Following suit of many other hit digital titles, Worms WMD has crawled its way onto the Nintendo Switch; delivering the series' first portable outing since Open Warfare 2 in 2007. WMD launched last August and saw a return to the series' roots whilst also introducing new vehicles, a sleek hand-drawn look, and an all-new crafting system. Our impressions at launch were favourable as we awarded the title a solid 8/10, but how do things fare on the Switch? We'll get to that shortly.
A big draw to this particular port of WMD is the addition of timed-exclusive content. This content features a brand-new space theme, the new Forts mode, and some additional customisation options for you to dress your worms in style. It also includes the All-Stars pack which features guest appearances from games like Rocket League, Goat Simulator, The Escapists, and Yooka-Laylee. It may not be anything particularly ground-breaking and it may not rival the temporally exclusive content that was seen in Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, for example, but it's still a nice incentive for those coming late to the party. We did, however, wish that Team 17 had teamed up with Nintendo similar to Psyonix with Rocket League and delivered content from some its flagship titles like Mario, Zelda, and Pokémon.
Worms WMD's brisk turn-based action lends itself wonderfully to the portable nature of the Switch. With battles lasting on average 20 minutes, the title makes for the perfect companion for your commute serving up a quick and addictive fix of carnage. The title features a decent variety of modes for you to sink your teeth into. Alongside multiplayer matches which you can play both locally and offline, there's a training mode and a story campaign that features additional objectives to enhance replayability. There's also wanted posters found within stages that will unlock challenges for you to assassinate targeted worms - so there's plenty here to keep you occupied during those long car journeys home.
Multiplayer has long been a staple of the Worms series and here the options for play have never felt more diverse. Players can grab a single Joy-Con each, pass around one main controller, or can use multiple Pro Controllers between each other. Using a single Joy-Con can admittedly feel a little cramped, however, with the weapon select, movement and camera control all condensed into a small space. Certainly, younger players won't have such issues. Another issue of note is that when played in tablet mode it can be a little difficult to view the map when fully zoomed out, which you'll often have to do when searching for where your opponent's worms are hiding.
The Switch may not be a contender to the likes of PS4 and Xbox One with regards to graphical capabilities, but the platform has still seen some solid ports over the past year, with Worms WMD being one of them. In docked mode, the title runs at a silky smooth 60 FPS and its charming hand-drawn visuals appear as crisp as ever. In handheld mode, however, things may not be as equally impressive, but it still looks great and performs smoothly. The last note to be made on the visuals is that we were really impressed by the direction Team 17 took with WMD overall. Everything just feels much more stylised and in line with the series' earlier classics opposed to the janky 3D look of 2014's Battlegrounds.
At the end of the day its versatility that is probably the biggest selling point for this particular version of the game; Worms may not be the most demanding game from a technical standpoint, but having an almost on par experience whether at home or on the go is pretty impressive. It's a game that has long entertained groups of players handing around a controller, and being able to do so on the go is certainly a huge part of its appeal. The Switch destroys any barriers there are between playing with friends and lets anyone around you jump in on the action with a Joy-Con in hand. Nothing quite rivals the moments of silliness that come from blowing up your friends with a rocket-propelled sheep or letting them feel the wrath of God from the brunt of a holy hand grenade.
Worms on the Switch may not warrant a repurchase if you've already played it elsewhere, but it certainly does prove the best entry point for those who have missed out. It provides the most diverse options for local multiplayer and features timed-exclusive content that, whilst not gaming changing, are a nice addition. The lack of Nintendo exclusive content may feel like a bit of a missed opportunity and there are some drawbacks from playing in handheld mode as we mentioned earlier, but Worms WMD is still a ton of fun that's made even better by the flexible nature of the Switch.
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