Worms W.M.D (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Az Elias 23.11.2017

Review for Worms W.M.D on Nintendo Switch

Worms is a timeless classic. An outrageous concept featuring anthropomorphic worms trained for tactical warfare, the series has had an extraordinary appeal built on local multiplayer, expanding to just about every platform since its inception, and resulting in over 70 million sales and downloads. Whilst 3D iterations haven't quite been as popular, the 2D battlegrounds are where Team17 has seen most of its success. As time goes on, though, new ideas are sometimes necessary to keep things fresh, and it is this mix of old and new that Worms W.M.D features that banana bombs the series back into the limelight.

There are some games that just scream for a need to be released on the Nintendo Switch, and it would have been remiss for Team17 to fail to deliver on bringing the multiplayer mayhem of Worms to the console. The "pass the controller" party game format has long kept Worms going strong since its 1995 launch, so the console designed for just this sort of thing means Worms W.M.D and Switch is a match made in heaven.

Keeping to its 2D roots, instead of the hit and miss 3D outings tested at various points in the past, this is good ol' Worms at its best, just as everyone remembers it. The heavy variety of weaponry both modern and fantastical, the seemingly unlimited designs in randomly generated landscapes (perhaps one of the few games that does this well), the cutesy accents, the squeaky sounds made as the worms wriggle along their… butts(?) - very little has changed on the surface level, which is key to the longevity of the franchise. The hand-drawn landscape designs are absolutely gorgeous, it should also be noted - especially on the handheld screen - but it does mean the very plain backgrounds stand out a bit more.

Screenshot for Worms W.M.D on Nintendo Switch

The fact every single match will play out completely different to the last, where newcomers have just as good a chance at defeating any seasoned player, is a big part of the appeal. The massive customisation options mean games can be tailored to suit particular skill levels. Experts might like to limit the time they get to make a move, or reduce the weapons available to something like shotguns only, or have to ninja rope their way to crates before their opponents to see what goodies they can get and use first. Others may prefer to whack everything on to infinite uses and commence utter carnage!

The customisation extends into team editing, allowing for some degree of personality for each player. Team and worm names can be altered, along with victory themes and dances, gravestones, voices, and hats. Many of these are unlockable, and the hats, in particular, feature an extensive amount of options, with plenty from other franchises for a bit of an indie crossover, including The Escapists and Yooka-Laylee. It would have been nice to see from Nintendo-exclusive ones, such as caps from the Mario brothers, Link, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, and the like, but no big deal. They are small editable features, but they are enough to provide that personalised touch that makes playing the game that bit more fun.

Where Worms W.M.D looks to differentiate itself from entries before it is in a handful of aspects that affect gameplay. First of all, vehicles such as helicopters, tanks and mechs (as well as a Rocket League battle car!) can appear on maps and be jumped into to traverse terrain in different ways whilst unleashing destruction on wriggly foes, and special gun turrets also crop up for long-range firing. Depending on where these are on the map, they can alter the way players tackle matches, as everyone knows getting hold of any of the above can result in severe disadvantages for worms caught up on the receiving end of them. Heck, the helicopter being able to speedily fly all over the map and rain bullets below means nobody is safe unless buried deep underground!

Screenshot for Worms W.M.D on Nintendo Switch

Crafting is something that can actually be ignored if desired (well, like most things when playing customised matches, as just about everything can be turned on or off), but putting it to use allows for souped-up versions of just about every item that can do that bit more damage or affect a wider range. By picking up crates or dismantling weapons, resources can be obtained and converted into more powerful weapons. Turn a baseball bat into a flaming bat for a fire-y homerun, or a sheep into an electric sheep to zap multiple worms before exploding, and much more. The majority of these upgrades don't add much other than an extra kick or effects, but they are unobtrusive and don't use up turns. In fact, crafting can be done even during opponent turns, and will be ready on the following turn of the player, adding another layer of tactics to the game.

It is the addition of buildings that puts much more emphasis on what Worms is all about - strategic gameplay. Although sometimes not always obvious to see, buildings (if turned on) can be walked into to reveal hidden chambers that worms can hide out in. On the map, other players won't see worms camping in buildings - unless, of course, they stumble into the same building themselves. Hilarity can ensure after unexpectedly blowing the cover of a sneaky worm plotting their next move.

Screenshot for Worms W.M.D on Nintendo Switch

With both online and offline multiplayer available, including ranked and unranked for the former and up to six-player matches by passing a single Joy-Con around for the latter, it might be standard to think this is the bulk of what Worms W.M.D has to offer. Well, think again, because there is an extensive amount of single-player content here. Whilst the series has often - and quite rightly - been all about the multiplayer experience, fans that have perhaps grown a little out of love with the franchise over the years may have felt some single-player content was what was needed. This also works in favour of anyone that has wanted a reason to come back to Worms who do not have the friends to come over for matches like they used to. To that end, Worms W.M.D can be recommended as a single-player title, believe it or not.

There are plenty of training missions to get players started, or for returnees wishing to familiarise themselves again, as well as lots of unlockable campaign missions, where certain rules are in effect. More often than not, the goal is to take out the other AI team, but some require a particular worm to be defeated or a special crate to be grabbed whilst avoiding death. Tougher missions see you trying to traverse terrain with even more danger and restrictions in an attempt to kill a strong worm that will really put your tactical skills to the test. With secondary objectives to achieve, as well, the majority of missions are expertly designed, and leaderboards add a little incentive for the training rounds.

It might not be out of the ordinary to suggest Worms W.M.D is more geared towards newcomers in the grand scheme of things, with a heavy emphasis on destruction (the clue is in the title), but by playing with the customisation options available and upping the health points, players really can still make hardcore, tactical matches that feel like classic Worms at its best.

Screenshot for Worms W.M.D on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Another game perfectly suited to the Nintendo Switch, Worms W.M.D is a return to the classic format the series is known and loved for. A number of additions to the gameplay in the form of vehicles, turrets, crafting, and buildings adds a few extra layers of tactical approaches to each match, of which each one will always play out differently to the last. Extensive customisation options mean players of all skill levels can enjoy Worms warfare in their preferred style, and a surprisingly meaty helping of single-player content ensures there is ample reason to switch the game on for a quick go when not engaging in local or online multiplayer. Whilst Worms may not have seemingly evolved much from the days it all started, staying true to form is often the key to success.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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