Worms of Mass Destructiveness!
Biiiig thanks to Team 17 for the review code for this one, you own!
I love Team 17. I always have, way back in the good old days with various games like Alien Breed, Lemmings, and Worms. Worms is back in a big way, and as the game series turns 21, Worms: Weapons of Mass Destruction is finally out there. I've been playing this one for a few weeks now, and I can tell you, Worms are back with a BANG.
WMD goes back to what made Worms a lot of fun in the first place. Madcap tiny artillery action across randomly generated, fun maps, with a host of irreverent and quirky Worms to play with. It brings back the gloriously awesome Ninja Rope, and some of the great physics of the old games, shines it up, polishes it, and delivers a superb experience that's the best Worms game yet.
There's a plethora of customisation options, with more unlocked as you play through the game. There's randomly generated SEED maps, and a rack of Worms customisation that lets you create your dream team, or teams. Hats too, because everyone likes hats right? I know my worms do. Hats, fanfares, gravestones, and so on - all of it can be tailored to give your custom team that perfect touch.
There's also a giant raft of play customisation options too, everything can be tailored to your favourite style. More Ninja Ropes, less, none, everything that can be picked up can be set to various amounts, the same with mines, barrels, and level details. You get the idea, there's a lot!
It plays like the Worms of old, right down to the awesome moments when a whole team of worms can be decimated by one well placed (lucky) Holy Hand Grenade! 'INCOMING!' - These moments are when WMD is at its best, and any Worms game really. The satisfaction of lobbing that explosive in a perfect arc, to have it land at the feet of a worm, and then set off a chain reaction of mines, barrels, and other explosive elements that rips the ground apart and flings the team in every direction. Only for them to land on more things that go boom, or end up in the drink.
What's New, Boggy!
Worms is back to 2D, hand-drawn, gorgeous, hand-animated, glorious 2D. I love this old style of Worms myself, never really got on with the 3d versions and you can see where Team 17 has really gone to town with WMD. It's packed with quirky, fun, and fantastic animations, bringing these worms to life (and death) in a variety of great ways. When you combine this with the great audio, funny voice lines, and slick art style you get a game that's as much art (like a crazy art installation that can blow you up) as it is a game, but not in an artsy, up its own backside kind of way.
It's a joy to play, and to watch.
A spectacle game.
What a spectacle too, because there's not just 2d maps any longer with static details. You can now enter buildings, and the whole map cuts away to reveal the interior where you are. There's mounted weapons on many of the maps, these can be used. From sniper rifles, to machine guns, mortars, rocket launchers, and more.
Things just got Wormy serious!
These new emplacements change the battlefield in more ways than one, providing a destructive edge to the team that's capable of taking one for the round. These emplaced weapons can be destroyed, and when they go boom, they often do a considerable amount of damage to the worm using them.
Then you have crafting, from bits you find on the level. You can craft on your opponents turn, setting up for a bunch of new weapons to hit them with. Don't have any airstrikes left, but hey, you might have the components needed for one or two. So craft those suckers and let the worms have it!
Don't panic though Mr. Wormering! There's the old weapons as well as the new ones, classics such as the Fire Punch, Shotgun, and Uzi return.
Guns, bombs, exploding old ladies not enough for you?
How about vehicles. WMD brings a new class of weapon in, one that you can pilot. Get to the Choppa! Literally, get into that chopper and for your turn you can rain lead onto your wormy foes down below. It's a bit tricky to control at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's a pretty vicious game changer. Or perhaps the tank, what about a mech?
Only one rule: BLOW SOMETHING SKY HIGH!
Be warned though, worms can (and will) kick you out of that vehicle if they can get to it. Use it against you when they get their go.
There's even more, but I don't want to spoil any of that. WMD has the best roster of weapons yet, and the addition of the buildings, vehicles, and emplacements makes the game even more fun (and destructive).
There's a tutorial, single player campaign, and bonus maps/challenges to dive into. Simply put, there's a Negasonic Teenage Wormhead plethora of stuff to keep you occupied.
These changes come along the removal of water physics, and some other elements that were in previous games - resetting Worms to the way it used to be when it was frankly awesome, and working well with the new additions. Revised controls, and better GUI all combines to make this the Worms game that's definitely a must have for the serious Worms player/fan, and the perfect place to leap in for new players.
Playing with Others?
There are leaderboards, ranked matches online, and all those fun things that the adversarial players will adore. Those who love to brag will find new ways to get their Worms Brag On here. There's Hot Seat play for folks who love to play around a big TV (or small one). There's cooperative play if you want to team up vs. Some A.I. worms, and all those kinds of play with friends options you might expect.
Everyone has been catered for.
The long, and short of it!
Worms: WMD is Worms as it should be, fast, fun, diabolically evil (AI matches are great) and loads of fun on your own. It really comes alive when you play with friends, with, or against the A.I. The new weapons, vehicles, buildings, and emplacements change the game fundamentally and for the better. It's huge fun, and launching an ambush from inside a building with a rocket launcher, or exploding sheep never gets old.
WMD going back to hand-drawn, hand-animated 2D graphics means that the game looks and plays really well. It's a solid frame-rate throughout and the levels of detail on everything is just gorgeous. The worms have huge amounts of character, reacting to the slightest danger with comical levels of fear.
It's what Worms has been, and always should be.
I'm reminded of the times I've had with the old PC game Scorch (or Scorched Earth), and the fun I had just blowing up little tanks. Only this time, it's little worms again.
Welcome back Worms, you've been missed!