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Worms W.M.D.

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Action
Publisher: Team 17
Release Date: Aug. 23, 2016


PS4/XOne/PC Preview - 'Worms WMD'

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on July 7, 2016 @ 12:30 a.m. PDT

Worms W.M.D. features a fresh, brand new look 2D cartoon-inspired worm as well as gorgeous hand drawn landscapes.

In a typical Worms game, players are given control of a team of small cartoon worms that are armed with weaponry that ranges from bazookas to orbital satellites. Every worm takes turns moving around and firing, and the goal is to destroy other worms. It sounds simple, but the gameplay holds a lot of little twists. The environment is completely destructible, so you can blow up the ground beneath the enemy to send them tumbling to a watery death in the ocean. It also means you can use your weapons to dig a cave, so you can hide while an enemy bombards you with deadly missiles. Some weapons are entirely about mobility, including teleporters and jetpacks, which allow you to zoom around the map to more advantageous positions. Worms: WMD doesn't change the premise much, but it looks to add some new twists to the classic gameplay.

We checked out Worms WMD at E3 2016, and the biggest new feature is crafting. You collect crafting materials, which you can use to upgrade your weapons. An explosive sheep can be upgraded to become a barbequed explosive sheep that leaves trails of deadly fire behind it. Every weapon has at least one upgrade, and many have two. This also applies to traversal abilities. The ninja rope, which is making a welcome reappearance, can be upgraded to a pro ninja rope that is tougher to use but has unlimited swings or a beginner rope that is easier to use. You need to spend a turn to craft, but if you plan ahead, you can begin crafting during the enemy turn. You can't simply decide that you need an infinite use ninja rope during your turn.

The other major twist is the inclusion of vehicles and stationary guns, which are semi-randomly distributed around the stage and can include tanks, helicopters and mounted guns. They are extremely powerful. A tank can fire six explosive shots that do tons of damage and tear through terrain. Helicopters can fly around and rain death from above. Mounted guns come in various flavors, including sniper rifles and machine guns. The key is that the items force the battle into certain locations, much like item drops. If a tank is on the field, you need to control it, or the enemy will. It's an interesting twist since it forces battles into closer quarters. You also can take advantage of an enemy's mad rush for a tank to drop a giant concrete donkey on them. This is, after all, a Worms game. One thing that helps counter the new vehicles are buildings, which are just as vulnerable to being blown up as anything else, but they offer protection from the outside. As long as you're inside, the enemy can't see you — unless they're also inside.

Worms WMD is one of the biggest Worms games to date. Up to six players can bring up to eight customized worms onto the battlefield for gigantic area-destroying battles. Those who don't want to play multiplayer can also take on Training missions that show how to use the various weapons and Challenge missions that give you a worm or worms in difficult situations and ask you to figure out a way to get them out. The Challenge missions also have optional objectives that you can complete for even more points. Worms WMD is a multiplayer game first and foremost, but it looks like it has a ton of content for single players, too. It's also the best-looking version of Worms to date, with each worm redrawn as a hand-crafted 2-D sprite, giving them a far more charming appearance than the canned look of the previous titles.

Worms WMD is Worms with more guns, more explosives and more ridiculous traps, and that's all many people will need to hear. We got a fair bit of hands-on time with the game, and it felt like Worms through and through. Fans of the older games should find a lot to love here (ninja rope!), and the comprehensive tutorial and challenges offer newcomers a way to understand the surprising complexity of the Worms franchise. Worms: WMD will be coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC later this year.

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