My first experience with a Worms game was so long ago that I can’t even propose an educated guess as to when that might have been.
It was a title that reminded me much of another game, where each player controlled a tank in a wide area and tried to take out the other tanks with various different types of ammo as the wind direction constantly required fine tuning on the aiming.
Worms expanded on this idea with mobility and a greater array of weapons, then bundled it all together with a silly concept that worms were waging war against each other. It felt fresh and new as I found myself addicted to its simple game play.
Many, many years later and they’re still pumping out Worms games that are more or less the same, and even though the title would suggest an extreme revolution had taken place, no such event took place here as it manages to squeak by on the status quo.
In a coconut shell, this is a title based on blasting away the opponent’s worms with a variety of tools at one’s disposal and become the last worm standing.
Weapons like shotguns and bazookas are exactly what anyone would expect them to be but there are some fun attacks like the dragon punch or even the ability to use telekinesis to move around large objects.
Mobility items included things such as grappling hooks and teleportation buttons but all of these weapons/tools are balanced in the way that there are only select uses of the more powerful ones.
Item and health crates teleport into the map in random locations to offer a slight edge to those able to grab them before their opponents can.
The actual game play doesn’t get much more complicated than that. Each player takes turns controlling a worm in their team on the large map and they just try to kill each other using whatever means necessary.
There are single player modes which focus on a story of some sort involving scripted events, but I found most of them to be uninteresting and was turned off by how much it attempted to lead me around by the nose.
Worse yet is the numerous tutorial stages that play out at a snail’s pace and must be repeated from the very beginning if a mistake is made. Given some of the instructions are vague and the stages themselves overly long and an absolute chore to play through, I found them to be more of a barrier for entry than a helpful hand.
Considering this is a vita game, I expected the visual fidelity to be crisp and full of color but what I got instead was a blurry mess of muddy colors.
The grounds on which the worms waged battle on looked like large mounds of dirty that was spray painted a different color in haste. The worms themselves didn’t look sharp as the closer I zoomed the camera, the more apparent it became to me that this is not a good looking game by any stretch of the imagination.
Worse yet, the game suffered from framerate issues during the more hectic moments where bombs were exploding around everywhere and worms were flying through the air.
If a game is going to look bad, I would at least hope that it would run well but that’s not the case here.
Now, while the lackluster single player campaign modes coupled with unimpressive graphics could mark this a complete failure, the one shining light of redemption comes in the form of the multiplayer.
While I had no luck finding games on my own, I had little trouble of creating a lobby myself and having people join in.
When they did, we were immediately off to the battlefield without issue to see who the better worms player was. The game supported mic chat on the Vita without having to turn on any settings and it was quite fun laughing and talking a bit of friendly trash to my opponents as we took turns trying to destroy each other.
Playing against other human beings is where Worms shines the most and it’s just as fun as I remember it those many years ago.
As I inched closer with the dragon punch equipped at the opponent’s last remaining worm, I heard him say “No, no, no, no, don’t do it~”.
When I knocked him off the stage into a pool of what I can only assume to be acid sewage, I tasted victory and total satisfaction.
It’s in those moments that this title shines, and while the rest of the package is serviceable at best, there is some merit in having a multiplayer compatible worms game on the go.
Fun Tidbit: There is nothing more humiliating than getting finger poked into your doom.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.