COLOGNE, Germany—Much of my childhood was spent in front of a flashing DOS prompt with my friends, trying
CD my way to the Worms installation folder in an attempt to blow up said friends with a freakishly exploding sheep. Yes, my computer skills at the time weren’t exactly what you’d call “l33t hax0r”, but loading the thing up was all part of the fun. Although unfortunately that aspect of the game isn’t part of what’s to come Worms weapons of mass destructionthe ridiculously silly multiplayer fun sure is.
First things first: You’re probably wondering if the world is even needs a new Worms game. After all, since the original launched in ’95, a whopping 20 sequels have appeared on virtually every major gaming platform, from PC to console to mobile. The series has gone from 2D to 3D and back to 2D again, with mission-based games, online multiplayer, and even a social version in the form of the now-discontinued Worms for Facebook.
The problem is that few of those games have managed to capture the magic of the originals. For many, the series peaked with the 1999 release of Worms Armageddon (the third in the series), a game that takes the core elements of the original Worms and gave them a fresh coat of paint in the form of sharp cartoonish images. It is that game that forms the basis of Worms weapons of mass destructionan Xbox One and Windows 10 exclusive coming in early 2016.
weapons of mass destruction‘s tweaks are more than superficial with a few new additions that change the gameplay. To begin with, there is one tank, which you can control and drive through the level – much like maneuvering a worm – and fire a powerful barrage of missiles. The tank is wonderfully powerful, firing five shots in one turn. Its power is offset by the fact that when you’re in the tank you’re a pretty easy target, and if the enemy manages to destroy it, you become part of the blast – a fact I learned the hard way during a match.
Then there are the buildings, which you climb inside to protect yourself from enemy fire, or launch a sneak attack, and, and, and…
OK, you get my point: these adjustments don’t change things drastically. But I like that they build on the classic turn-based strategic combat where you maneuver your worms around the map and try to hit the enemy with a well-aimed bazooka shot (always considering the wind speed, of course) or a brutal stick of dynamite.
The physics system has been disbanded Worms Armageddonwhat gives weapons of mass destruction immediately a familiar feeling. Each weapon flies through the air just as you remember it, and worms are knocked aside by explosions in perfect Wormsy fashion.
Even if you haven’t played Armageddon, weapons of mass destruction just feels right with missiles flying through the air and bombs bouncing on the ground. All those little ones Worms quirks are there too: the failed shots, the jumps that inexplicably go wrong, and those damned little bits of nearly invisible land in the line of fire that make you blow yourself up with a missile. The classic weapons are back, including favorites like the Holy Hand Grenade, the Banana Bomb and of course the amazing Concrete Donkey, which destroys everything in its path by punching a hole straight through the floor of the level.
Worms weapons of mass destruction does not reinvent the wheel, but it is the most Worms-like all Worms games I can remember – and that’s very good. I ended up getting totally sucked into a game, cursing my bad shots and blaming it all on bad luck. It’s a testament to how engaging the game can be when played with a group of friends. Plus, it’s one of the few multiplayer games you can play together on the couch with just one controller. For old school Worms fans, weapons of mass destruction is like coming home, only with more exploding sheep.