The Worms series has always held a special place in my heart, that is until the dark ages of Worms 3D. Team 17 has been on a roll with moving the series into the right direction with the past two titles; Worms Revolutions and Worms Clan Wars. Worms Battlegroundscan easily be described as an improved version of 2013’s PC release of Worms Clan Wars, but available only for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The dynamic water system has been improved from the previous titles and the class system from Worms Clan Warsreturns intact.
One of the better advances Team 17 has made in the Worms series revolves around the online integration. Much like you were able to in Clan Wars, clans can be created, allowing you to create a clan emblem and fully customize your worms. If you aren’t the leader type, you can join an existing clan and still be able to partake in clean/league matches. Even better, if you and a friend are part of the same clan, you are able to play simultaneously, with each of you control half of the team. Stats are stored in different locations depending on your platform.
Exclusive to the PlayStation 4 version to the game, the light bar on the Dualshock 4 will change colors dynamically throughout. The light bar will glow red when being attacked, blue when your worm are submerged underwater and green when poisoned. If you have a set of favorite weapons, you can use the Touch Pad to swipe in one of the four cardinal directions to quickly select a weapon. The Xbox One version allows for the SmartGlass companion app to keep track of your stats, while the PlayStation 4 version uses the companion website.
All of the included weapons and utilities from Clan Wars makes a return (65 in total), including the 10 newly created items, such as the Winged Monkey and Bovine Blitz, a set of three cows parachuting from the sky. There are still specific ones that are missing from previous iterations of the game, including the Carpet Bomb and MB Bomb. At this point, I doubt we will see a Worms game that will include everything from previous games. My favorite weapon, the Holy Hand Grenade still features the classic “Hallelujah” before exploding through both the background and foreground levels of the map.
Worms Battlegrounds includes over 200 different items to allow you to customize your team of worms, but are sadly still many of the National sound banks from Armageddon. This was an easy remedy in the previous game thanks to Steam Workshop support. I did enjoy using the map editor, allowing me to create my own map for use offline and online. Be warned, I may have gone overboard with the mines and barrels.
The single-player campaign that takes place in a museum features 25 story based mission across all of the included environments, but are still too slow moving to enjoy. The script written by Dean Wilkinson provides a few chuckles, as well as the narration by Katherine Parkinson. The time-attack missions “worm-Ops” missions return, but to get the “true” Worms experience, you need to gather up some friends and play either locally or online. The multiplayer experience feels the same as the past two titles, albeit much smoother, especially during the day/night transition.
Worms Battlegrounds brings the chaotic Worms multiplayer experience to the new consoles for the first time in a solid package. I still think Team17 needs to add everything missing from the classic 2D games, but shows promise with the integration of the online clans.
Note: The Worms Battlegrounds review was written based on a digital PS4 version of the game.