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Worms Rumble Review

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Fast Facts

Worms Rumble

Developer: Team17
Publisher: Team17
Website: https://www.team17.com/games/worms-rumble/
Genre: Battle Royale, Action
Platform: Steam
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 1/12/2020
Price: £10.99

A code was provided for review purposes.

Incoming!

The Worms series has been around since 1995, so I’d be surprised if any gaming fan hadn’t heard of those angry anthropomorphic fellows! To sum it up, the series largely revolves around turn-based artillery tactics. Often having to be the last one standing, you use whacky weapons to deplete your opponents’ health. Sheep, Holy Hand Grenades, and more, Worms boasts slapstick humour. It has gone through character design changes, 2D to 3D, and even a mini-golf spin-off!

With the rise of the battle royale genre, it is unsurprising that Worms Rumble has jumped on the bandwagon. In a Worms first, the game takes place in real-time as you strive to be the last worm standing. So, does this tried and tested formular work for the world of Worms?

Frantic Fighting

Worms Rumble Tutorial
The Storm sounds familiar…

The mechanics of the game are fairly straightforward, and not dissimilar from other titles in this genre. You can pick up weapons dropped by fallen enemies, or by crates scattered throughout the arena. Currently, there are two arenas, one focused around a Dockyard and the other a Mall. However, they are actually surprisingly large and detailed. The platform style was interesting and stood out against other battle royales; I’d often get lost in the maze of halls and elevators!

Weapons vary from the norm like shotguns and rifles, to pulse blasters and bazookas. Of course, we can’t forget the bananas or iconic Holy Hand Grenade either! With guns, projectiles, and tools to help you navigate such as plungers and jet packs, many players will probably be used to this format.

Using the mouse to shoot, WASD to move, and various buttons to pick up, use projectiles, and more, there is quite a lot to remember. Luckily the tutorial takes you through it all. However, the fighting style is so chaotic that you often don’t get the chance to try out the controls adequately in a single game. I also found having to be facing in the right direction to where I was shooting with the mouse to be quite fiddly since it’s a side scroller. I’m not sure if it’s any easier on PlayStation however.

I Will Survive!

The best way to get better at Worms Rumble is of course to play! Again, and again, and again. Since the game is cross-platform with PlayStation, who have the game on PS Plus, there are a lot of people who are very high level. I’m talking, over 700 games played high, and will K.O. you in 3 seconds. It’s frustrating, but not unlike other battle royales.

Worms Rumble Kill Screen
Unfortunately I saw this screen a lot.

There are three main game modes to play, besides the Tutorial. Deathmatch is pretty self-explanatory, but it allows you to keep respawning in a game of up to 32 players. The worm with the most kills wins! You can see your kill/death ratio on a scoreboard at the end, so keep trying to climb higher each match! Make sure to open crates to find health items such as medkits and additional shields.

There is also Last Squad Standing and Last Worm Standing, both battle royale modes. No respawns, just a fight to survive and be the last alive, either solo or in a team! Watch out for the incoming green storm though, shrinking the map. These can be with Team17 friends or completely random. You can be knocked down in squads, with the hope that your teammates will revive you. More often than not though, your opponent will finish you off before they get the chance. It’s a ruthless world!

Worms Rumble Victory
A squad win in Last Squad Standing!

Boom, Blast and Ruin

The visuals of Worms Rumble are a world away from the PS1 days, and they look great. They’re vivid and colourful, the orange blasts of grenades and blue rays of pulse guns bright; eye-catching for any young gamers out there. The cartoony character design and crazy weapons are also appealing for this age range, but enjoyed by any age as well. It’s hard not to laugh as someone shoots a sheep across the map, or throws a Holy Hand Grenade with an angelic ‘hallelujah!’

As said before, there is a whole lot of detail to the arenas which I wasn’t expecting. I found myself discovering a new part of the map each time! You could also go through hidden shafts and towers, where you can only been seen if someone is in there with you. These little extras just made the format that little bit different.

Worms Rumble Arena
One of my favourite, retro sections of the Mall arena.

The theme song on the main menu is quite catchy, and I often had it stuck in my head after playing! However, I honestly couldn’t tell you what it was like in matches, as the humorous audio is by far the main focus! Besides the aforementioned ‘hallelujah’ and the noise of explosions, you can customise your worm’s voice. This gives everyone certain catchphrases and attitudes, which was funny to hear whilst fighting. I went for a sarcastic female voice! The worms also tend to scream, yell, and shout ‘ouch!’ in the midst of battle.

Build-A-Worm

Speaking of customisation, an incentive to keep you playing is unlocking new items for your worm. You can choose from colour, outfits, and accessories, as well as skins for your weapons and banner designs. Personally, I didn’t find them that compelling but a young audience may want to spend their hard-earned coins from battle on collecting everything.

Worms Rumble Customisation
My festive attire.

The matches being fairly short, around 10 to 15 minutes, means that Worms Rumble is easy to pick up and play. It may seem a little repetitive, which is why I only played it in short bursts. Nevertheless, I can see the appeal in why people would replay over and over again. As well, there are special game modes in ‘The Lab’ mode every so often, for example only being able to use baseball bats.

This definitely opens the game up to more opportunities, and I think Team17 can use this to their advantage. With more updates, it can keep growing and keep people playing. Seasonal events, such as Christmas items, and daily challenges will add to this too.

Hallelujah?

Overall, I think Worms Rumble has done a great job of making the battle royale genre its own, while also keeping the things we love about the Worms franchise. With the ability to add arenas and game modes, it definitely has the potential to grow. The gameplay is fun and frantic, though it can be frustrating coming up against people five times your level! Maybe some skill-based matchmaking could be introduced to balance this.

Worms Rumble Gameplay
Leave some loot for me!

I do think this game is more appealing to perhaps a younger audience than me, or best enjoyed with friends. Though I personally wouldn’t get to the point where I’d be playing hours at a time and grinding it out, I can see why people would. If you’re a Worms fan or planning to try a new battle royale with friends, it’s not a bad price to pick up. But definitely take advantage if you have a PlayStation to get it for free, and see whether you like it or not!

Rapid Reviews Rating

You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.

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