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Worms W.M.D. is a strategy, turn-based game developed and published by Team 17 Digital Ltd.  The game was released on August 24th, 2016, for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Worms W.M.D is the 22nd game in the main series of Worms games and continues the 2D team elimination style of gameplay.  In the game you take control of a team of worms, using a vast array of weapons and gear in order to eliminate the opposing enemy team of worms.  The game can either be played in single player, against the AI in campaign, challenge or tutorial mode, or in multiplayer, going head to head against other players.

Much like most of the other Worms games, you are placed onto a map with a certain theme, such as London or the future, and you navigate the map in order to eliminate each enemy worm there is.  You can do this in a vast amount of ways, from blowing them up, using the environment, using hazards in the environment, knocking them off the map which drowns them or simply just dealing enough damage to bring their health to zero.  Generally, you only start off with some pretty basic weapons and gear, such as a few different types of guns, grenades, and movement items like the jetpack or ninja rope.  But throughout the game, you can collect crates which can grant new weapons, gear and even health.  Some crates even provide materials, which we will get to a little later on.

What you must realise, however, is that you are just as powerful against your own worms as you are against the enemy, and this can provide quite a hinderance sometimes, but also a boon if you use it the right way.  There are a few ways of defeating the enemy outside of using the ways mentioned earlier, you can actually knock them off using falling enemies, or allies, and even kill them with the death of someone else.  When any worm dies, they explode, leaving behind a tombstone, this explosion can deal damage and provide a little extra assistance in dealing with multiple worms.  There aren’t many new weapons, and what there is that is new you are mostly going to have to craft or pray that you get in a crate, as they are relatively rare, such as the OMG Strike or the Unwanted Present.  In the game, you may either start with or collect materials used for crafting.  These allow you to craft different weapons and gear whenever you wish, even during your enemy’s turn.  Whatever you craft will be ready for you on your next turn for you to use.

This time around, instead of having an extensive list of customisation options for your team of worms, it is relatively limited to start off with.  To gain more, you must level up, these grant such unlockables as different voices in your speech bank or a different fanfare.  Leveling up is pretty easy, you simply need to win, and you could be level 8 by the time you only finish the tutorial levels.  This leads us to assume that there are quite a lot of levels, otherwise, you would reach the max level way too quickly.  There was a pre-order pack which grants extra customisation options and weapons, which is actually varied content from other video games, such as masks from Payday or the dubstep gun from Saints Row IV.  Of course, none of this is available to anyone who did not pre-order the game.

 

There are a few new additions to the game, in the form of vehicles.  Occasionally you will get the option to pilot a helicopter, a tank and even a mech suit.  Each of these has different abilities and grants a huge advantage over the enemy.  The helicopter can fire down on enemies from above with its turret, the tank unleashes a barrage of explosions to devastate an area and the mech allows you to move around quickly and slam enemies, sending them flying.  All vehicles also provide an armour bonus to any worm inside.  What makes it even more interesting and open for everyone, is that if a worm can get to one of these vehicles which is already occupied, they can simply kick out the current occupant and take it for themselves.  This makes it so that one player can’t hog a vehicle and maintain a huge advantage against the other player, or AI, and requires the player controlling the vehicle to not only use its weapons effectively but also make sure it is unavailable for the enemy to steal.

Worms has never looked better, its cartoony graphics have received a serious overhaul and it looks amazing.  There is a lot more detail in the maps, that is before you completely destroy them.  The graphics are sharp and the colours are vibrant, and it just continues that classic Worms feel brilliantly.

Worms W.M.D. has an issue with the mouse, it really does not want you using it.  Sometimes the cursor will disappear entirely, and other times it simply won’t work, or feel like it’s sticky, dragging along out of sync with your mouse movement.  This can make it really difficult when trying to switch from the weapons menu to the crafting menu, and vice versa.  Aside from that, everything can be, and should be done on your keyboard, in order to minimise time spent selecting items, and to limit your own frustration levels of course.

Verdict

Worms W.M.D. is out now on PC, PS4 and Xbox One for (AUD) $40.  Even 22 games in, the Worms series is still going strong, providing great strategy, comedy and cartoony looks.  Aside from the incredibly annoying mouse movements, Worms W.M.D is a worthy successor to the series, and that is why it receives an 8/10 from us.

Worms W.M.D. was reviewed using a PC copy of the game, experiences on other platforms may vary.

Worms W.M.D.

AUD $40
8

Pros

  • Classic Worms feel
  • Fun combat and strategy
  • Funny one-liners and customisation

Cons

  • Awful mouse integration
  • Awesome content limited to pre-orders