I’m down to my last worm, it’s 3 against 1 in a tense multiplayer battle that has now gone in to sudden death, the tide is rising and I am backed in to a corner! There is only one thing for it…. Bring out the Super Banana and prey I don’t miss time the throw. Dang it! I mess up the throw but wait… I get a lucky bounce and Super Banana lands right at the feet (do worms have feet?) of Bleezeyboy, explodes in to a crescendo of smaller explosions sending hell fire everywhere, catapulting Bleezeyboy in to the sky engulfed in flames and close enough to the sentry turret that was before just out of range. Thus ensues a hilarious chain reaction of devastation. Of course I lost the game but THAT moment became my multiplayer moment of the year so far in 2016.
Worms is a gaming franchise that has spanned 20 years now and to be honest, over the past few years (and several new entries in that time) I’d lost interest in this series that felt too long in the tooth and less relevant to an ever changing landscape.
Well, how happy I am that with Worms W.M.D, Team 17 have gone right back to basics and brought the fun, humour and nostalgia back to a gaming landscape that has a beautifully hand-drawn aesthetic across all 6 maps and 67 of it’s 2D missions. That’s right. 67! Broken down as follows:
- 20 training missions
- 30 campaign missions
- 10 challenge missions
- 7 bonus missions
The 2D plane has always been hugely important to the classic Worms gameplay. Thankfully by going back to this approach, W.M.D feels like the original, whilst also being fresh and new at the same time. No mean feat I assure you after more than 20 games to it’s stable. But Team 17 have in no way just given a lick of paint to a near-annual release and punted on to store shelves. As mentioned earlier each of the 6 new maps have a new hand-drawn aesthetic that looks quite beautiful as it is being blown to smithereens. But the big additions and new to the franchise are vehicles and a simple crafting system. Both of which are great and fit so well with the series it makes you wonder why it took so long to include them.
First up, the vehicles. They come in Tank, Helicopter, Mech and, if you pre-ordered and got the All-Stars pack, the Rocket League Sports Car. (Along with loads of other costume bits & bobs from titles The Escapists, Saints Row, Pay Day, Bro Force and Yooka-Laylee to name a few).
The new crafting system is seemingly simple at first glance, but when employed in multiplayer can add an extra tactical edge to how matches can play out, Unless you’re like me and frequently forget to utilise it during some extremely tense matches! You pick up crafting materials as they air-drop in throughout the level, and use them to resupply your arsenal or, dismantle existing weapons in order to create even better ones! The best part is that you can do all this during other players turns. So if your the sneaky sneaky type you can be crafting whilst waiting for your turn to come around and then unleash hell… Or you know… A Super Banana!
All those campaign and bonus missions are fun enough, but really they are just additional training for the real reason why any of us buy Worms. The multiplayer.
This where Worms W.M.D really comes alive. Grab a bunch a pals (up to 6), either online or locally, and have an absolute riot of a time trying to blow the living snot out of each other. You won’t regret it and you’ll have more than a few combat tales of your own just as this review started.
Team 17 have done a marvellous job putting this package together. There is a lot of content here and if you factor in the ability to generate new configurations of the base maps as well as just how tactically involved the gameplay can get, you’ve got yourself one of the best multiplayer games so far this year!