Artillery games have been around a while, and with the exception of Cannon Fodder, there’s not many that are as nostalgic as Worms, first released over 20 years ago, I was the happy owner of a C64 when my love for worms began and while it’s not quite been as strong the last ten years, I’m always excited to see a new Worms title appear.
After the first few, Worms lost it’s appeal a little, new weapons where added, more locations and themes and more and more ways to play, online gameplay was a major step, but title after title appeared and each felt little different to the last, but with W.M.D, things feel a little different this time around.
Firstly with tanks, helicopters and mechs to aid you in battle, there’s plenty of ways to dispatch your foe’s on top of the bazooka’s, grenades, homing missiles and explosive sheep.
Worms has carried great humour from the start, and once again it’s in your face both through sound bites, cut-scenes and animations, the animations are presented better than ever and aside the crisp, colourful graphics it’s easily the best looking worms title to date.
The added graphical power, and a step more towards yesteryear than the previous few titles, W.M.D feels fantastic to play and everything strolls along at a smooth, yet frantic pace which tests your technique like never before.
Worms has always been a fun mix of tactics and action and nothing has changed there, with an ever increasing array of weapons, you have a set time limit to take your turn, the screen centralises on the worm, and you can choose to try and manoeuvre across the map or take aim with your arsenal of destruction as you aim to either protect yourself, or deal as much damage to others as possible, direct hits, explosions and fall damage all hurt the little pink fella’s, so it’s a constant battle to survey your surroundings to make sure your worm isn’t left aside a drop onto a mine.
On top of the vehicles which are capable of wreaking havoc across a large area and to multiple enemy worms, you can also now move inside a building giving a whole new element as you hide downstairs to avoid air strikes, or take to the roof to use the hold in the roof as a perfect window to throw your cluster bomb out of.
As we’ve come to expect from a Worms title there’s a variety of modes and challenges which mean there’s plenty of value to be had, but the real fun comes online, grab your friends or just jump into a game with randoms, and you’ll soon find the variety of challenges you’ll face against real opponent are just as varied and fun as the weapons and levels themselves.
Another benefit of worms has to be it’s accessibility, as more content is added game after game, you may find it all a little daunting initially, but the tutorials do a good job of showing you the ropes, and if you callow yourself to be sucked in, you’ll easily find exploring the weapons and the countless way’s you can put them to use makes learning the game far more fun than you could ever imagine.
Obviously online you have the problem of enjoyment often residing on matchmaking accuracy, but the real fun comes when you have a handful of friends, maybe regular players from another title, who equally fancy a change of pace, and there’s nothing more fun than taking control of your little army of worms and firing all manner of mayhem at each other.
It’s hard to pick fault with Worms, but time and time again the few issues are familiar ones, Single player just isn’t as much fun as playing online with friends, and then your reliant on having a few friends or falling lucky with matchmaking.
On a good day, Worms W.M.D will be top of the list for fun, excitement and tension, while others it feels a little too paint by numbers. Graphics are better than anticipated with amazing detail all bundled in the cute but fierce wrapping, and the audio does exactly what you expect with both new and recognisable effects and speech which will make returning players feel right at home while still offering plenty to smile about.
Content wise, if you enjoy the gameplay, there’s literally hundreds of hours to enjoy, especially online. For most Worms WMD will become a go to title, finished exploring the underground on Division, just lost 4 games on the trot on Fifa, or you’ve been tea-bagged a few too many times on Halo, no matter what you can fire up Worms for an hour and put a smile back on your face.