“Worms Clan Wars is another fantastic addition to Team 17’s ever-evolving franchise!”
Worms is a name which has now been around in the gaming world for eighteen years. From the release of Worms in 1995 to last year’s addition to the franchise in the form of Worms: Revolution, the series has remained extremely popular and still boasts fans both young and old who have held on tight for the ride. This year we have been graciously rewarded for this long-enduring support with another new title being released for us to enjoy; Worms Clan Wars. Clan Wars has been made with all the very best features of its predecessors, from Super Sheep to Banana Bombs, and for the very first time allows you to play amongst others online as part of a Clan. This new style of play is an exciting new step forward for the franchise, and one of the more noticeable ones since the game burst into a third dimension in Worms 3D almost ten years ago. Has the move been a successful manoeuvre for the series, or is it time the Concrete Donkey was dropped and things be left to rest? Well don’t be calling in your Air Strikes too soon folks, the review is only just getting started!
For those fans poised with Sniper Rifles overlooking the Team 17 offices as they are reading this, you can put that thing away, because the classic and favourite features that you are worried they might have forgotten are still very much still in the game! That’s right, you can still play a dedicated campaign, a skirmish against the computer or either locally or online against friends, and everything else that you would love and hope a Worms game would have to offer! So there we go, you three guys over there, yes your free, you can put that Dynamite away now, you know it would be better saved for later anyway! What’s more, the campaign in this edition of Worms has perhaps one of the clearest stories of the games so far. You could go so far as to finally say that Worms has a genuine, meaningful story mode to be enjoyed. Less of the random missions which don’t completely fit together and more continuity is what you will find among your mayhem in this instalment, but I won’t give the story away. You didn’t expect the story to be normal though did you? No, no, no, of course not, it’s still about as crazy as you can get without simply becoming whatever Saints Row has gotten up to these days. At least the madness behind Worms makes some weird sort of sense still! Anyway, that’s somebody else’s review to write, so let’s stay on track with Clan Wars.
The gameplay that you will find in Worms Clan Wars is, to look at it simply, basically the same as that in Worms: Revolution. Graphically things look the same, the physics objects have been carried across, and the class system also makes a reappearance. There have been alterations and improvements made to both of these latter elements however, so anyone who is getting hot and bothered over them just hold back on those Fire Punches a second ok? The physics objects, as well as the water found around the map, are now found in greater quantities and appear to work a bit more nicely. Rather than just being about the place now, they seem to be more practically useful and much better integrated into gameplay. These objects were not met with too much critical response in Worms: Revolution, other than some slight confusion over why some water drowned you slowly while the other, traditional water would kill you instantly. This is still the case, but it is not so much of a negative aspect as it is a somewhat confusing matter. As it is however, the improvements made have created a much nicer integration of these elements into Clan Wars. Further to this, there is also a new collection of physics contraptions on some maps, such as windmill-like elements which will test your ability to move around during the fight and could easily change the nature of the battle if poorly manipulated. These are a welcome new element in Worms Clan Wars, and will certainly bring something nice and fresh to your battle plans.
As for the class system for your worms, which in Revolution was not met with too much applause, greater effort has been put into making genuine differences between different types of worms, in order to make them more attractive as parts of your team. A lot of players of Revolution it seemed opted to use the standard worms which they knew, loved and understood. The differences between classes were too subtle to make them particularly useful to play with. Now there are thankfully more clear distinguishing factors, which is a very good thing seeing as using the mixed team is the only option that you begin the game with! Feel as though you can keep your Grenades pinned now you know some of that? Good, I can keep going then. On top of the class system and physics elements, there are a couple of other welcome new features in the game which players can enjoy. A more subtle and yet pleasant addition is an in battle day-night cycle which comes into play as time goes on. This does not influence the battle as such, but does add a nice new aesthetically pleasing aspect to experience. For the more creative among you, the Steam Workshop will provide you an alternative to the simple Blowtorch when it comes to manipulating maps. You can spend your spare time creating your own grand arenas for the game, and if Steam Workshop games have shown us anything it is that the creativity of gamers is one of the strongest elements of recent successful multiplayer games.
Of course the major new feature in Clan Wars is, indeed, the clan wars. The clan system which has been created is something which is not forced upon the player should they not wish to use it. Those of you who don’t really like playing with other people and would rather Girder yourself into a small crevice to remain safe from the outside world may happily continue to do so. For those of you who are up for Jetpacking your way to a new experience, read on! Quite simply, Worms Clan Wars allows you to band together with other players of the game and form a Clan, or Guild in which you prefer, which lets you interact with other members via the WormNet lobby and chat system, battle other clans in an online multiplayer league, and attempt to work as a team be it big or small to succeed in these battles and make your name known. Clans can be created by anyone, and can have their own logos to be identified by too. What’s more, you can stay in contact with the clan on the go with apps available online, on iOS and on Android. To cut a long story short, Team 17 really did think this out well. Only time will really tell if the feature turns out to be a good or a bad thing, but from personal experience I have to say that I think I prefer things the traditional way. I can play online against others if I wish to, but part of the madness of Worms has always been the feeling of personal glory when you come out on top. Sometimes it is nice to be able to show off the fact that your Bazooka is bigger than everyone else’s, without a group of people behind you just making your heroic victory a number on their monthly count. Fortunately, the game does not force the clan elements upon you, so if you wish to play the old way you can without any kind of trouble. For me, this means the clan system not suiting everyone is not such a negative of the game, as it is an option simply left to you. Some people will love it for sure, and those who don’t can ignore it. What is certain is that a lot of effort has gone into making it work, so either way I say kudos to Team 17 for that!
So there we have it. If you are still reading this then it means you didn’t pull any triggers, pull and pins or drop any obscenely large and explosive animals on anyone up to now. Congratulations, I am very proud of you. It also of course means that you know all about Worms Clan Wars and hopefully you will have decided whether you think it’s for you. If not, here is a quick round up to help you collect your thoughts. Worms Clan Wars maintains the strong chassis which has always been and continues to be the core around which the Worms franchise has persistently been a success. It follows up Worms: Revolution outstandingly by taking the new elements introduced in that game and making the necessary improvements to make them work in the new title’s favour. What’s more, the developers at Team 17 have taken a small step in order to give the series a giant leap into a more social style of gaming with their clan system. It may not be for everyone, but those who do not wish to use it will not have it forced upon them and those who enjoy it will find great pleasure in using it for sure. The only problem with the game is that it really is not that different to its closest predecessor, and for that reason it may not stand out to those to whom the clan system is not a particularly attractive feature. Otherwise, Worms Clan Wars is another fantastic addition to Team 17’s ever-evolving franchise!
The Good – The game holds true to the successful core of the Worms series, builds upon the imperfections of its predecessor, produces a well thought out story mode and boasts a well-structured new clan system which is not forced upon players but will impress those who choose to use it.
The Bad – Aside from the new clan elements, the game is not all that different from the previous title in the series.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.