Presentation of Worms and the specificities of W.M.D.
After multiple attempts to modernise its recipe and annual releases, Team 17 finally found the balance they were looking for in Worms in 2016 with Worms W.M.D.. This episode reconciles all the points that made the success of this cult multiplayer game, while bringing new elements that enrich the experience and increase the fluidity of the action.
But what is Worms, anyway?
Worms is a series of games from a genre that was quite popular in the 1980s, the Artillery Simulator. The best known of these is probably GORILLASA 1991 game in which two gorillas, perched on buildings of random heights, took turns throwing bananas at each other. These bananas exploded at the slightest contact, digging holes in the buildings. The first gorilla to hit the other won the game.
The principle has not really changed since then, since Worms puts 1 to 6 players in competition in randomly generated 2D environmentsThe aim is still to throw projectiles at opponents. What has evolved is that you no longer play as a single primate, but as a team of earthworms. They are able to move around the battle arenas (with difficulty) and can use many other weapons than bananas, as well as tools.
A game then proceeds simply: the players will take turns one of their worms and use one of their weapons to try to hit an opponent's worm. The last player to have live worms wins the game.
All the complexity of the game comes from mastering its many parameters. All weapons have different properties. A rocket launcher can fire quickly and relatively accurately, while a stick of dynamite can cause a spectacular explosion. Added to this is the fact that you have to dealing with winds whose direction and power changes with each turn, dramatically changing the trajectories of your projectiles so that they could fall on you. Finally, each turn is limited in timeThis forces you to make quick decisions and play fast... at the risk of making big mistakes.
Underneath its fun aspects, Worms hides a real complexity. If some parameters are random, the player has complete control over his characters and his attacks. In a game of Worms, and this is good the skill of the players that makes the difference.
What about Worms W.M.D.?
Worms W.M.D. (for Worms: Weapons of Mass Destruction) is the latest iteration of Worms. It takes the basic principles of the licence, but also the best ideas of the previous episodes. For example, it includes 37 of the most popular weapons of the licence, indoor environments in addition to exteriors, or Strong mode which places each team on a kind of castle.
But Worms W.M.D. has not forgotten to innovate, as it offers 55 new weapons to use. These new weapons also take advantage of a new mechanic: crafting. Where previous episodes supplied players with predefined weapons, planes now drop crates of materials that leave it up to the player to make the weapons of their choice. This simple difference adds an extra strategic dimension to Worms, while reducing its randomness.
This episode of Worms also marks the appearance of vehicles. Worms can now drive vehicles. While tanks can be used to protect themselves and cause great damage, helicopters can be used to move around much more efficiently.
Finally, there is one last notable novelty. It is now possible to use heavy weapons fixed to the groundThese are randomly generated at the beginning of the game. Their presence creates hot spots on the map that become strategically interesting to control.