We’ve been playing Worms games for almost 20 years since becoming hooked on the original on the Commodore Amiga in 1995. Since then the belligerent pink annelids have sprung up on almost every platform from home computers to consoles to mobile devices and even Facebook. We’ve been spending some time with Team 17’s latest addition to the series – Worms Clan Wars.
Worms Clan Wars builds upon their last release, Worms Revolution, but aims to improve in many areas. A crucial decision has definitely been to stick to just PC instead of going for a multi-format release. This has allowed the developers to craft a game that focuses on the strengths of the platform to bring plenty of social features and community generated content.
Before you get into those you’ll probably want to tackle the offline Story and Worm-Ops modes. These are humorously narrated by Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd) as the fictional Tara Pinkleton. She’s a spoof on Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft and is an adventurous crypt robber who likes to steal precious artefacts while causing large amounts of destruction.
Story mode takes places in a museum and the 25 missions are set in five different exhibits – Prehistoric, Viking, Inca, Industrial Revolution and Feudal Japan. The story is mostly nonsense but tries to give a reason for proceedings. Ultimately you’re trying to recover a Stone Carrot from an evil hypnotist.
These missions start simple but get quite difficult as the game aims to introduce you to all the different elements. This mode isn’t just about killing enemy worms but also has you rescuing friendlies and solving light puzzle elements. Many of these new puzzle elements are possible thanks to the new physics based contraptions. In addition to Story mode you’ll also find 10 time-attack style Worm-Ops missions. These again exist to teach you more about how to play the game but are fun while they last.
The environments in Worms Clan Wars are rendered in a cartoony 2.5D style and they look lovely. They are 30% bigger than in previous games and they also now feature day and night cycles. Dynamic water has been improved and adds plenty of fun and unpredictability. The bundled editor allows you to build the levels of your dreams with a little effort.
We were happy to see the classes return that were introduced in Worms Revolution. These have seen some tweaks and improvements to make them stand out more. The Soldier is the most standard class who can remotely detonate timed weapons and has a higher chance of landing critical hits. The Scout is the weakest but most nimble class who can move faster, jump higher and tunnel further than the others as well as see inside weapon crates. The Heavy is the biggest and strongest class capable of inflicting large damage even as he dies. Finally the Scientist is the support class who can buff and heal.
A large part of the hilarity of Worms comes from the outrageous weapons on offer. Clan Wars is no different and boasts an impressive 65 weapons and utilities available to you. 10 of these are brand new and include the Mega Morter, Gravedigger and Winged Monkey. Arguably our favourite of the new weapons though is the Teleport Raygun which makes it really easy to manoeuvre around the levels.
The multiplayer is still the best mode in Worms and this can be played offline or online. When playing online you have the choice of playing a quick match, ranked match or against a friend. You can also tweak the match settings to your preference if you desire.
New for Clan Wars if you hadn’t already guessed is clan support allowing you to group up with friends. The clan leader can design an emblem and manage the other players. Clans can enter into an online league to compete against other clans. If Worms Clan Wars can attract the players this could well turn into a new eSport.
The final new addition and potentially the most exciting is the integration of Steam Workshop support. This gives players the ability to craft their own content for the game. The community are already hard at work pumping out custom levels, soundbanks, outfits, trinkets and gravestones. This is a feature that could really extend the life of the game and keep you coming back for more.
While Worms Clan Wars is more of the same the new tweaks, clan and community support really help breathe new life into the game. Chances are you already own a few Worms titles but if you haven’t picked one up for a while or are completely new to the series this is well worth your time.