General game information
Game name: Worms W.M.D
Release date: 23 Aug, 2016
Price: US$ 29.99
Genre: Turn based strategy
Developer/publisher: Team 17
Worms W.M.D is the latest installment in Team 17‘s long running artillery strategy series about warring annelids. Due to popular demand, the game’s developer decided to go back to the series’ roots and make a true 2d game, though W.M.D still presents many changes over its predecessors.
The basic gameplay mechanics are the same as they’ve been for two decades. Players command a team of worms (which may be customized with different voice packs, gravestones and visual styles) and must defeat an opposing worm force using a wide variety of wacky weapons. The action still flows perfectly from turn to turn, and drowning enemy worms is as satisfying as it was a decade ago.
Worms W.M.D‘s presentation echoes Worms Armageddon, a game which most longtime fans of the franchise still consider as the best. From the detailed 2d art, to the removal of some controversial features such as classes or water physics, everything screams “your childhood favorite is back!” This doesn’t mean that W.M.D doesn’t try a few new things though. Team 17‘s new game introduces several new concepts to the strategy franchise, with varying degrees of success.
Chief among the game’s new toys is the ability to pilot vehicles and man static weapon emplacements. Worms can now get in the driving seat of tanks, mechs and helicopters, adding some interesting dynamics to the battlefield. Taking command of a helicopter and raining fire from above as the enemy team sits in an oil barrel filled zone never gets old. The static guns also offer new strategic options, as players have to choose between mobility and firepower, and the mounted weapons platforms can be destroyed, dealing damage to their operators when that happens.
The second game-changing addition is the crafting system. Worms can now collect resources (or dismantle old weapons to obtain the bits that make them work) and craft new weaponry, making an already unpredictable game even more chaotic. Enterprising players will rapidly learn that they can actually use the enemy’s turn to craft new gear, a welcome distraction when the opposing commander is laying waste to your troops.
Players can now make use of buildings to shelter themselves from enemy bombardment or prying eyes. Sadly, the execution isn’t as polished as one would desire, and sometimes it’s hard to tell which part of the environment is a building, and which is just part of the map’s decoration (a problem that was already present in Worms: Clan Wars, although that game didn’t feature buildings in the same way as W.M.D)
Worm customization, a hallmark of the series, has been given an incredible amount of detail. There is a leveling system that gradually unlocks more hats, gravestones, voice packs and music, making players feel as if there’s always something new to try out.
The game’s content is as plentiful as the customization options, with a generous amount of singleplayer missions and challenges, and an extensive multiplayer suite. Worms W.M.D also features Steam Workshop support, letting players download new maps created by other gamers with the included level editor.
Worms W.M.D is a successful reimagining of the long running artillery strategy series, mixing Armageddon‘s colorful visuals and tight gameplay with some welcome additions. Team 17 has created a new classic, easily recommended for both newcomers and longtime fans of the franchise.
8.5/10 – Great.