Worms is back and it is glorious. Team 17 has made this iteration of the franchise the way it should be done, providing a great homage to Worms Armageddon along the way. Right off the bat, you’ll notice that the game has gone back to its 2D origins with beautifully hand-drawn Worms and levels. There’s also a similar return to the franchise’s old physics and ninja rope system.
If you ask me, W.M.D. could have stood for “wonderful mission deployment”. Single-player is a step in the right direction, with no odd story — instead, you’re treated to thought-out missions, most with a variety of sub-missions. You can do these at your own leisure, and, to add difficultly, throw in a mutator to the level as well. Familiar create drops of weapon, health and utility pop up in missions, joined by new crafting and vehicle options.
Right from the first mission, players are introduced to the new depth of levels, requiring a lot of strategy to navigate through effectively. Many times I’d lose sight of enemy Worms in a building only to have them blast my face off in following turns. The game’s built in training mode is also a clever time-based challenge system that uploads fastest times to a leaderboard (two of which I’m currently first in — make no mistake, the gauntlet has been thrown).
W.M.D. could also stand for “wicked multiplayer demolition”. This is the meat and potatoes of Worms. Couch co-op is at its best with the usual Team 17-developed multitude of randomly generated levels, multiple tile sets and customisation options that make games ridiculously enjoyable for up to 6 players and 8 worms each. A total of 48 worms on one map is a brilliant blend of chaos and order. Many times, this delicate balance will leaving all players either grimacing or rolling with laughter.
Another acronym suggestion? “Weapons massively deconstructed”. New to Worms W.M.D is a robust crafting system which uses materials found in crates to power-up different versions of classic weapons. You can upgrade the bazooka to a pie thrower — that’s a bazooka with napalm, sticky grenades and delayed cluster bombs (to name a few options). These add many more tactics to players that legacy weapons wouldn’t be able to accomplish.
Another? “Wheeled mayhem delivered”. Another new feature added to Worms W.M.D is the ability to use vehicles like a tank, a mechanised walker or a helicopter. You can also equip turret-mounted flamers, machine guns, sniper rifles and mortars to these vehicles — and all of which do better damage than their normal Worm-held versions. Even better? They provide a damage reduction if you’re in them. To balance things out, some vehicles are quite difficult to control or don’t have the finesse of finer aiming.
My last acronym? The go-to: “weapons of mass destruction”. All the usual weapons of lovely overkill are back — and some are even better. My favourites? Airstrikes, Wormageddon, Banana Bomb and the brutal O.M.G. Strike. The 80+ weapons that make up the total of your arsenal will leave a satisfying twitch in your trigger finger.
Actually, one last go — “Worms must die”. Worms W.M.D. is available from tomorrow.
Worms W.M.D. was reviewed using a promotional code on Xbox One as provided by the publisher.
Review: Worms W.M.D.