Worms W.M.D Review
Sony PlayStation 4
Team 17 celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and what kind of celebration would it be without Worms? Worms is by far the game that Team 17 is most well-known for and with good reason. The original took the artillery strategy game and added a truck-load of silly to the mix. Now with Team 17's birthday in full swing, the Worms are once again rising to the surface, and this time they have W.M.Ds.
Worms W.M.D once again drops you into the eternal conflict that is the world of Worms. At the core of W.M.D’s nuclear-powered heart still lies the unchanged Worms experience. You and your ragtag team of worms must blow up the other team using conventional and non-conventional weapons to achieve victory. Conventional weapons come in the form of the ever faithful bazooka, grenade, dynamite and many others. Non-conventional can range from a jumping and bleating sheep that explodes on demand to a statue of a donkey that falls from the sky. The ridiculous humour of Worms is still very much alive in W.M.D’s weapons. The amount of choice on offer is staggering even before considering the options that crafting opens up.
Crafting is a new feature introduced in W.M.D that allows you to craft or upgrade weapons during your, or your opponent's, turn. The simple but effective airstrike can become the devastating napalm-lined demon strike that explodes and sends fire spewing all over the place. The sheep bomb can be upgraded to the super sheep that flies around and explodes with anything on contact. Each weapon comes with one to two variations with each one more insane than the last. However, to create these silly but destructive weapons you will have to sacrifice a weapon for materials. Dismantling a weapon will get you materials or you can wait for a resources drop and risk going out into the open to gather it.
While Worms is not primarily known for its single-player content, W.M.D has so much to offer the lone worm that it is honestly surprising. There is a full 40+ mission campaign and while it doesn’t have an overarching story to pull you through it is still thoroughly enjoyable. Each mission comes with a main objective and three sub-objectives that ask the player to approach the mission in different ways. For the completionist out there the single player campaign is a gold mine without even considering all the training missions, challenge missions, and bonus content. It really is a surprise just how much single player content Worms W.M.D has to offer a player.
An awesome new addition to the Worms formula comes in the form of usable vehicles. You have three highly destructive vehicles to play around with and each is very different. The tank gives you a lot of extra defense while also allowing you to throw a hail of projectiles at an enemy. The helicopter allows you to freely fly around and has a machine gun attached to the bottom of it that can be devastating to any infantry below. Finally, you have the Mech, a hulking machine that can fly short distances and comes with a ground pound that can send worms flying. The vehicles are a nice new addition but often feel random as the player has no way to call them in. However, when you do have one they can really change the tide of a battle.
The final new mechanic is the introduction of buildings. Granted, buildings have appeared in some shape or form in Worms before but now you can enter them. The buildings serve a dual purpose, one part acts as an extra layer of defense while the other allows you to hide from your opponents. As a base to use as cover it works really as it allows you to save a worm on very low health from death. In local multiplayer a player is always going to see where you move your units so the tactic of setting up a surprise attack goes out the window. However, it can be used very effectively with online multiplayer.
Now that everything else has been discussed it is time to get on with what everyone knows and loves Worms for, that sweet multiplayer. It still remains the chaotic and fun local multiplayer that made it one of the best. Having up to eight players and swapping the same controller between you just ends in laughter. Worms are exploding all over the place and setting off a chain reaction of more explosions that actually just end in more explosions. The vehicles just add to fun with players scrambling to grab them as soon as they drop. Some rounds often end with one player's worm stealing another player's tank from them to blow them up with their own tank. The local multiplayer really does remain as great as ever and the new elements only work to strengthen that idea. Online is here as well with ranked, unranked matches and leaderboards. Ranked is interesting as it allows players to place their worms before a battle. This adds a layer of tactics when playing ranked as you have to think of the best place to utilise a unit while also trying to keep it as well defended as possible. Unranked is essentially local multiplayer online, there was a little lag while playing but other than that the whole experience remains as fun as ever.
Worms W.M.D is now the new standard for this long running series of games. Team 17 has taken everything that made Worms great and just improved and enhanced every factor. Vehicles add to the chaos, crafting just takes the weapons from the ridiculous to the insane and the local multiplayer still remains some of the best around.