So what do you really want from a game when you have had a long day at school or work and all you want to do is sit down on a comfy sofa and relax? To put in a small amount of effort? Heavy artillery? WORMS? Well if the answer to all of these is yes then Worms: Battleground will be your ideal game!
In a series of games which has been around since the days of Amiga, the Worms saga is a game that has never died out. Worms: Battlegrounds on the Xbox One keeps its track history of worms-at-war but gives it a new feel and doesn’t let the name down.
The fact that the game is out on the Xbox One is great. Especially if you love your games but need something on your console so that the kids can feel like a part of it, still not quite being ready to let them loose on Grand Theft Auto or Assassins Creed then this game is perfect. Even if you’re a big kid yourself and just really love these sorts of games for a bit of a change from Call of Duty. This game is a perfect mixture of Lemmings, Cannon Fodder, and Angry Birds thrown together with Worms.
The game has plenty to keep you busy, whether you want to play it for an hour, or five, there are many features available. Worms: Battlegrounds has 25 story missions and ten “Worm-Ops” time attack missions in five different environments.
The story is basic and easy and really in a game like this that is exactly what you want. Based in a museum, you and your Worms must travel through the ages and find the stone carrot and stop the destruction of the worm world by Lord Crowley-Mesmer. Guided by Lady Tara Pinkle, with her stereotypical British accent, she explains what is needed from each level through entertaining and yet very bad, what can only be described as, “Dad jokes” but who doesn’t secretly find them funny?
Lady Pinkle appears to be the worm version of an evil Lara Croft from Tomb Raider, telling you all about how she went treasure hunting through tombs and caves, and is fighting for it all so that she can sell it on the black market.
The Worms in different eras have different costumes to fit the scene which are a nice added touch and some of the phrases that they come out with in their child like, helium filled super speed voices are funny and appropriately timed. You get to know each worm individually on a name basis, even the bad guys have individual names which is still a fantastic feature.
As well as story mode your also have Worm-Ops where you only get a limited amount of equipment and have a specific mission to do. This is a fantastic way to learn how best to use all of the different fire power so that you can really take advantage of it in the story mode.
And of course what would games be like today if you didn’t have the option of an online multiplayer battleground playoff? Through Xbox Live you are able to join friends, family and complete randomer’s to battle it out and see who has the best aim and equipment and most importantly, skills to blow the other team into smithereens. You can join a clan, akin to Worms: Clan Wars, to make your squad the best squad it can be and combining forces with other player to get even better.
You even get to customise your worms, something which has been on offer for a long as I can remember. Give them glasses or a cool little hat that really identifies you as a person, but as if that wasn’t enough your can name your own team, each individual worm and give them all a voice of your choice. There are so many options on the game that it is difficult to choose. You can have anything from Pirate, the “It” girl, the W- factor or even a wise man that sounds remarkably like the worms version of Yoda. In addition to this you can also choose your gravestone for when your worm dies, and a victory dance for when you win the level including the funky chicken, Macarana and the best one, the worlds smallest violin.
The gameplay itself is very appealing. Staying true to the series, Worms: Battlegrounds keeps the turned based combat and it’s still nice to just sit back and not have to think too hard about what you are doing. Take turns with the computer or your online friends and watch you worm armies fight it out.
There are a couple of downsides to the gameplay though and the lack of settings. If you are an impatient person, which I quite often can be, the computer can take what seems like an age to take its go. I do wonder why when it always takes a minimum of ten seconds before they decide to either make a move or skip their go. They also seem to walk into walls a lot.
On top of that, within only a few levels I found a couple of glitches in the game. The first being that there was nothing left to do on the level but it would not complete, it had to be restarted from the beginning, which was very annoying, and completed again. And the other is that worms can get trapped underneath falling objects making them redundant and not even able to skip their turn.
The graphics don’t let the Xbox One down at all. Although, it’s a simple game where you only play by pushing left or right, they have created a very good 3D effect with the ledges and explosions too which give an additional effect when they blow a hole in the background. They manage to keep a very nice cartoon style atmosphere about them without making them look completely fake.
Even though it is a simple left and right moving game, the controls can be a little frustrating. You move left and right to, well, move left and right and then up and down to aim your ammunition. When you have just got your worm right on the edge of the cliff and you are trying to aim down to kill another worm without killing yourself from the recoil, but then nudge the stick ever so slightly in the wrong direction, it is a tear your hair out moment as you worm plummets to his death.
Overall, this a great game to play and gives you a distraction for a little while. The constant random comments of the worms can get a little repetitive and tedious, but if you ever do get annoyed with them you can always adjust the volume for the voices, the sound effect and even the music individually from the main menu settings.
So if you’re after a game which you can sit back, relax and blow up worms in a variety of different ways this is probably the game for you.