Worms W.M.D Review
Stinky carpets, farting sheep, and old ladies — not your usual arsenal, but just another day in cartoony turn-based team artillery title Worms W.M.D as Team17 revisit their long-lived franchise.
Firing up Worms W.M.D takes me back to the Good Old Days at my friend’s house, spending hours obliterating each other on his Amiga version of the original Worms. We spent many a day derping around on that game — building girders to hide from homing missiles, blowtorching our way through terrain, and tossing exploding sheep at each other.
Let’s see how the formula holds up twenty years on.
Never played Worms? Gameplay is very simple: two or more teams of worms take turns in moving and attacking each other, assaulting each other with a bonkers array of weaponry in order to eradicate the enemy. In our experience, games usually go something like:
- Player one moves his first worm and gets a decent bazooka shot off at player two’s team
- Player two moves their first worm and fails to do any real damage
- Player one moves their second worm, setting up to do a big combo
- Player two calls in an airstrike and blows up half of player one’s team
- Player one starts inventing interesting new curse words
Worms W.M.D is full of over the top, toon-esque violence and destruction, as if the Acme Corporation from the Roadrunner cartoons had gone into overdrive, building and pushing out the most ludicrous and impractical weapons they could imagine.
Goat on a rope? No problem. Uzi not cool enough? Make it fire lasers instead, as a luzi. Of course, there are the trusty classics as well — if you’d prefer to slide up to an enemy and introduce your baseball bat to their face, sending them flying through the air and probably off to drown in the nearby ocean, that’s fine too.
One of the more unusual new additions to the franchise with Worms W.M.D is crafting — during matches, you’re able to combine parts collected from crate drops or by salvaging unwanted weapons in order to create more powerful, or just more crazy, versions of the existing roster.
If dynamite isn’t good enough for you, you can assemble poisoned dynamite that leaves toxic clouds behind. When you’re frustrated that your exploding sheep can’t get to those hard-to-reach baddies, upgrading it to a super sheep will grant the power of controllable flight. There’s nowhere for them to run now!
Another new feature coming to Worms W.M.D is the introduction of vehicles. Helicopters, tanks, and even mechs can be hopped into and piloted, raining devastation down from the (relative) safety of the armored casing. These are often randomly strewn around, and new ones will occasionally be airdropped onto the playing field; you could be setting up a great kill only to have a chopper arrive beside them, powerless to watch them fly away, raining bullets from above.
There are a lot of different ways to play Worms W.M.D, so if you don’t fancy jumping into an online battle or have someone nearby to play with, you can give the single-player content a try. Besides tutorials for most of the weapons and new additions, you’ll find a full campaign, which is full of preset missions where you’ll have to kill the enemies first; each campaign mission has optional objectives, such as killing worms in particular ways or without using specific tools at all.
Many campaign levels also have wanted posters hidden in their buildings, each of which unlocks their respective challenge level, and these are very difficult indeed — this is essentially a puzzle mode for Worms W.M.D in which you have to figure out how to win despite very odd conditions, such as having no weapon at all. These are very challenging to beat, and can also give you ideas about creating novel techniques and tactics within standard multiplayer battles.
Worms W.M.D also has all of the usual team customisation that we’ve come to expect from the series — choose which hats your worms wear, their voice pack, and even their winning theme song and dances — and adds tons more as unlocks as you play matches and level up. Want to have a team of old grannies doing the gangnam style dance? You got it.
Worms W.M.D is very much classic Worms brought into the modern age, complete with the usual dry humor and witticisms (though as a Brit myself, I don’t know how well some of it translates to non-Brits). If you didn’t like the original, you won’t be swayed by this one, but fans of the classic games will enjoy how well the vehicles and crafting features combine with all of the established weapons and features.