If I told you that one of the most devastating arsenals in video game history consisted of cluster banana bombs, lethal sheep programmed by Michael Bay and Holy hand grenades (HALLELUJAH!), you’d probably think that you finally have a reason to have me committed to an insane asylum. I’m not crazy though! Such a game does exist, and it happens to be Worms.
Team 17’s delightful turn-based strategy game of mass destruction has existed in one form or another for many a year, usually taking on the shape of a 2D tactical game wherein players carved a path to victory with shotguns and airstrikes as they budged the not so nimble invertebrates into prime position. Worms has ventured into 3D territory into the past, but its next iteration will see the little fellas tackle a brand new style of play: Real-time action.
Worms Rumble is the name of the game, and it looks absolutely chaotic. In case you missed the reveal, here’s the trailer for it:
“So why real-time? We of course love the turn-based versions of Worms and it’s what we’ve done for so many years,” Team 17 producer Danny Martin explained on the PS Blog about the shift in style for this new stab at Worms.
Working on Worms W.M.D was an absolute blast and we’re really proud of it. But we’ve always wanted to push the envelope that little bit further and scratch that “what-if” itch. Sure, we’ve done spins offs of Worms before, but we wanted to go all out and see if we could pull off a real-time version of Worms.
We started prototyping Worms Rumble a couple of years ago with just a small team, and what they came up with in such a short space of time really piqued our interest and made us pretty excited for what we could do. We then started to hold internal usability sessions to get the feeling from the whole studio on how the game felt to play.
Did it still feel like Worms? Was the fun factor there? Are we crazy to even try this? The results we got from the team were very encouraging, and straight away we saw that it had that “one more game” appeal. The feedback during the prototype phase was invaluable, as it then pushed us on to look at where we could take this.
For Worms Rumble, Tea 17 had to throw the rulebook of the past 25 years of Worms out the window, focusing on a faster and more explosive sensation of play for the notoriously slow icons of scorched earth policy. “Because of the real-time nature of the Worms Rumble, we had to look at how to change the movements of the worm,” Martin explained.
Normally you’d see the worms crawl along at a slow pace, with the occasional jump to traverse around the landscape, but with Worms Rumble, we’ve sped things up significantly. Not only will the worm move faster, you’ll now be able to roll around the arenas at high speed, perform wall jumps to traverse at pace to get to higher ground and away from danger, and dodge those “incoming” bazooka shells and grenades.
It took a lot of balancing to get this feeling just right whilst making sure it felt fair for all players. You won’t be able to continually roll around the level, or hang out on your favourite piece of wall, as our little annelid friends now have stamina which will drain as you roll or wall jump. It’s only when you slow down that your stamina bar will recharge and leave you more susceptible to incoming fire!
It looks absolutely mad, and this game of Last Worm Standing will be heading to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 towards the end of the year.
Last Updated: July 6, 2020