The classic artillery strategy game is a subgenre that has had some good titles, like the online game Gunbound that came up during the mid-2000′s. However, Worms is the quintessential artillery game that remained loyal to its own formula, despite visual changes and additional mechanics to update it. Many say that it’s basically the same game, but few can refute its qualities in multiplayer. But then again, it’s pretty fun in singleplayer as well, and this new one is pretty much the same in that regard.
Worms: Battlegrounds is a turn-based tactics game by British developer Team 17, who had been working on the Worms franchise since 1995. This particular game is a lot similar to Worms Revolution, which came out almost two years ago. There was also Woms: Clan Wars just last year for the PC, and this game is somewhat like an enhanced version of it. While it can be said that they’ve been releasing essentially the same game for years now, it’s little thing they’ve been adding to the classic Worms formula that help them update it for younger gamers.
The difference with this Worms game though is that it has been released for the PS4 and Xbox One, which technically makes it a “next-gen game”. As far as looks go, it’s not really all that amazing since it’s a Worms game, so it retains most of the cartoonish 3D look that the more recent games have had, but it still looks sharp enough to belong. But despite the high-def trappings, most of its foundations is still intact, with the turn-based shooting-at-other-worms gameplay still the core of the experience. It also still has the same humor that gave past Worms games their distinct flavor, so it should still look and feel the same way.
There is a singleplayer campaign to start things off, especially for those who have never played a Worms game before. The series hasn’t been much for storylines, but they did try adding more of a narrative in Worms: Clan Wars. For one thing, they got Katherine Parkinson of The IT Crowd fame to voice the intro, which did add a bit of a cinematic quality to it. You are put up against the evil Lord Crowley Mesmer, who had stolen the Stone Carrot that had created the world of Worms. With his own hypnotized Worms army by his side, he has locked himself in a museum, and you must take the Carrot back with the help of the narrator.
It’s not much of a storyline, but it does add a bit more motivation to the campaign, which used to be just a series of missions with no rhyme or reason, which made them feel just like any other skirmish. Other than that, it’s still the same bells and whistles through 25 short levels, as well as 10 spec ops missions that you may learn a thing or two from. You get to learn how to make use of the different character classes that had been one of the most significant additions to the classic Worms formula in recent years, with each class having their own strengths and special capabilities.
But the real meat is in the multiplayer, wherein you can go up against either a friend or two or against online adversaries. You can create or join clans and level them up to compete against other players all around the world, bringing Worms to a whole new level of play. You’ll still have to contend mostly with the controls, which does take some getting used to for those who have not played a Worms game through pad controller yet.
Many would suggest that this game isn’t what you should be playing a next-gen console for, but it’s a solid game in its own right, so it’s not like it does bad for itself at all. If a “next-gen” console is to be the next big thing in gaming, then it has to prove that it can play all types of games for different kinds of audiences, including something like this.
Tested in PS4. Final Score: 7/10