Team17 are back again with yet another Worms game, finally bringing the series to the Nintendo Switch in the form of a port of the previous year’s Worms W.M.D. With a Worms title releasing seemingly every other year to varying degrees of quality, is this one of the series high points worthy of adding to your collection? Or is this one of the titles you can skip? How many times will I have to write Worms in this review? Let’s find out.
Worms is a 2d turn based artillery shooter, where your team of up to 8 worms must destroy the other team to achieve victory. You and your opponent trade turns, moving one worm each within a time limit before turning the turn over to them. This leaves many of your worms as sitting ducks for multiple turns after they’ve fired their shot, making positioning key to survival. Do you take an easy shot that could heavily damage an enemy worm but leave you wide open for counter attack, or do you find cover to bunker down and survive to attack at a more opportune moment? These decisions can make or break a battle.
You can crawl, but you can’t hide
This particular entry in the series is seen as a successor to Worms Armageddon, doing away with the 3d graphics and class based systems the last few games have been building on. As such, this is more stripped down and back to basics, which is surprisingly refreshing. That said, they have expanded on the ideas Armageddon laid down all those years ago, mainly by adding crafting, turrets and vehicles. Crafting is a bit convoluted, but after you get your head around it you will be disassembling weapons for the crafting parts you need in no time. There is another tactical element to this, as you can use the crafting mechanics during your opponent’s turn, teeing up new weapons to use without wasting your turn timer.
The controls are simple, allowing you to move your character and camera, jump, enter turrets and vehicles, open menus, and fire weapons. This helps make the game fun and easy for anyone to just jump in and have a good time. Easy to learn, yet hard to master describes this game perfectly. A new player will be able to cause havoc, but a veteran will be able to use more complex mechanics, like taking advantage of the wind to land seemingly impossible shots anywhere on the map.
Delivering a lit stick of dynamite to my pal Newton
The story in Worms W.M.D is… well there is no story. Single player consists of a set of training levels, campaign levels, and a few extra bonus levels. The training levels focus on the basic mechanics, and serve as a decent tutorial to get you started. There are also leaderboards tied to these, allowing you to compete for the fastest times which can be a lot of fun. The campaign builds off of the training stages, setting you up with a situation to encourage you to use the mechanics you learnt in actual combat. Occasionally you will get a humorous cutscene, but it doesn’t tie to an overall narrative.
People who aren’t new to the series know that the true game is in the multiplayer, be it matches against A.I, or other players. The multiplayer menu allows you to partake in local, ranked and unranked matches. When setting up your own game, you have quite a few options to customize your game to your liking. Besides the standard options such as number of teams, worms per team, turn timer, rounds to win etc. you can also generate the map you play on based on parameters you set. As these are procedurally generated, you can just keep hitting the generate button until a map you think looks fun pops up. It also means that each map you play on will be different, forcing you to change up your tactics game to game.
This is where the real game is at!
Another staple of the series is customizing your team, and here it is just as good as it’s ever been. You can name your team and each individual worm, change the team outfits, the tombstones, even their voices. It is a lot of fun, and I lost a good hour or more setting up my team just how I liked it. I found it allowed me to inject my team with a personality of its own. You can also create a team specifically to annoy and troll others. The whiny 13 year old voice of the budding streamer will haunt me for years to come.
The art design in this game is beautiful, from the worms themselves to the completely destructible environments. Everything feels like it belongs in this goofy, bizarre and violently cartoony world. The music is fine, but there will be nothing that will blow you away. As for the sound, this is truly an area the game excels. From the launch of your bazooka, to the fire of your machine gun, the explosions, the funny voice acting, everything here helps to draw you into this game’s destructively quirky charm.
Even the loading screens are pretty
Overall, this has edged out Armageddon as my favorite game in the Worms franchise. It keeps all of the classic gameplay intact, while adding new additions to the formula that add an extra layer of depth that is more than welcomed. The sound and art design is also at a series high. If you love the Worms series, or are curious to see what it’s all about, then I highly recommend Worms W.M.D.
Worm counter: 16