Video Games

Worms Rumble (PS5)

Worms are back! It might not be the Worms you remember, it might not be the Worms you wanted, but they are back nonetheless. I’ve been a fan of the Worms series since I was very young, probably about 7-8 years old. I remember my brother and I had a demo of Worms Armageddon on our PlayStation 1. We played the heck out of it. For years. It wasn’t until 2014 that I purchased a new Worms game. Crazy how much of a run I got from one demo. This game is nothing like Armageddon and doesn’t feel quite like a Worms title. I’m not in love with it, but I am trying.

I mentioned it doesn’t feel like a Worms title. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, this game is in real time. No turn based strategy, which is a staple of the Worms series. Secondly, the environment is non destructible. Weird. My third and final key difference I would like to bring attention to is the fact that it is online only. No campaign. No local co-op or local PVP. Online only. And, of course, it has a battle royale mode. What game doesn’t nowadays?

With that being said, it doesn’t mean that Team17 completely missed the mark. It’s still funny. It’s still chaotic and destructive. It is still infuriating at times, albeit for different reasons. It still has Worms and the Holy Hand Grenade and a few other favourite weapons (although there are many notable absences). Even the voice acting sounds very familiar!

Before I dive into gameplay talk, I need to address one of the major problems with Worms Rumble. The wait times! My goodness. That’s a problem with online only games, but I haven’t had this much of a problem since the beta for Predator : Hunting Grounds. I didn’t get to play the beta at all for Predator, I literally could not find a server to join. It’s not quite as bad in Worms, but it’s notable enough that even my partner commented that I “do a whole lot of waiting and not a lot of playing”. It’s not ideal. I’ve probably played around 8 hours of Rumble now and I would say I’ve spent 4 hours of that waiting to get into a game. Hopefully, with a larger fan base it will be less of a problem. Considering it is currently free though. I have my doubts.

If you need another example of how small the community is, here is a story for you. I was matched with another player on the weekend, I really did not like them (more on that later). After a few games, I quit and tried to find a different server. No luck, I was thrown back in with them. I came across them again yesterday, much to my frustration. And again today. I couldn’t believe it! I know that it is unfair to compare it to Warzone, but I literally never see the same person twice in that. Yet over several seperate games and numerous days, I keep matching up with the same person. Are there only 32 people playing at anyone time?

On that note, I have also played a few rounds that were severely undermanned. I’ve played the 32 man (or worm) Battle Royale mode with as few as 8 players in it. I’ve played squads with as few as 5 squads and not all of them at full strength. For the most part, death match usually seems full, but it’s still a few minutes wait between rounds.

Let’s talk about the gameplay. It’s chaotic. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes bad. I guess it depends what side of the gun you are on! Whilst I miss the turn based destruction, I can’t deny that it is fun in it’s own right. The real time action definitely adds to the amusement and franticness.

I definitely miss the variety of weapons you had available in previous titles. For the most part, it feels you are always using an assault rifle or a shotgun in this. There are a couple other weapons, but they are either crap, hard to come by or both. Take the Hammerhead for example. I’ve only come across it a handful of times and most of the time, it has no ammo in it. When it does, it seems to almost kill a Worm, but never finishes the job. The Sentry Gun is the biggest waste of time ever. I was trying to get a kill with it for a trophy and it took about 8-9 rounds before I lucked into a kill.

Whilst we are on the topic of weapons, I find aiming to be very awkward. It’s very hard to do when you are constantly moving. Most of the time, I will just get in close for a melee kill. I will only shoot if I’m not moving and they are walking (wriggling?) towards me. For the most part, I’ve had a lot of success with this strategy. They are often jumping around and trying to shoot me at the same time. They usually miss and I just smack ’em a few times with my trusty baseball bat.

Speaking of problems, camping is going to be a major issue in this game. It’s already starting to become a problem, but it feels like Team17 are encouraging it. You can hide in vents or rooms and when you are in them, you cannot be seen by other people. Not on the map or on the screen. It just looks like a ventilation shaft. The issue is, when you are in the shaft you can still see everyone else. A lot of the vents are near walkways as well, so a player can camp in the vent and just kill people who walk past. It’s a bit unfair, but like I said, the game seems to encourage it. I tried it one round for a little bit (I felt really guilty) and I got 17 kills before I moved on. I just camped near a spawn point and shot people. They couldn’t even see me. If you time it right, they don’t even have time to run.

Another problem is that there is no way to communicate with your teammates (except for the stupid emotes) when you are playing squads. I usually have my mic muted anyway, but in a team based game it’s strange that you can’t talk to your squad. I imagine this will change in a future patch.

I’ve also noticed that the people who play Worms have major tunnel vision. I don’t mean that as a compliment or an insult, just a statement. What I mean is that once they see you, it is a battle to the death. Running away is pointless because they will just follow you. To the extreme. And it’s 99% of the players as well. I’ve noticed it heaps. I will run away from a Worm and they will give chase. They will run past 3,4,5 other worms but will pay them no mind. Once they have a target, that is it. They are unrelenting. One player chased me for almost 90 seconds. I timed it. Just out of curiosity. We must have went past about 10 or more other Worms but they didn’t care. They just kept chasing me. Hell hath no fury like a Worm pissed off. Eventually we both died at the hands of some other players. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but is annoying when you are trying to write a guide on the game like I am. I’m just trying to explore! As the Worms would say “Leave me alone!”.

I suppose that I may as well get back to the player I kept getting matched with. I was working on a trophy (to get a win in deathmatch) when I continued to encounter this guy. He wasn’t technically breaking any rules, so I couldn’t report him, but I wished I could have! I kept coming in 2nd place and every time he was first. He was about level 30, whilst the rest of us where only level 2 or 3. The game suggests moving on to the Battle Royale when you are over level 10. But this guy wanted to play death match. Which is fair enough I guess, but it is annoying when he is heads and shoulders above the competition. There should be some kind of matchmaking system that is based upon your level. That might be hard with so few people playing though. Eventually, I got rid of him and got the trophy.

That’s a good segue into the trophies. It looks like an easyish platinum, but it is going to be a hell of a grind. I won my second game of the Battle Royale (in a full server!), so that’s all the win trophies taken care of. If you are interested in the Platinum, it’d be best to try and get the win trophies now. It’s only going to get harder from here.

I’ve only got a few trophies left to get, but I don’t think I’ll be playing the game long enough to earn them. I’ll be surprised if many people are playing it that consistently. I need to get all weapons to level 10, which is achievable enough on most weapons. I don’t see how that is going to happen with the sentry gun, considering how weak it is. I also think it will be hard with the Hammerhead gun, considering how rare it is. I still haven’t got a kill with the Hammerhead. Maybe they will make the sentry gun stronger and the Hammerhead more accessible in a future patch. For now though, it may as well be impossible. I’ve got a few ideas that I will include in my guide, but even they are going to take ages and won’t be particularly enjoyable. Reaching level 50 will also take some time. I am consistently placing in the top 3 and hardly get any experience. Hopefully that gets a patch too.

One last note. When I check my statistics, it has something called ‘The Lab’ listed as a game mode. I’m not sure what this is and I can’t find any info about it. Weird.

I feel like I’ve crapped on the game a lot in this review. There is a lot I would do differently, but it is still a very fun game. Especially considering it is free. I can’t see it being something I will play religiously (especially not with Cyberpunk just a day away!) but it is a good way to waste a half hour or so. I’ll be keeping it installed on my console and slowly chipping away at the platinum. If you are a PS Plus subscriber, you can grab it for free this month and see what you think of it. Just go in with an open mind. Let me know what you think in the comments.

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