Worms Battlegrounds Xbox One Review
There's a worm at the bottom of the garden...
1SRP: £34.99Worms is still Worms. There’s no two ways about, the game still boils down to the same formula that it did back on the PS1. But whilst the cynic in all of us cannot ignore this fact, this is by no means a bad thing as this blueprint (no matter how old it may be) is still as enjoyable as it was back then. With a graphical boost and a crate full of new weapons and additions, this game is possibly the most complete outing the series has seen to date.
Worms tapped into the 2D warfare genre way back when I was a nipper and there was nothing better than setting up a local league and battling it out for dominance. That was before online gaming was even a thing or before you got wailing Americans screaming in your ear constantly during each game. Since then, Worms has struggled to find its feet given that it has little to offer in comparison to more modern multiplayer titles out there. With an absence from consoles for a few years now, that's seen a greater focus on the mobile market, Worms returns with a bang on PS4 and Xbox One.
Graphically, Worms has received a massive overhaul. Gone is the previously favoured hand-drawn art style and in comes a more animated appearance to bring it more in line with that of arcade titles we have become used to recently. The levels have been expanded and dwarf those we have previously seen in other Worms releases too. Whilst the design is much the same in terms of being 2D and having multiple pathways and layers, they are now filled with interactive elements.
Worms has struggled to find its feet recently
The most interaction seen in Worms previously came from explosive weapon crates and barrels, with giant divots being left behind from explosions. Now, there are water-filled balloons which run all over the level until they can escape. Similarly, gas balloons can be exploded to swamp your foes in a cloud of noxious fumes. Traps are also scattered throughout the campaign, meaning no worm is safe no matter where they are.
From a level design perspective, the game evokes LittleBigPlanet’s greatest achievements, with greater attention to detail than ever seen before. It’s not a massive game changer but it’s a noticeable difference that makes it stand out from the rest. This and the new campaign mode, which now features an actual shot at a story, show that Team 17 have made an attempt to revamp the series rather than merely pump out a duplicate.
Class warfareWhilst the story isn’t a riveting one, it adds a nice twist to your campaign and tries to make the game something other than killing drones of worms for no real reason. But when all is said and done, that is what the game feels like the whole way through, and thus it's probably better if you negate the story and mindlessly go about your maniacal business.
The actual worms themselves have been the subject of an overhaul too, with classes of worms playing an important factor in your success now. There are Scientist worms which heal nearby teammates by five points each turn, Soldier worms are your standard breed, with Heavies taking more damage and Scouts moving and jumping greater distances. These classes bring another tactical edge to nervy games where sending a Heavy in to take a beating rather than a measly Scientist can make the difference between success and failure.
Better with friendsThe campaign mode sees you travel through different locations and environments which keeps things varied and helps bring different aspects of gameplay to each string of missions. You also start with a minimal amount of weapons, leaving it up to you to collect more on your way until you become a full-scale war machine. Customisation plays a big part in making your squad your own again, as it has done in the past, with a ton of charming items to dress your worms in, with witty voices to boot.
When you’re through with the single player missions however there are online modes to try your hand at which is probably the mainstay of the whole package. It’s nice to relax and have a few causal games against the AI when you need a quick gaming fix, but competing against another person is far more satisfying. Human opponents will challenge your tactics and ability much more the AI, which varies in quality from being highly accurate to highly stupid.
- Still a great formula
- Improved levels
- Hefty campaign
- Few new features
- Might not be worth the price
Worms Battlegrounds Xbox One ReviewWorms Battlegrounds doesn't strain your new hardware, nor does it feel drastically new. But what it does offer is a great package of mindless and uncomplicated fun. The problem here however is that you can get Worms in various forms on mobile and tablet devices for a significantly smaller fee and you won't be missing out on much by going down that route.
Whether or not you see Battlegrounds on a next gen machine as worthwhile or not will entirely depend on your attachment to the series, and if you simply can't live without your Worms fix on your new console. If you can justify the purchase, it will see you through until the bigger and better games finally release later in the year; just don't expect anything else from it.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £34.99
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