Published on October 8th, 2015 | by Patrick Garde0
Worms 4 Review
Team17 are the guys behind one of the most beloved strategy game this side of whatever the Worms actually tend to fight on. Worms 4 was released on the 3rd of September, 2015 on the iOS App Store.
The Worms franchise has been around for many, many years now, and it’s safe to say that the overall formula hasn’t changed much at all. Overall gist of the Worms games are to kill every worm that isn’t on your team, using whatever means you may have access to.
Gameplay will have you navigating a generated battle-field for your combatants (worms) to navigate, to murder any and all worms that don’t represent the same colour as you. To do so, you’ll be given a few basic controls. At first, you have your basic walking: walk left, walk right – simple stuff! Next up, you’ve got your jump, which if you hold the button you can leap almost vertically to reach platforms you may not be able to get to with just a regular jump.
Moving on from the boring stuff, we’ve got the weapons; weapons that could burn, blow up, drown, or do whatever else to your opponent, if used correctly. To use a weapon, you must go into the weapons menu and pick one you like. From there, you can charge up the weapon, which will allow you to control just how hard or fast you want to fire, launch or throw something. After all, you don’t always want to lob a grenade over your enemies head!
It should come as no surprise that Worms 4 hasn’t differentiated from the original Worms formula in any way at all, although, it does try to do a few things to make the iPhone game a little different here and there when it comes to the main campaign.
First off is a mission type, which has you collecting crates while a timer ticks down, instead of mindlessly killing members of your own species. Generally, the game will give you access to a mobility based tool, like a jetpack to allow you to get to the crates just that little bit easier. With each crate you collect, a new one will spawn, unless you’ve collected the last one or the timer has run out. Collect them all and you can progress. Let the timer run out completely, however, and you’ll fail the mission and will be made to do it again to advance.
Secondly, each level in the main campaign will have a set of rules tied to it. For instance, some levels won’t allow you to damage the terrain, regardless of what you use to try and do so. Other levels may have wind, whereas others may not. Mechanics like this try to keep the iPad game a little fresh for the player. In the previous installments, they won’t be throwing anything too complex at you, and will generally stick to the regular rules of the Worms franchise, with destructible terrain.
Thirdly is customization. In-game, you’ll be able to unlock certain items by opening chests. Chests you can unlock once you’ve beaten one of the 80 single-player missions. Open these chests and you can find a number of items: money, hats, voices, and weapon upgrades to name a few. Money can be used to purchase more chests, regardless of whether they are weapon chests, voice chests, or whatever else. Hats and voices are only purely visual, which just add to make your team of Worms a little more unique for each member. Then you have weapon upgrades which each individual worm is allowed to have a couple of. These upgrades allow for your weapons to have that little extra power behind every shot, giving you the option to mix and match for your perfect team composition and strategy.
Lastly is something unique to the franchise, in the shape of Factions. When you originally load up the iPhone game, you’ll be given the option to choose between two factions: one’s red and one is blue. Once you’ve decided on the faction you would like to represent you will be shown the daily challenges. You see, every day you’re given three challenges to complete in a 24 hour period. Between the two factions is a game of tug-of-war, and by completing these challenges you’ll be helping your faction. If your faction manages to win the daily tug-of-war, everyone in that faction gains some nice rewards for being a part of the winning team.
There’s one feature of this particular Worms game that I am not a fan of, and that’s the art style the game has gone for. Worms 4 has gone for a cartoon-like look for their game, and I get the feeling it’s to cut down on processing power, and to give older iOS devices a chance to run the game without too many issues. My problem with this though, is the fact the in-game characters just don’t look all that great. It’s as if each worm is consistent of only a few frames and the way their head and body moves somewhat separately to each other just looks bizarre. The general “walking” animation on the worms just brings me to think of poorly made flash games, and that’s not something you would want your game to resemble.
Worms 4 as a Worms game works and has little to no problems when it comes to the overall controls of the game. Touchscreen controls don’t appear to be a problem for the game, and that’s not something many franchises that have tried to branch out onto the touch-device market can admit. Same old classic Worms formula of gameplay works here, and it works well, there’s no questions about it.
My problem with the iPad game, however, is the fact that if you would like to play it offline, then it almost doesn’t feel necessary. Offline you are stripped of some fairly important features, like the factions mechanic, and the ability to do anything with your chests. Without the online additions, it just seems a little barebones at times, leaving me to believe that it would be best to play the game when you do have access to the internet. Unless of course you would just like to torture some AI, that you can do as much as you like!
This issue is less a problem with the game, but more to do with the fact that going against a computer isn’t always fair. In the game, when you’re trying to make a shot, you’ll have a few factors to keep in mind. For instance, you’ll need to consider wind, which way is it blowing, along with just how much power you need to put into your next shot. Without playing a lot of Worms, you’re not going to be too great at making all of your shots hit exactly how you want them to. AI, however, doesn’t have this problem, as they have algorithms and all sorts in place to make them a decent opponent for you. Problem with this is that from time to time, you’re going to watch that AI completely decimate one of your worms, thanks to easily the most perfect shot you’ve ever seen in your Worms career. If you’re playing Worms online, then this won’t crop up, but if you’re playing single-player nearer the end game, you may just end up cursing out your game, all thanks to one incredible ark of a grenade throw.
Overall, this is Worms! If you’ve played a Worms game before, then you’ll know whether you like it or not. Very little has changed at all in terms of gameplay, so, fans of the series will be happy to see the game on touchscreen devices. Factions make for an interesting mechanic, which makes you want to check in daily to try and help your faction out to win. Being able to customize your worms to give them their own identity is a nice feature to add to the mix. The issue with the AI being as dumb as bricks or as smart as a super computer may turn you off from the single-player side of things, but shouldn’t be too much of a problem for you. The cartoon art-style looks nice on levels and environments, but on the worms themselves it just doesn’t look right, though.
Easy game to recommend for fans, but if you’re finding yourself a little hesitant on the idea, then the game probably isn’t going to be your cup of tea.
Summary: If you’re a fan of the Worms franchise, you can’t go wrong in the slightest. Everything you could want is in this package, along with a few extras that might tickle your fancy. But if Worms has never really been your type of game, then this next installment of the series is not going to sway your opinion.