It’s been 21 years since the Worms franchise crawled its way into our hearts. Since then the series has experienced some ups and downs, but overall has enjoyed a good flow of commercial success. One of the things that has constantly been asked for by fans is for the return of the traditional gameplay that initially made the game popular back in 1995. The good news is that in Worms W.M.D this is Teams 17’s primary goal that brings back the fundamental elements for this anniversary release. The character models and backgrounds have received a substantial upgrade. Environments hold true to the classic level design and mechanics, while visually it checks all the boxes for what you’d expect from a modern entry. Worms W.M.D is a strange void of old meets new and how these fundamentals collide in a perfect balance.
With Multiplayer Dynamics
[pullquote_left]In a turn-based artillery strategy game you can imagine how chaotic, luck-filled and friend-destroying this can potential be. It’s fantastic.[/pullquote_left]Worms has always been more fun with friends. W.M.D features both ranked and friendly online multiplayer modes as well as general couch co-op. The multiplayer games can accommodate, up to six players with eight worms per team. That’s 48 worms on the screen at the same time. While playing with friends is the main focus there are more than enough game modes to keep you busy if you don’t have anyone to play with or you’re sick of your friends tossing holy hand grenades at you. The Training Mode shows you the (ninja) ropes step-by-step preparing you for more challenging battles. The appealing thing about these brief tutorials is that in each instance you have various side missions. Complete the tutorial mission in a given time or with a specific weapon and you’ll receive a higher rank. Some of these side quests add a solid element of difficulty for the more experienced players as well as those who want more bang for their buck.
Worms May Differ
Once you’ve managed to familiarize yourself with the basic controls you move onto the Campaign missions. As in the Training mode there are various side missions that you get to tackle, which immediately adds to the longevity of the 30-level offering. After completing each level your profile ranks up letting you unlock the little features like accents, tombstones and garments for your worms – some of the extras that made the initial games so popular. Hearing a valley girl accent while your worm is wearing a sombrero and spawning an obelisk tombstone is somewhat pleasing. There is enough of a variety of these additions for them not to get too repetitive which can easily be the case; especially the voice/accent clips. Now that you’ve completed the Campaign missions you’ll be ready to move onto the Challenges, probably the most fun of the single player experience. While similar to the campaigns the terms of beating a level are far more specific. Here you can complete a level but if you don’t meet the right criteria you won’t be able to progress to the next challenge.
Weapons of Mass Destruction
While for the most part things have gone back to basics in W.M.D there are a few new features that have been well worked into the traditional shell of the game. You are now able to hide out and plan strategies in buildings, which blend in with the environments making you far less of a target. Vehicles such as tank, mechs and helicopters are now a substantial part of the gameplay. While these can give you a huge advantage they can also make you an easy target during your opponents turn. Another great addition is the weapon crafting system that uses items you’ve acquired on the level to craft much needed additional weapons. I found myself often crafting aerial attack and target lock-on weapons to get out of tight situations. Boasting over 80 weapons and utilities is no small feat. Adding a variety of mounted weapons is even more impressive. These are often placed directly into the hands of your enemies making your attack strategically if you want to survive.
Worms W.M.D is a balancing act of two different eras that has come together with great harmony. Both veterans of the series and newcomers have plenty to look forward to in this classic version of Worms.