Next-gen, turn-based worm-fare.
I was really excited about the new addition to the Worms series, as this was meant to be the biggest game yet according to developers Team 17. I haven’t played Worms since their last console release, and I was looking forward to seeing the new features.
Worms Battlegrounds is part of the Worms franchise that has been going since 1995. The concept for this game is the same as the rest – to eliminate enemy worms with an arsenal of crazy weapons. However, this game also brings a story to the table, with unique levels that require a lot more strategy. Players need to find the stone carrot before the evil Mesmer uses it to brainwash all of the worms in the world, taking players on a journey around different museum exhibitions, and tasks of finding map pieces, map readers and the ‘golden child of wormlore’.
Platforms: XB1, PS4
Multiplayer: Local and Online up to 4-players
Length: 10-15 hours
The story sounds absolutely ridiculous but it is absolutely fantastic. The narration is performed by The IT Crowd star Katherine Parkinson, following co-star Matt Berry’s footsteps from the previous game. Her Britishness and humour come through in the dialog of a well-written and well-paced storyline. Levels help players get used to the controls and objectives at first, and then change completely from the previous Worms. There are doors and obstacles that are moved by either activating switches or killing enemy worms in a certain area, and puzzles that can require great skill to complete. Another awesome feature is that there are checkpoints in the story mode, meaning if I messed up, I could reset to that point in the game and try a different tactic, which could have been quite frequent.
A standout level to me was where I was a sole worm and had to reach an objective point and eliminate every enemy worm along the way – and there were a lot of them. The twist was that they were all sleeping, and did not attack unless they were injured and awoken from their slumber. This led to me experimenting with creative ways to kill – trying to murder in a single move so that I could remain unharmed and complete the mission successfully.
I was hoping to complete this game before I reviewed it, as it was so much fun and I just couldn’t put my controller down. However, I encountered some glitches and bugs that got in my way. A common one was that an enemy would not complete its move, which required resetting to a previous checkpoint and so losing a fair amount of progress.
An improvement in this new release is that the enemy A.I. seem to be a lot more balanced, and can sometimes make human-like errors by accidentally killing themselves or their teammates. There are also new weapons in this game making a grand total of 65, which is a bit daunting. However, a text box appears when players encounter any weapon the first time displaying its controls. If I missed it or forgot them, the information is always available for all weapons in the options menu.
A great way to use different weapons or learn about the new ones is through the challenge mode, ‘worms ops’, where players have to kill the enemy team with limited resources in the fastest time possible.
I extremely enjoyed this game, and it is definitely the best in the franchise that I have played. The story mode is brilliant, and the new features and weapons improve the game play considerably. With online and offline multiplayer available too, there is plenty of opportunity to play for hours. I was a little disappointed with the bugs that I encountered, but in the end it did not take away from the fun of the game.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.