Platform: PS4, Xbox One
Release Date: June 3, 2014
ESRB: E 10+
Worms might just be one of the most ridiculous video game series out there. It“s a 2D turn-based war game where little pink worms go to battle! In any case, fans have been eating it up since the first Worms launched in 1995. Worms Battlegrounds is the first time players can experience Worms action on a PS4 and Xbox One, just in time for the series“ 20th anniversary. But how does it really stack up?
Worms Battlegrounds is effectively much the same Worms that you may have played on consoles in the past. The experience still sticks you on a 2D landscape in control of worms. Your worms on the field must destroy all enemies with a variety of weapons, ranging from grenade launchers to ridiculous UFOs. The strange humor has always been around and has definitely been amped up thanks to Katherine Parkinson voicing narrator Tara Pinkle. The character of Tara is devious as all get out, but also a ton of fun to listen to.
In any case, the Worms formula is mostly unchanged aside from the minimal tweaks that have come from more modern versions. For example, water physics that were introduced before have stuck around and actually been improved. The smart addition of distinct classes of worms (scientist, heavy, etc.) have also stuck around. However, this appears to be the case because Worms Battlegrounds is basically a port of Worms Clan Wars. For reference, Worms Clan Wars was a PC exclusive and this game is console exclusive.
The game“s status as practically a port probably explains why nothing about the experience feels â€œnext gen.â€ To be fair, the Worms formula has long since grown stale for many, but at least the visuals and physics could be upgraded in substantial ways. Neither has occurred here. Graphics are colorful and perfectly Worms-like but nothing stands out as only being possible on a modern console. Team17 did introduce a few PS4-exclusive features but they are more likely to cause annoyance than anything else. When your worms talk, their voices come out of the DualShock 4“s speaker. There appears to be no way to turn this off. You can also use the touch functionality to select things but it“s not nearly as convenient as an actual mouse cursor would be.
For those who missed out on Worms Clan Wars or simply haven“t played Worms in a while, Worms Battlegrounds is not a bad starting point. It offers players the choice to play a single player campaign or engage in local and online multiplayer modes. Single player has never been the series“ hallmark but it works well enough. 25 stages paired with Tara“s ridiculous dialogue make for a fun few hours. It“s just a shame that NPC worms take time to â€œthinkâ€ so often. Yes, this emulates a real player experience, but poorly. It also doesn“t help when the NPCs shift from completely horrendous players to 100% accurate beasts.
Online or local multiplayer are where Worms has always shined. So far, this again looks like the best way to play Worms Battlegrounds as well. The only negative of online mode so far is that you might not be able to get into a match quickly. Considering the game“s downloadable cost is $25 this isn“t entirely surprising. If possible, definitely opt to play local matches where the only thing you have to fear is turning friends into enemies!
So, Worms Battlegrounds is yet another Worms but who really expected anything else? Trying to venture into new territory has never really fared well for the series so maybe it“s for the best. Those who already have a few Worms games on their shelf simply don“t need to buy this one. New players will find Worms Battlegrounds mostly competent as long as they don“t spend all their time in single player.
+ Incites fun and intense multiplayer matches
+ Great variety of weaponry to use per stage
+ Wonderful narration by Katherine Parkinson
- The same old Worms formula will feel repetitive to some
- Single player NPCs fluctuate from ridiculously unskilled to amazing and takes too long to move
- I don“t want to hear worm voices coming from my controller!
Overall Score: 7 (out of 10)
Definitely grab Worms Battlegrounds if you love the series and have buddies to play with. If not, feel free to stick with one of the existing older titles.