Worms and I go way back, battling my friends after school for bragging rights, passing the controller reluctantly to the next person, whilst competitive, it was great fun.
Sticking a bazooka shell in the face of your opponent and watching them fly off the screen never got old, publishers and developers Team 17 certainly knew how to make the perfect party game. Now though, on our sparkly PlayStation 4’s and Xbox One’s. We have the newest entry in the Worms’ franchise, Worms Battlegrounds, which is a port of Worms: Clan Wars released on PC last year. It brings with it all of the wild and wacky weaponry the franchise is known and loved for , all of the light-hearted charm and the traditional gameplay worms fans has come to know and love.
Believe it or not, Battlegrounds has a story mode consisting of a team of Worms tasked with stealing artefacts from different museums with the ultimate goal of obtaining the Stone Carrot, a rare artefact. Your team is given these missions by Tara Pinkle, member of the Historical Society who specialise in stealing such artefacts. Each mission is nothing more than a standard Worms match with a certain goal to achieve such as getting to a specific point or collecting something or taking out the enemy Worm army. It’s a nice change from standard matches which require the obliteration of the entire enemy team or teams. Having that goal gives you something to work for a completion of the mission means it’s onto the next. The cheery Tara Pinkle, voiced by Katherine Parkinson, is as cheesy as expected in a game containing Worms armies but she does get quite annoying fast.
The traditional gameplay is here, teams take turns in making moves to either attack or get to a vantage point or hide from incoming attacks and the single player missions vary enough to prevent it feeling like its same old. Using traditional weapons like the exploding sheep or the dynamite or Uzi or super weapons like the Bovine Blitz, it’s up to you how you take on the enemy. The old trial and error mechanics remain meaning you will be taking a lot of risks as it’s fairly easy to end up hurting yourself. Saying that, the enemy AI leaves a lot to be desired as they are constantly pulling off some dumb manoeuvres ending up killing themselves a lot more than hurting you enough to worry. Water plays an interesting role now as you’re able to use it to your advantage although the deadly sea of doom located at the bottom of the screen still remains. The water within the stages affects how you can fire weapons and how you move around as well as the wind which also needs taking into account.
Aside from the 25 story missions, there are 10 Spec Ops missions which are nothing more than training missions requiring the use of a certain piece of weaponry. These introduce the weapons nicely and once the story is completed, it’s great to move onto these for a bit of a change of scenery. Clan Wars still exist with it being called Battlegrounds containing clan on clan action but the star of the show is local and online multiplayer. Local still requires the hilarity of passing the controller around and online is a blast too with lag free gameplay with one of two available match types to choose. Team Death match and Forts which is like TDM but players now have a base to protect. Customising your team of Worms is also great fun accessorising them with headbands, glasses, face paint and more and the graphics of the Worms are satisfyingly quirky and the stages are brilliantly designed too with lots of nooks and crannies to either hide in or blow up.
Worms: Battlegrounds is a fantastic return of the franchise and a brilliant introduction to the next generation. Blowing up the other team feels and looks as great as ever with mission variety keeping things interesting. Local and online multiplayer still is as exhilarating as ever. Team 17’s best Worms title yet which looks awesome on next gen consoles, a must own.
Story - 4/5
Graphics - 5/5
Gameplay - 5/5
Overall - 5/5
Version reviewed - PlayStation 4