Most gamers know Team17 as the creator of the highly popular Worms series. Over the twenty-one years of its existence, about thirty projects have been released. The franchise has survived experimentation with gameplay, been in 3D and returned to its roots, but the best part of it, according to most, remains 1999’s Worms: Armageddon. The new Worms W.M.D is another attempt to bring something fresh to the old worm mechanics. Let’s try to figure out what happened.
Everything is the same?
From the first launch, it becomes clear that the developers continue to exploit the old, but reliable concept of Armageddon. It seems that even the arsenal since 1999 has changed only externally. The same applies to the gameplay – turn-based tactical battles of armed worms on absurd landscapes that do not obey the laws of physics. Each move lasts several tens of seconds. During this time, you must destroy as many enemies as possible, do not suffer yourself and do not harm other team members with your actions.
The developers tightened up the detailing of the backdrops, redrawn the animation of the worms, slightly improved the sound range, updated the special effects and added support for DirectX 11. But the content did not change much: ten training missions for a while, thirty in the campaign and about a dozen tests.
The traditional team customization system has not gone away either. Added new sounds, hats, coffins and other little things familiar from the previous parts, which open as you level up. Yes, yes, now the player is gradually gaining experience, opening up new and new opportunities. Even worms try to be “in trend”.
Team17 also decided on an interesting experiment this time.
The main feature of W.M.D. is combat vehicles. At first glance, this idea seems as ridiculous as the attempt to divide worms into classes (hello, Worms: Revolution!). In reality, everything is different: the technique appears on the map randomly, and its competent use gives its advantages both at the beginning of the round and during the battle.
The fleet of vehicles is not that big – several vehicles with their own tactical advantages: a tank is able to make a series of powerful shots, a helicopter can soar into the sky and make a “lead rain”, a robot can carry out a crushing blow to the ground, and also glide through the air on jet engines.
Vehicles have destructive power, and even one volley can not only drastically change the landscape, but also have a great effect on the balance of power, especially if there are mines or barrels nearby. Despite the high firepower, the safety margin of the guns is small. As a rule, two well-aimed shots from a bazooka are enough to destroy the unit and its driver, and at the same time pat the nearby territory.
Manned turrets have been added as a counterweight to vehicles and can also be found on the map. They are not mobile, but have the same offensive potential. If you use them wisely, you can destroy up to half of the enemy team. Types of turrets: sniper rifle, machine gun and grenade launcher.
To maintain balance, the developers have added a system of shelters that can protect your or enemy wards from fire. They can be destroyed, but it will take a lot of moves. The shelters themselves are so skillfully inscribed in the architecture of the level that it is quite difficult to find them, at least at first.
The tactical depth is also added by the fact that the internal architecture of the shelter is visible only to those who managed to climb into it. A dilemma arises before the enemy: either bring your ward there, or attack at random. And the one who sits in ambush, and the one who besieges the building, huge tactical prospects open up. For example, you can shoot enemy worms that have looked into the lair one at a time, or you can mine all the entrances and exits so that the shelter becomes a crypt for the enemy.
The authors have expanded the usual arsenal due to the crafting system, which is unusual for the series. Now all familiar weapons have several varieties. To assemble each new variation, resources are needed, which are in boxes and chests dropped onto the map. It has become more difficult to predict the next move of the enemy and what weapon he will use at any given moment.
In general, it is felt that all of these innovations are aimed at increasing the depth of the tactical component and the scale for maneuvers. Additives do a damn good job of their task and not only bring the desired variety to the game, but also color the usual gameplay with even more signature madness.
Were the worms taller and the bazookas greener?
All of the above applies exclusively to multiplayer. Of course, there is a single player mode here, but it acts more as a tutorial designed to familiarize you with the basic mechanics of the game. The only exception is tests that test your ingenuity rather than skill.
As for the multiplayer itself, it is exactly what it should be: hardcore, unpredictable and dynamic. Yes, there are ranked and unranked modes here, but what’s the difference if matchmaking is more for show: you can be thrown into both a green beginner and a fierce professional and a bazooka master.
The only thing that affects the rating score is the level of your pride in yourself. Perhaps this approach will scare off newcomers, but without this there is no concept of Worms. As for the “wolfdogs” from the nineties, they will feel great, shedding tears of nostalgia.
In addition to multiplayer, the game has the ability to organize the good old “hot-seat” or choose AI as an opponent. But in any case, you can really improve your own skills only in the game against the pros. Yes, and the developers did their best, providing newcomers with a changing arsenal, which can even make a dangerous enemy out of a green recruit.
As a result, whatever you say, it is the multiplayer that brings the game to a previously unattainable level, where Worms: Armageddon deservedly entrenched long ago.