Review: Worms Rumble : The Worms series is probably one of the longest-running in the gaming world, with the first release dating back to the now distant 1995. After reaching a moment of maximum popularity in the early 2000s, the saga has failed to win the audience of the new generations, also thanks to belonging to a genre that is not strictly mainstream, that of turn-based strategists.
After a last release date 2016, with a title ( Worms WM D ) rather faithful to the spirit of the series, the worms of Team 17 are back today with Worms Rumble , a title that aims to upset the canons of the series, in an attempt to conquer a completely new audience, while winking the loyalists. In fact, the game mixes some of the historical features of Worms with the mechanics of battle royale , one of the most iconic genres of this videogame generation.
Not only; the game, available on PlayStation 4 , PlayStation 5 (versions on which our test took place) and PC , was made available immediately for free for those who have a PlayStation Plus subscription , trying to replicate the lucky formula of Rocket League and of the most recent Fall Guys . Will these elements be enough to make Worms return to the limelight?
Worms Rumble , as we have said, aims to re-invent the classic formula of the series, giving light to a hybrid thanks to the contribution of the battle royale genre. And the main screen makes us understand immediately how much the title has adopted the canons of the genre: we have a screen to access the different game modes, a screen to customize our Worm with the cosmetics we have unlocked, a page to customize, instead, the weapons.
In short, already from the menu Worms Rumble makes anyone who has a minimum of familiarity with the genre breathe a familiar air ; those who feel lost, probably, will be the fan of the series, because the game at first sight seems to have very little to do with the previous chapters of Worms . By starting a game, however, things change.
We have three modes available: Deatmatch, Single Battle Royale, and Team Battle Royale . The titles are quite explanatory: in deathmatch we have a free-for-all in which the victory is awarded based on the final score obtained at the end of the time allowed for the match, while in the two battle royale modes the winner (or winners, in the case of the squads) are decreed based on their ability to survive enemy projectiles.
Apart from the different objectives, the three modes obviously share the same gameplay and the same game maps, which is why we will not analyze them separately, but we will treat them in a single whole. By starting a game, fans of the series will finally be able to understand that this Worms Rumble has reason to still carry the name “Worms” in the title. In addition to the presence of the iconic worms, we must say that the unlikely creeping warriors control themselves in a surprisingly similar way to how they did in the past.
The game is in two dimensions , the worm crawls as it has always done, it is able to attach itself to the walls to climb them and also to use all the weapons that come within range. Even the objects that we find scattered on the map are clear references to the origins of the series : grappling hooks, jetpacks, weird weapons such as the Sheep Shooter or banana bombs. Obviously, there are no more turns of the past: in this sense, the game becomes a real shooter, where action plays the leading role with respect to the strategic element. The aim is entrusted to the right analog, and will require some training to master. The L2 key, on the other hand, allows us to ball up and roll quickly, a very useful tactic when cornered.
The way in which we control our Worm, therefore, recalls what happens in the progenitors of the series; this is inserted, however, in the context of a 32-player battle royale , so we will find all the typical mechanics of the latter genre. We will have to probe the map for weapons, medkits, special objects; A green gas also appears that reduces the usable size of the level over the course of the game. In short, the game reflects all the canons of the battle royale. But does this union work?
Worms Royale: a winning combination?
The game is fun: the rather low health bar guarantees dynamic and frenetic games, chaotic but never confusing. It is easy to get familiar with the game mechanics, and the simplicity of its mechanics makes Worms Rumble a title suitable for practically everyone.
However, there are several problems that afflict Worms Rumble , and which could partially ruin its success. First of all, the game is launched with only three maps available: although of good workmanship, it is a far too low number, which will lead you to soon see everything there is to see and discover. Certainly others will be added in the future, through free updates: this does not mean, however, that we would have appreciated the presence of more maps at launch, since it is probably the hottest time for a game of this kind.
The same goes for the game modes : after seeing battle royale in all sauces, we would have preferred to have some modes that dared more than the canons of the genre , perhaps using the baggage coming from the original series. The methods present, however good, are limited to respecting the style of tradition, without overdoing it. This lack of content is compounded by the fact that, at the moment, the only incentive to keep playing is the presence of cosmetics to unlock ; even on this front, more could be done, and we hope that future updates will correct the game in this regard.
All of this brings us to another point: while it is a spin-off, fans of the series may be disappointed because, despite the feeling of controlling the Worms has remained similar, Worms Rumble doesn’t bring much else from the series with it. This was inevitable, given the gender change, but as mentioned we would have liked to see additional modes that pay more homage to the series.
Technical sector, matchmaking and netcode
As for the technical sector, we can only congratulate the work done by the guys of Team 17. First of all, we appreciated the new design of the Worms, very different from the one presented in the last chapter. Furthermore, the game enjoys a good level of detail, even in the settings, even though it is a medium-budget production, and enjoys great stability, even in the most hectic situations.
As for matchmaking , we have to say that sometimes the waiting times tend to be quite long ; nothing too problematic, but we have had to wait a couple of minutes before being able to enter the game several times. Once in the game, however, the netcode proved to be very reliable, and we never perceived any latency issues during our tests.
Worms Rumble – Conclusion
Positives of Worms Rumble
- Good level design of the maps
- Several references to the past
Negatives of Worms Rumble
- Few modes and few maps
- All too faithful to the canons of battle royale
Worms Rumble : PLATFORM: PC, PS4, PS5