Worms: Battlegrounds Review

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"Battlegrounds’ solo campaign is the best way for players who haven’t played a Worms title since the late 90’s to acquaint themselves with new classes, weapons, and utilities."

Worms: Battlegrounds introduces the classic turn-based tactical gameplay into the latest generation of consoles, bringing with it several features from the most recent entries in the series, while honoring the tight gameplay and humor that the series is known for. Playing Battlegrounds’ solo campaign is the best way for players who haven’t played a Worms title since the late 90’s to acquaint themselves with new classes, weapons, and utilities. For newcomers to the franchise, the tutorials are essential, offering players all the guidance they need to have them hopping, back flipping, and ninja roping all over the map.

Battlegrounds also offers a cohesive storyline, and while it falls far short of a cinematic experience, the narrator’s dry humor—delivered with perfect nonchalance by the IT Crowd’s Katherine Parkinson—fits in line perfectly with the absurd nature of a game about homicidal invertebrates.  As Crypt Creeper Tara Pinkle (think Lara Croft meets Sterling Archer), Parkinson’s presence is a welcome addition to the solo campaign, and is the best reason for series veterans to slog through some of the early tutorial missions.

Unfortunately, much of the solo content of Worms is marred by bizarre AI, another unfortunate series trademark. Computer controlled opponents are capable of launching a grenade halfway across the map through a pinhole opening in the terrain on one turn, then completely waste a turn on the next. The real draw of Battlegrounds, as in any Worms title, is the multiplayer, and here Battleground offers plenty for players to enjoy both in online matches and local play. Customizing your own team is as much of a joy as it has ever been, and players who dig through the over 200 pieces of decorative items will find something to make their team stand out. Worms: Battlegrounds also offers plenty of voiceover options, all of which are capable of leaving a player in stitches.


"The different classes of worms (soldier, scout, heavy, and scientist) offer some variation to your troops’ capabilities, but play nearly identical overall."

Mulltiplayer matches are the real highlight of the experience. Sending an enemy skipping over a lake with a baseball bat, building an elaborate system of tunnels with a blowtorch, or having a bazooka shell make a difficult turn in the wind is always satisfying, but only more so when you know it’s a friend holding the other controller. Battlegrounds’ clan options also allow to players to play Worms on the same team, which raises the stakes on ranked online battles.

The different classes of worms (soldier, scout, heavy, and scientist) offer some variation to your troops’ capabilities, but play nearly identical overall. The heavy might move a little slower and have a little more health than the other troops, but neither of these characteristics will have you playing him in any other manner than a standard worm. An exception to this would be the scout, who can cover more ground per turn against the ticking clock, and can use the Blowtorch to escape from larger worms who cannot follow his path. Again, it is not a great difference, but it does offer players something else to think about as the game progresses.


"Overall though, Worms Battlegrounds is a very solid addition to Team 17s venerable franchise."

The graphics in Worms: Battlegrounds are presented in 2.5D, meaning all of the action takes place on a two-dimensional plane, but objects are rendered in three.  The added depth can be distracting, particularly when you add in different types of terrain and moving doodads to the maps. Occasionally, it is possible to lose track of the landscape in the action, which can be very frustrating after lining up a perfect shot only to have it blocked by an object that appeared to be in the background, or lining up your worm on a ledge only to have it slip off of the cliff to its death. These kind of moments have always been a part of the series, but seem more prominent now than they ever did in the past. Overall though, Worms Battlegrounds is a very solid addition to Team 17s venerable franchise. Hurling a Holy Hand Grenade into a swarm of opponents brings about the same joy it did almost twenty years ago, even if the experience is bogged down by buggy AI and a busy graphical presentation.

Review by: Nick Walge | Reviewed on: Playstation 4

7.5

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