Biting British humor continues to lead Team17’s war satire. Worms’ turn-based existence is a long one, and through its multitude of lows (Worms 3D) and classical highs (World Party), the series never lost an appetizing, hilarious core.
Why worms (as opposed to ants, beetles, flies…) is never clear. But, they work best when in WMD’s delightfully hand crafted, expressive mold. Hovering hands appear to place them in the same universe as UbiSoft’s Rayman.
The joy isn’t necessarily in the perpetually warlike invertebrates themselves – it’s the weapons. Or rather still, their creativity. Sheep, sheep on ropes, sheep in capes, elderly flatulent women, shady phone batteries; the list is ceaseless. WMD further escalates, bringing forth the titanic Concrete Donkey, a statue dropped onto the playing field, smashing all below. That’s old Worms though. The Angry Concrete Donkey is not and adds fire, because a seven ton statue bleeding lava raises the stakes over a plain statue.
In this industry, truly great ideas hold onto their cleverness no matter what comes after – originality so great, nothing does it better. Worms is one of them. While often restless without friends, Team17 takes their time finally builds something of note for lonely types. A pleasing medal-based training ground and individualized missions make a case for WMD’s offline play. There are also teaching tools, lessons in using rocket launchers in the wind or chucking handheld explosives toward specific targets. The image of this customized Worm – maybe with a plunger on their head, maybe not – angrily shooting wooden targets laying about says it all.
In its own ways then, WMD, as with Worms the legacy, pokes at the nonsense of warfare. An ever escalating slate of armaments created to counter-act other armaments. If the Angry Concrete Donkey seems ludicrous, upping the stakes for Armageddon (a full on asteroid assault from the heavens) with even larger rocks is more so. So Worms goes, ever upward, never ending, and its own longevity states more about aimless qualities of conflict than all Call of Duty’s million dollar narratives combined.