WORMS Battlegrounds is the new face of an established classic, Martyn McLaughlin reviews this next gen update and provides some excellent tips and tricks along the way.
Game review (with tips and tricks): Worms Battlegrounds
Platforms - Playstation 4 (reviewed) / Xbox One
Score: 7.4 / 10
When it burst on to the scene nearly two decades ago, Worms quickly amassed a dedicated fanbase thanks to its impeccably honed strategic gameplay and idiosyncratic design. That loyalty has seldom waned since, although in recent years, mobile platforms such as iOS have felt like that natural stomping ground for a franchise that has struggled to innovate upon its classic turn-based approach.
That has not deterred Team 17 from bringing the series to the next gen. Its debut on the new consoles offers the same tried and tested formula and for the most part, does not attempt to deviate from it. If you are a fan of the artillery-toting invertebrates, Battlegrounds has more than enough to please - just do not expect any great leaps and bounds.
That is not to say the debut of Worms on PS4 and Xbox One is without bells and whistles. The most obvious is a story mode which, though superfluous, benefits from a jocular script and excellent voice acting from Katherine Parkinson, best known for her role in Graham Linehan’s peerless Channel 4 comedy series, The IT Crowd. Comprising a few dozen levels spanning traditional death matches and puzzle-orientated maps, it is a fun if fleeting affair, hampered at times by some suspect enemy AI.
As with its predecessors, however, Battlegrounds truly excels in multiplayer. The Forts mode is especially entertaining as two opposing teams try to kill the other, with the added option of seeking refuge in a home base. The respite is only temporary, however, as well judged attacks can blow chunks out of the bolthole. There is also a welcome return for the clans option introduced a few years back, meaning there is an added incentive to party up and take on all comers.
Worms Battlegrounds tips and tricks
1) Stockpile the weapons that really pack a punch - in early rounds it is easy to squander the likes of airstrikes and homing missiles but hold on to them if you can. As a battle nears its end, they can prove the difference between victory and failure.
2) Try not to waste weapons by killing two worms in two rounds when it might be possible to take out multiple enemies in one turn. As always, the shotgun is a formidable ally and if there is more than one worm with low health, it may be possible to take them out in a single blast.
3) Don’t fret too much about the different types of class for your Worms, such as scientist, scout or soldier. In practice, there is little to distinguish between them beyond aesthetics and you should not try and tailor your strategy to fit their types.
4) Take extra care when hopping along the scenery. At times, the graphics in Battlegrounds make it hard to tell the foreground and background apart. One wrong jump and your trusty worm fighter will be plummeting to an early death.
5) When playing Fort mode in multiplayer, a concrete donkey is an indispensable weapon. Such is its power, it will destroy an enemy encampment and with it, any worms hiding inside.