Worms Battlegrounds Review

Richard Walker

Fundamentally, the core of the Worms series has remained unchanged for almost twenty years. It's either a reflection of just how strong an idea it was back in 1995, or it could be that these worms are simply not for turning. As ever then, you have a range of quirky weapons to choose from and you can do battle in the game's local story, versus and 'Worms Ops' modes.

As the series' debut on Xbox One and PS4, there's certainly no shortage of modes and other content in Worms Battlegrounds, with local and online play taking in the standard versus mode in both Deathmatch and Forts flavours, while the story is a puzzle-filled jaunt through several themed areas. In truth, the story is utter bobbins, featuring a plummy Lara Croft-style narrator called Tara Pinkle and revolving around an artefact called the Stone Carrot.


Worms.

A procession of increasingly challenging missions, with Pinkle chipping in telling you what to do, Battlegrounds story is disposable fluff, with unbelievably stupid worm opponents whose moves you're unable to skip. You have to watch while they moronically, interminably wriggle around, jumping into water before skipping their turn, laying grenades in front of themselves, or just running down the clock for no other reason than to infuriate. This is especially irritating during time sensitive missions.

Turns take far too long against AI opponents, making Worms Battlegrounds far more annoying that it would otherwise be. Playing against human opponents online or locally is the only proper way to play Worms, otherwise you'll be tearing your hair out. To that end, Team17 has really gone all out in making Battlegrounds' multiplayer a fully fleshed out experience, complete with clans in the eponymous Battlegrounds mode alongside the no frills multiplayer Deathmatch and Forts game types.


Worms.

Like past Worms games, the main draw is the wilfully silly weapons like the exploding sheep, granny, mole or whatever. And angling a perfect grenade toss or meticulously aimed bazooka shot carried gracefully on the wind, it's still every bit as gratifying as it's always been. It is Worms after all, and its lost none of its charm over the years. Like 2012's Worms Revolution, the soldier, heavy, scientist and scout classes return, as does the physics and blobby simulated water that causes worms to slowly drown to death when submerged.

You can move objects using UFOs, Telekinesis and the like, but it does little to shake up the formula that's been Worms' trademark for the last two decades. You can still do little hops, you can still double tap the jump button to backflip, you can still swing off ninja rope, jetpack, teleport and more often than not fall into water and drown. Or inadvertently throw a grenade at yourself. Everything you love and loathe about Worms is still present and correct, looking slightly nicer than usual on Xbox One and PS4.


Worms.

You'll have to play through Worms Battlegrounds' story to bag all of the achievements, which is more a feat of tolerance than anything else. It'll push your patience to the limit, as you hop from location to location via the game's world map, tackling physics-based puzzles and contraptions, and annoyingly stupid AI opposition. It gets boring pretty quickly. If you make it through the story, there'll be hundreds of Gamerscore to ease your pain. The rest requires vanquishing 10, 100, then 300 worms, or prodding a set number of worms to their doom, and so on and so forth. It's a decent enough list, but not exactly one to write home about.

A strong debut for Worms on next-gen consoles, Worms Battlegrounds is Team17 firing on all cylinders once again. The only downside is that this is the same well-worn formula that's been wheeled out for the last 19 years, bringing nothing particularly new or revolutionary to the table. Nonetheless, Worms fans will still get a kick out of Worms Battlegrounds; if they can get past that rather excessive $25/£20 price tag. You get a lot of content for your money, but when all is said and done, it's still the same Worms experience you've played numerous times before.

Worms Battlegrounds

If you like Worms, you'll still love Worms Battlegrounds. Deathmatch and Forts modes are still fun when played with friends, but single-player feels like an interminable grind. Here's what you need to know, in a nutshell: it's a Worms game. Pure and simple.

Form widget
70%
Audio
70%

Looping tunes soon get their hooks into your brain. Worms still have a range of comedy voices, which will either drive you insane or delight, depending on how you feel about the series. We still find it endearing.

Visuals
70%

Worms Battlegrounds looks nice and chunky, though it's nothing that couldn't be accomplished on the last-generation of consoles. Still, it's pretty enough.

Playability
70%

Same as it ever was, Worms still excels in multiplayer, local or otherwise, but in single-player, it's an infuriating test of patience. How the opposition AI hasn't been refined and perfected at this stage in the series is beyond us. It's rubbish.

Delivery
70%

Loads of modes, customisation gubbins and content, Worms Battlegrounds isn't lacking in any particular department. But the story mode and Worms Ops missions are more an irritation than a joy.

Achievements
70%

A nice enough list, but hardly one that pushes the envelope. Kill X number of worms, prod so many off precipices, complete the pants story. That's about the long and short of it.

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