play the game, too.
The new crafting system for instance, allows you to create weapons on the fly in matches, and can be achieved by finding supply crates or by dismantling old weapons. If you do this your weapon will be ready for your next turn, which means a little bit of wait (and a gamble) before you slaughter your foes. You can also craft during your opponent’s turn, meaning as soon your turn arrives, the fun begins. None of the items need that many ingredients in order to be cobbled together, but some of the more overpowered weapons, such as Wormageddon and Super Sheep, require items that tend to appear quite rarely. Crafting is a well-worn idea in games by this point, and it won’t be to everyone’s tastes as a feature in Worms W.M.D., but it still manages to at least freshen up Worm’s usual combat beats.
In another fresh touch, there are now vehicles around the map which can be used to devastate opposing teams. Helicopters allow you to fly around the map and bombard your targets, while powerful mechs can storm across the map and glide around, destroying anything in their path. Tanks meanwhile, can destroy scenery, combatants and objects with several cannon blasts, but for some reason, have also been blessed with the ability to execute high jumps and double jumps. Honestly, I don’t really understand why and how the tanks can jump, but then again, I am playing a game about worms using exploding grandmas and ninja sheep so maybe I should just accept that invertebrates in jumping tanks isn’t all that ludicrous.
Of course the biggest, and what has always been the best part of worms, the multiplayer returns for Worms W.M.D. Being a relatively friendless git in real life, I had some issues testing out the local multiplayer mode, mainly having to play it by myself. The combat felt smooth and simple as most previous Worms titles, with the ability to customize the map, changing of the parameters such as how many drops happen or how many mines are on the field. As per Worms tradition, there is also a map creator that can create new battlegrounds using a seed number, or, you can randomly generate maps by using the drop down menu to select options and click generate. Sadly, the map size limits don’t stretch quite as far as I would have hoped because, even with all these options, it still would have been nice to get some larger map size parameters.
Another new feature is that the maps can now include buildings. Such structures can be entered and even have some platforming elements, where you have to carefully negotiate a range of ledges in order to reach the secret crafting boxes and weapon crates that tend to be stashed therein. When it comes to local multiplayer, you can play with up to six players with different controllers, or, play the game with the same controller passing it to your mate when it is their turn, hot-potato style. If you don’t happen to have the requisite number of local friends, you can still play the game online in either ranked or unranked matches, or, play locally with bots and a range of adjustable difficulty settings
If you are a fan of the typical Worms gameplay, and have several friends who will play the game with you, this is a must buy. Single player is far more enjoyable here than Worms games typically have been too, as Team 17 has put a lot of time and effort into giving it some depth and variety with an incentive driven campaign and range of missions to complete. Let’s face it though; in the end Worms games are all about having fun with your mates, and Worms W.M.D. continues that grand tradition wonderfully.