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Worms W.M.D. Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . After two decades filled with one disappointing sequel after another, I had all but lost hope that Worms would return to its roots. But this brand new installment has slapped me across the face and left a reminder that you can't count a good franchise out. Worms W.M.D. feels like the Armageddon sequel we've been waiting 17 years to play. It builds on the formula in clever ways that help make this Worms game just that much deeper. This is a return to form for Team 17. Rating: 85%
Worms W.M.D.
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Like a lot of old school Radiohead fans, I've had a complicated relationship with the last twenty years of their career. For as much as I loved to see them grow and expand their sound, part of me just wanted them to go back to making the types of rock songs found on The Bends and OK Computer.

This all too common phenomenon is not exclusive to musicians, as I've long wished the Worms series would ditch all of the new gimmicks and get back to basics. Much like Radiohead, Team 17's popular Worms franchise seemingly peeked in the late 1990s, leading to a number of inconsistent follow-ups I had a hard time falling in love with. I've hated most of the additions made throughout the years, from the terrible 3D camera perspective to the inclusion of realistic water physics. Instead of changing the gameplay in new and exciting ways, every alteration only made things worse.


I went into Worms W.M.D. with this mindset, fearing yet another gimmicky installment that fails to live up to the heyday of Worms Armageddon. But I'm happy to say that I was wrong, this is not just another Worms game. By going back to the basics, Team 17 has created the Worms refresh fans have been waiting nearly two decades for.

In some ways, Worms W.M.D. is like any other game in the franchise. The object is to take a team of elongated soft-bodied invertebrate animals into a turn-based battle to the death. Each side has a wild collection of high-powered guns, bazookas, homing missiles and more. Whoever is the last worm standing takes the victory for their team and lives to see another battle.

This brand new iteration picks up right where Armageddon left off, giving players an absolutely massive arsenal of weapons, beautifully rendered 2D levels and all the customization options they could possibly want. It also feels just like the classic Worms games, something a lot of the newer versions had a problem recreating. Team 17 has read the negative reviews and knows what fans want, and they've created what may be the definitive Worms experience.

Instead of loading the game up with a bunch of gimmicks nobody wants, Worms W.M.D. builds on the foundation with a lot of genuinely good ideas and clever addition. The game now includes interiors for skyscrapers, pyramids and other buildings. This not only allows our little worms to hide from air strikes, but the interiors are often filled with new weapons and boxes full of spare parts.

Worms W.M.D. (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

In a wrinkle that could have very easily sent this project spiraling out of control, Team 17 also introduces crafting to the Worms series. I wasn't sold on this idea at first, but I quickly discovered that crafting it not only easy, but it actually gives players more control over the weapons they use. You'll not only be able to create a standard stick of dynamite and old lady, but mix things up with an extra-powered poison dynamite and an agile old lady who has been staying extra active in that retirement home. This opens up the arsenal in major ways, giving us the most weapons (both serious and goofy) ever assembled for a Worms game. And best of all, crafting is something you can do between rounds as the other teams take their turns, finally giving idle players something to do.

Beyond the weapons and interiors, Worms W.M.D. also introduces a bunch of new vehicles, including a mech suit, helicopter and tank. Given the war setting, these heavily-armored vehicles make a lot of sense and fit in perfectly. Best of all, they aren't overpowered. I never felt like a match hinged on who was closer to the tank, and it usually makes more sense to ninja rope your way across the randomly generated stage. The same goes for the various gun turrets. They make sense in the context of the game, but it probably isn't worth camping at one.

The good news is that you're never forced to play with the new enhancements. You can turn almost all of this off to mimic the types of classic matches you would have seen in Armageddon. In fact, you can go through and adjust the rules and weapons in all kinds of interesting ways, perfectly crafting any kind of Worms experience you could possibly want. But don't dismiss the new stuff outright, because creating new weapons and flying around in a helicopter is legitimately awesome.

Worms W.M.D. (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

Although the game is best played with friends (either online or off), Worms W.M.D. offers solo players a staggering amount of content. Between the standard campaign and challenge levels, there are nearly 50 stages to fight through, each with multiple side objectives. This is how you'll level up your team and unlock new clothes, accessories and tombstones. There's a lot to earn in this game, and collectors with a lot of time on their hands will get a kick out of the jokes and nods to classic games in the series.

Of course, the real fun is playing with a big group of people. Worms is the ultimate party game, giving players plenty opportunities to cheer on big plays, strategize with friends and come from behind in epic fashion. It's also one of those games where you can get up and refresh a drink while everybody else takes their turn. Worms W.M.D. knows its audience and gives players all the tools they could possibly hope for to create the Worms experience they want to have.

After two decades filled with one disappointing sequel after another, I had all but lost hope that Worms would return to its roots. But this brand new installment has slapped me across the face and left a reminder that you can't count a good franchise out. Worms W.M.D. feels like the Armageddon sequel we've been waiting 17 years to play. It builds on the formula in clever ways that help make this Worms game just that much deeper. This is a return to form for Team 17.
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