This was the first time I’d picked up a copy of a Worms game since playing Worms 2 in 1997. Glorious were the days when you could innocently strike your foe with an RPG to the face, or surprise them with an ominous visit from their grandmother. Very much to their known detriment, that visit would leave them pushing up the daisies in a sizeable crater. I’m so pleased to say that Worms W.M.D. brought back all of those heart tingling feelings of foolhardy revenge and annihilation.
It gave my curiosity a hearty slap on the back when I found out the series has seen 20 individual releases since the title’s original launch in 1995. That, my friends, is a milestone and a half; kudos to Team17. In all this time it’s safe to say it hasn’t lost its flare for the humorous cheek, snap-phrasing, and subtle wording. In fact there’s more of it, all customisable, right down to the Bouffant.
Granted, starting up a Worms game for the first time in almost 20 years was a lot like having never played one before. Having to rediscover the controls and sizeable arsenal (which can be modified) seemed a little overwhelming at first, but going through all the tutorials helped immensely. There are a couple dozen of them, but they’re not as boring as they sound. There are new customisation options up for grabs, and times to beat for XP. I’m a completionist and a bit of a ‘competitive’ achievement hunter, so I had to play through all of it, including the campaigns, which have their own main and side objectives.
For something completely different, W.M.D. decided to slap in the use of artillery vehicles and anchored heavy weaponry for farts and giggles. Tanks, maneuverable air support (on top of your traditional air raid choice), terrain anchored weapons, and mechanised suits are all up for grabs in certain maps; all of which can leave a considerable hole (literally) in your opponent’s plans. Thinking strategically, though, some are more cause for trouble than they’re worth. Tanks are all kinds of fun, but when they go boom so do you. The mechanised suits are more likely to pull the pin out of your plans, mainly due to common pilot error.
Worms W.M.D. stays true to the 2D style maps with the same maneuvering abilities of old. A couple of particular surprise perks are the addition of actual cover. Some of the buildings in the map are hollow and can be used to take refuge; you might even find a surprise or two (Disclaimer: some of said surprises may be hazardous to your health). The environmental factors such as wind currents are still as subtle as ever and can be used as an advantage to aid those tricky shots. They can also turn around and kick you in the butt if you’re not paying attention, sending you flying into the drink. It’s OK, we’ve all been there.
Worms W.M.D. has an array of single player versus AI campaigns that can be played for days, which is a good chuckle in itself, but there’s nothing quite like the turn of events that comes with multiplayer. Whether you play online, or sitting on the couch with a friend, it’s always a good time. Watching someone beautifully strike their opponent in a seemingly impossible position on the other side of the map or having them fluff it up royally by sending themselves flying instead is infinitely more entertaining. As mentioned earlier, it’s all completely customisable, from maps and weapons, to worms.
The enjoyment I got from playing W.M.D. is definitely a reward in itself, leaving me with a fulfilled sense of nostalgia. Whether you’re in it mainly for the strategy or for a good hoot, W.M.D.’s cheekily simple and cartoonish persona will put a smile on your face and leave you wanting more.
Worms W.M.D. was reviewed on PS4 using a retail copy provided to PowerUp! by the publisher.
Game Title: Worms W.M.D.
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