Synopsis: Worms Rumble is Worms like you’ve never played it before, with intense, real-time, arena-based 32 player cross-platform combat. Get ready for Deathmatch and Last Worm Standing modes where you’re only ever a Holy Hand Grenade away from death!
Publisher: Team17 Reviewed on: PS4 Also available for: PS4, PC
Developer: Team17 Creative Director: Kevin Carthew Technical Director: Dave Smethurst Art Director: Nick Gomersall
It’s been four years since the last entry in the long-running Worms franchise. Now, Worms Rumble is attempting to revitalize the franchise with a focus in online multiplayer. The most significant change in pace is the switch to real-time action. Worms has been an RTS franchise since its inception, and now you have full control of your Worm in fast-paced, hectic action. Surprisingly, the action works, even on the 2D space, you’ve come to expect from Worms games.
At launch, there are three game types in total here. Two of which are battle royale variants. ‘Last Squad Standing’ where you team up with two other players and then there’s ‘Last Worm Standing’ where it’s you vs everyone else in typical battle royale fashion.
Both of the battle royale modes have some of the key things you’d expect. As the match progresses, areas of the map will get filled with poisonous gas, and by the end, there’s only one small space left for the final competitors to fight. You can find crates with weapons in them, but you do spawn in with a gun. So it doesn’t have the resource management or searching aspect many Battle Royale games contain.
Although Worms Rumble is being marketed with the battle royale modes at the forefront, it’s the a-typical ‘Deathmatch’ game mode that is the most fun to play. You’ll spawn in with either a pistol, shotgun or machine gun and can find better guns by searching crates like in the battle royale modes, but here, of course, you can respawn after you die. With 32 players, the action can get ridiculously hectic. Three key chokepoints draw out big shootouts where I’m always involved in rocket-launcher vs rocket-launch duels. Explosions and worm bodies flying everywhere — its nonsense but in the best way.
No matter what mode you’re playing, you’ll be dealing with some pot-luck. Worms Rumble has reminded me most of Fall Guys more than any other multiplayer shooter. If you spawn with a good gun and then pick-up a rocket-launcher, holy hand grande or one of the other more OP weapons, you can quickly wreck shop. In the Deathmatch mode, this is less frustrating as you always have the chance to have as much luck when you respawn.
Getting around the map, you can sneak through the air-vents or roll to gain speed and jump right into the middle of the action. Sometimes it’s just best to land in the middle of a fight and begin spamming the button for your baseball bat and hope for the best, which has worked out for me several times.
Whatever mode you play, you’ll earn experience, and as you level up, you’ll unlock new cosmetic items to make your Worm stand out from the crowd. Your weapons also level up the more you use them and unlock skins. Both of which level up too slowly, especially when compared to other multiplayer games. There are three daily quests to complete, but they’re oddly hard and you don’t feel like you’re able to complete much without giving the game hours of your attention per day. Daily challenges like ‘throw 100 grenades’ would take many matches to complete unless you’re just running around throwing grenades aimlessly. Completing any daily does reward you with in-game money that is used to buy more cosmetics. Although there’s no way to spend real-world cash on cosmetics at the moment, there’s also no battle-pass or equivalent unlock system. All-up the progression system is too slow and lacking in content get truly hook you.
Developer Team17 has plans to bring many updates to the game in the future, and by the sounds of it, you’ll be able to test new weapons in something called ‘The Lab,’ which isn’t available at launch — at least, not on PS5. I am enjoying my time with Worms Rumble, but with Deathmatch being the only mode I find enjoyable to play, just three maps, only ten weapons and a slow levelling and unlock system, it feels slightly undercooked at launch.