The “Worms” franchise, perpetually developed by Team 17, kind of went off the rails for a bit with their various 3D experiments. Sure, offerings like Worms 3D and others weren’t bad (actually quite good in a different way), but they just didn’t feel like true “Worms” titles due to a lack of 2D design, among other things. To put it bluntly, “Worms Battlegrounds” changes all of that and brings back the classic interface that fans of the series have long been familiar with. However, instead of rehashing older systems they’ve put together a shiny new graphically impressive one. In short, it’s pretty much a high definition take on the classic “Worms” format with all the same charms as its earlier predecessors.
Obviously, the first thing most will take not of is the visuals, which again, are largely based on the same shopworn ideas that helped make the original releases such enormous hits. Your little worms crawl around various hectic-looking maps which themselves are laid over distant backgrounds (which often feature their own animations). This isn’t anything that the dedicated Worms fan hasn’t already encountered of course, but needless to say this is the best-looking title to be released thus far which builds upon the classic look and feel of the first titles released years ago. It is both hilarious and endearing to control each little member of your wormy team as they wriggle across obstacles and impart damage upon the enemy team, audibly blasting out terrible puns all the way.
The fact of the matter is – Worms Battlegrounds looks fantastic on the PS4, and is probably one of the more addictive 2D titles you’ll encounter with incredible replay value. For those who are just encountering Worms for the first time all you need to know is that this is a game that plays out like a turn-based strategy title, where in most modes there are two teams of worms that take turns attacking their opponents. Add to this a mix of crazy weaponry as well as navigation items such as winged monkey’s, teleport guns and of course, the ninja rope and you have a game that’s also heavily steeped in comedy.
While the goal largely remains the same in each session and there are most definitely obvious strategic realities which become more and more apparent the more you play, what keeps it interesting is the overall charm of the design, weapons and the zaniness of its characters. Moreover, aside from your run of the mill weapons which can be used to dispatch one or perhaps two baddies at a time, there is are the mass destruction weapons like the holy hand grenade or the concrete donkey which deal out massive amounts of damage. Once you lose several team members you’ll be forced to develop different strategies, including burrowing deep inside of obstacles in order to try to prevent your opponents from finding you and ending the game, for example.
All in all, Worms Battlegrounds is a wonderful PS4 title which both introduces classic strategy-based gameplay to the mix as well as generous dose of humor. While single player matches against the A.I. are great fun the game really becomes interesting when you’re online in multiplayer mode and taking on friends. Highly recommended…