The Worms series has been up and running for 18 years now, since 1995 when all we knew were these little worms that wanted to mess each other up to no end. These guys have since wiggled their way into our hearts and appear much more friendlier in design, but make no mistake, still back the attitude of destroying their brethren by any means necessary.
Worms: Clan Wars is the latest installment in the Worms series, and is introduced to us through the lovely voice talent of Katherine Parkinson, who many of you may know through the incredibly hilarious ‘IT Crowd’ on BBC. This is a new addition to the series, as previous entries have not included full voice-over work. After a quick tutorial to the game, we find ourselves at the main menu, ready to begin. You can choose to play through the Story mode, ‘worm’ up and play through Worm Ops mode, which has some really difficult timed missions, or participate in everybody’s soon-to-be favorite, multiplayer Clan Wars (as aptly named in the title).
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Worms, the game revolves around killing other worms on each map through a series of tactical and strategic turns. Each turn is generally a minute, which is usually enough time for you to find an enemy, assess the situation, and decide on which firearm or explosive is best to take them out. There are a variety of different weapons to choose from, which have their advantages and disadvantages depending on the map you are playing and where that pesky enemy worm is at.
While the weapons can be straight forward (shotgun, uzi, grenade), there are more tactical, if not interesting, weapons/items that you can take on your enemies with. Place a magnet near an opponent and watch as mines within the area are attracted to it, resulting in a crater at which your enemy once stood. Uppercut foes with a Street Fighter Ryu-style uppercut (Shoryuken!) Because the game also features water an obstacle, you can use it to your advantage by shooting a water gun at an unsuspecting enemy and watch as they slip and slide into the abyss.
Story Mode map.
When playing the Story mode, you will need to use the various weapons and items you find to complete levels. These puzzles can range from easy and obvious to “how the hell would I know to do that/how is that even possible”? Let’s just say the Worms Ops time missions I did not have much success in. Although, after learning a few tricks, I got better at detecting where and when to use certain items or weapons to weave myself around the map to the next foe. After several maps of this, it does tend to get a bit repetitive, but each map offered just enough to keep things a bit fresh every time. I did find myself taking a break after some levels that took me almost an hour to complete.
There are four classes in this game, which was an idea carried over from Worms: Revolution. The classes have been tweaked since then, and the roles definitely add more depth to the gameplay, with each class having their own special abilities that will help you out on each map. How these classes, along with these other experiences I had in the Story mode translate to the multiplayer fighting experience is tough to say, as there wasn’t anyone to fight online at the time of this review.
Just a well-placed grenade to do the trick.
The game looks sharp. I know the graphical load this game requires doesn’t rival that of BioShock Infinite, it fits the style of the game nicely. The world feels organic, particle effects look great, and animations add to the quirkiness of the title.
And as I mentioned before, excellent voice acting, although this may be a bit biased. Katherine delivers some funny lines and reads, but sometimes the script leads to some cringe-worthy, albeit expected, jokes. The narrative sets the story up, and keeps it moving along at an entertaining pace. The worms themselves also have witty one liners here and there.
Overall, I really enjoyed my romp through Worms: Clan Wars. While I wasn’t able to try out the multiplayer, I still had fun destroying the computer-controlled worm enemies. The single player Story levels indeed scaled up in difficulty, but anyone who loves a great challenge, or is a Worms fan in general should love that. With the addition of Steam Workshop support, plus full multiplayer support, this is bound to be the best entry into the Worms series yet.
Final Verdict: 8/10