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Game Info:

Worms W.M.D
Developed By: Team17 Digital Ltd
Published By: Team17 Digital Ltd
Released: Aug 23, 2016
Available On: Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Action, Strategy
ESRB Rating: E 10+ (Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor, Language)
Number of Players: Single player with local and online multiplayer
MSRP: $29.99
(Humble Store Link)

Thank you Team 17 for sending us this game to review.

Worms W.M.D is the latest installment of the 22 year old Worms series. It has been a mainstay in PC gaming since the late '90s. Instead of iterating on a long running series they decided to simplify things and return to the Worms Armageddon format. This is a classic worms game where you control a team of subterranean soldiers to do battle across creative 2D maps. All of the classic weapons and environmental hazards are there and new vehicles are added. There's a crafting system that's been added so you can craft weapons on another player's turn. Although a story mode is lacking there are plenty of missions and challenges to blast your way through.

The graphics and artstyle remain as they have always been. The cartoony worms are bright and expressive. The maps and backgrounds are colorful and creative. There's a big variety in the types of maps and themes. You can even customize your maps and import pictures into the backgrounds. Upbeat music, whimsical explosions, and grunting worms are all present. The voice acting is limited to one liners due to the lack of story mode, but there's an impressive number of sets that you can unlock from playing the game.

One new feature in this game is that you can now go inside buildings and collect materials for crafting. When inside a building, you see the inside. When outside a building, you see the outside. Even if another player damages one of your worms hiding in a building you'll only see the damage numbers pop up.

Worms W.M.D.
Highlights:

Strong Points: Iconic strategic gameplay; Vehicles; Able to craft weapons
Weak Points: Lack of story mode; AI turns take too long
Moral Warnings: Foul language; Weapons used by player; Christian imagery used for violence

There's a lot of single player content in the game. The campaign mode and challenges offer a good number of missions, each with additional objectives and achievements. There's also tutorials and advanced tutorials to really test your mastery of a specific weapon. Let's not forget custom games to play with other people or AI. I don't know if they were trying to make the AI more like a human player or what but the AI controlled worms will take their sweet time before moving to their location, awkwardly targeting, and then snapping into perfect position to hit you from across the map.

The biggest addition to this game is the crafting system. Here you can scrounge the map for materials (or get them in supply drops) and then craft any weapon you have materials for. You can craft during your enemy's turn, which is great because I found AI turns to take entirely too long. Along with crafting the standard weapons, you can also craft variants of weapons. The game shows you this feature exists and then moves on but, once I actually delved into the weapon variants I was impressed. There are a lot of fun killing machines to be created in there.

Vehicles were also added to the game and I absolutely love them. They add a great dimension to the game and are just fun to control. Their high power is balanced by the fact that someone can jump in and steal it after your turn is over. The Mech and Helicopter are my favorites; they can both fly and have powerful weapons.

Worms W.M.D.
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 84%
Gameplay - 17/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 81%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 5/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8.5/10

The online play is both functional and active. Both of those traits together are somewhat rare for a year old, niche game. At the time of writing I was able to join a few 4-player games rather quickly and I got thoroughly annihilated. The vehicles really add a lot to this as well. I thought that matches would devolve into swapping vehicles back and forth but that doesn't really happen as people tend to move the vehicles to remote locations. Also the people I played against were incredibly accurate with the bazooka.

Worms W.M.D, like the previous games in the series, are extremely violent games wrapped up in a cute, cartoony veneer. There's no blood or gore but when worms run out of health they commit suicide, usually by explosion, and leave a gravestone. Some of the one-liners that the worms spout contain foul language and sexual humor. One of the weapons is the holy hand grenade, which is a yellow and white grenade with a cross on it. It's meant as a reference to a Monty Python sketch, but it's still a Christian symbol used for killing.

Worms W.M.D is an excellent return to form for the series. It's clear that Team 17 listened to their fans and went back to a classic entry. While I'm happy they chose this route, I just wish they hadn't jettisoned a story mode and more involved voice acting along the way. The additions of crafting and vehicles really add to the overall gameplay. If you like classic Worms games from the start of the series, you'll love this title.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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