Another new platform, another Worms game. It goes without saying that in the past generation there has been a revival of the franchise. Worms Revolution really was, for lack of a better term, a revolution – thanks to the introduction of water weapons. Based off last year’s Worms Clan Wars, the next-gen consoles get an enhanced port dubbed Worms Battlegrounds. Multiplayer is just as fun as ever, with the new weapons making quite the impact.
It should be said that while the game doesn’t look drastically different to Worms Revolution, it does run smoothly at 60fps. New map skins adopt timelines such as Prehistoric and Viking designs, which considering the main plot is about stopping someone called Mesmer who has hypnotised worms in a museum, is appropriate. There’s a huge amount of customisation options, with an expanded and downright hilarious Soundbank. Particular highlights include the Cheese, Wildlife, and W-Factor voices.
The Full Wormage
A new Worms game means new weapons and gadgets. Unassuming ones such as the Equaliser or Oxygen masks provide great tactical advantages, such as syphoning health from a healthy worm to a weakened one or breathing underwater. My personal favourite is the Aqua Jet, which combines the jetpack with water to potentially make your foes slide into the drink; however the Bovine Blitz is by far the silliest, but it isn’t immediately obvious how it works. Most baffling of all is the Winged Monkey, which apparently can generate items to trap enemies with, but good luck figuring that out in a short time limit!
Worms Battlegrounds uses the Worms Clan Wars campaign, so the missions vary from standard matches to more platform orientated endeavours. There have been a couple of occasions where events didn’t trigger, meaning an untimely death or inability to continue, but it’s a great learning tool for new players. There are also a few trial challenges where you can earn medals for completing them fast enough. Some are definitely more challenging than others, with the Holy Hand Grenade/Whoopsie Cushion mission being completely luck based.
Join the Clan
But single player is not where the heart of Worms Battlegrounds lies. Multiplayer is as much of a blast as ever, with the new weapons and gadgets complimenting the gameplay nicely. Using the default pre-sets allows for more tactical battles, though you can always go Full Wormage and spam Bovine Blitzes until the cows come home! Very occasionally there were syncing issues between games, where one person might see something different to the rest, but thankfully the game hasn’t dropped anyone out this time.
Carried over from Worms Clan Wars to Worms Battlegrounds is the idea of dedicated Clan support. As a veteran who was part of a clan in Worms Armageddon for PC, this is a great feature that encourages people joining up together to wage war upon the WormNet servers. A map editor and Xbox One Smartglass support round off some of the new features and are welcome additions.
Expanding on what made Worms Revolution a great revival to the series; Worms Battlegrounds is a great port of the PC Worms Clan Wars. It does enough to keep the gameplay fresh by adding new weapons, while the support for online clans is definitely welcome. Not a lot has changed graphically, which is slightly disappointing given the fact it’s on next-gen hardware, but the consistently smooth frame rate is a welcome change from the choppy Worms Revolution. Consider this the green light if you want to move on from Revolution to Battlegrounds – it’s still a blast!