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Sept 29 2014
Worms Battlegrounds - PS4 Review
Release Distributer Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
30/5/2014Five StarTeam 17Team 171-42-4
Media HDD Install Resolution Touchpad PS4 Exclusive OFLC Rating

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Worms Battlegrounds is out now on PS4.
Many years ago the UK was seen as one of the strongest development countries in the world with companies such as Bullfrog, Core Design, Argonaut Games, Psygnosis, Rage and Sensible Software all among the best developers in the world. Another such team is Team 17, a company who had classics such as Alien Breed and Project-X but are most well known for their turn-based strategy franchise, Worms. Now, 19 years after the first game in the franchise was released, Team 17 has released Worms Battlegrounds on the latest consoles.

So is there a story in this game? Well the game has pretty generic story revolving around stopping Lord Crowley-Mesmer who is taking over a museum (and thereby provides a wide range of settings for the levels). In reality the story can be largely forgotten as this game is all about the action and puzzle solving...

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This level is filled with worms!
A few years ago, well just over a decade ago now, Team 17 shifted the game from its 2D roots to a 3D battlefield with Worms 3D and the results were very mixed. In fact, we weren't a fan of the shift to the extra dimension as it added a complexity to the game which wasn't required. It was great to get back to the franchises 2D roots and Worms Battlegrounds continues that trend which also makes the game much more accessible to novice gamers.

So what is Worms? Well gameplay will be familiar to anyone who has played a game in the franchise. This is a turn based game where you need to move your worm, or worms, across a large battlefield and attack an opposing force, or forces, of worms using a wide range of attacks. From a Dragon Punch, to Bazooka, Machine Gun to more obscure items such as exploding sheep! The last team standing is deemed the winner. It's simple, but addictive.

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Worms Battlegrounds lets you build levels.
The game is split up into three main areas - Local Play, Playstation Network and Battlegrounds. The first of these, Local Play, is for offline gameplay and includes a Versus mode for 4-player Deathmatch or Forts mode, a 25 mission Story Mode, and Worms Ops which amounts to some more offline levels. Playstation Network, which should have just been called Online Play, includes modes such as Quick Match, Ranked Match, Create A Ranked Match, Player Match or Create Player Match. The Battlegrounds menu focuses on creating Clans (of which you can change the Name, Player Title or Emblem as well as customising the appearance of the Worms, the Gravestone, Victory Dance and audio) which can then enter leagues to top the leaderboards.

Another pretty nice feature which is hidden away in the menus under Customisation is a Landscape Editor which allows you to build your own levels for use in multiplayer games. Also nice is the level of customisation and weapons with over 200 items to change your worms, and 65 weapons and items to use throughout the levels.

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Worms Battlegrounds is a great looking game.
One of the big additions to this game is that of water which can now become another potential weapon. Rather then attack an enemy worm directly you could flood an area with a wave of water and wash the enemy to his demise. Magnets are also a powerful new item in the game which can be used to attract or repel metallic objects such as mines. Also exclusive to the PS4 is the use of the light bar to indicate when your worm is submerged, poisoned or being attacked while the touch pad can be used to select a weapon. We also have a bit of a question over the value of this game - if you happen to drop down to your local retailer in Australia the game has a $AU59.95 price (although shop around as we've seen it closer to $AU45) however the downloadable version through the Playstation Store is only $AU30.95 at the moment - and it's only a 2.2GB download too.

Graphically Worms Battlegrounds is a pretty nice looking game on the PS4 with razor sharp 1080p visuals. While the game is played on a 2D plane the graphics are presented in 3D with some depth to them making it a pretty nice looking title, but one that is hardly pushing the system anywhere near its limits.

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Worms Battlegrounds is a decent turn-based strategy game.
Sonically Worms Battlegrounds gets the job done with some nice effects and chatter from the worms (which comes through the Dual Shock 4 speaker) while the music is appropriate but largely forgettable. When I first heard the narration in this game it really bugged me - not due to the average scripting - but the voice which was familiar to me. After a bit of research I found the voice was provided by Katherine Parkinson who many would know as Jen from The IT Crowd. She gets the job done, and is probably improved just knowing it's "Jen" doing the talking if you're a fan of the TV series, but it won't go down as the greatest narration in a video game.

As longtime fans of the franchise we were happy to get our hands on Worms Battlegrounds and while it isn't everyone's cup of tea, those looking for a turn-based strategy game, or to relive the glory days of the franchise, would do well to check out this release.

Review By: Dave Warner

GRAPHICSClean and functional but nothing to push the PS4 or provide visual thrills.
SOUNDMusic is almost irrelevant, effects functional and dialogue hit and miss. Nothing terrible, but nothing astounding either.
GAMEPLAYThis is classic 2D worms, a great turn based strategy game with some decent puzzles.
VALUEReleased at $AU59 at retail its a bit pricey, but shop around or get it through the Store for about half that price as there is plenty of content to enjoy here.
OVERALLWorms Battlegrounds isn't a game for everyone, but for those who like turn based strategy games, or this franchise, then this is worth picking up at a pretty reasonable price.

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