Worms Rumble, that is – I don’t think I have worms. One of the classic multiplayer games growing up along with Lotus Turbo Challenge, IK+, Sensible Soccer and Alien Breed, Worms was one of the most memorable games of its time.
Pitting a team of worms against one another in a series of turn-based skirmishes with an assortment of sheep launchers, banana bombs and Star Trek-inspired teleportation devices, this game just offered so much, as it has over the many revisions over the years.
The latest, Worms Rumble, brings the series up-to-date with real-time gameplay, and rather than commanding a team of reprobates, you control just one character – your avatar, as you take on up to 31 other players in deathmatch after deathmatch. The early verdict? It’s fantastic.
Worms Rumble PS5 Review
The chances are, you’ve already experienced this if you have PlayStation Plus as it’s one of the free games this month, only for a month, mind. Should you invest in this title past the membership offer? Hell, yeah! As a non-online multiplaying fella, this is easily my go-to game at the moment. – even after reviewing.
Let’s pretend that you haven’t played it yet, or you’ve added to your library but debating whether you should delete My Name Is Mayo to free up that last bit of space required. While it’s not without a few flaws, Worms Rumble is off to a good start and guaranteed to offer a lot more in the future.
The premise is simple: exterminate the other worms, either in a Deathmatch until time runs out, Last Squad Standing and Last Worm Standing – the latter being squad and solo, respectively. It’s recommended to be level 5 for team-based shenanigans and 10 for the solo work.
There was a slight delay in getting a review ready as there weren’t the players available when I received the review code. Still, as soon as it was available on PlayStation Plus, I managed to clock up 20+ games in 48 hours without a single delay in finding a match.
Best Served With Worms
Worms Rumble is easily the fastest multiplayer of late too. There’s no hanging around in the lobby waiting for other players as the 32 player cap is close to full each time. The lowest number of players in one of the games was something like 22. Bear in mind that this has a lot to do with the game being free this month too.
Unlike the original Worms, the big difference with Worms Rumble is the real-time play. You take control of one worm with your PSID, and you can dress up with unlockable hats, glasses and outfits, as well as titles to boast some stats such as kills.
Deathmatch is mostly where I played, that is, when my three-year-old would get off the training section. She adores the holy grenade as would repeatedly throw at herself to cries from the worm shouting “dastardly”, offering up an equally evil laugh. Deathmatch only has one map at this stage, but it’s huge and has several bottlenecks to accumulate some kills.
Movement is free by using the left stick and aiming with the right. You can carry two weapons at a time, one utility such as a jetpack, health packs and grenades. Everyone has a baseball bat too, which is easily my go-to weapon.
Players can crawl into vents and be hidden from other players unless they jump in too, so you’ll occasionally find people ‘sniping’ one another from the shadows, and admit that I have done this tactic a few times.
Thankfully, Worms Rumble is fair and even in brief moments of “I shot them!” or “the controller’s not working!”, you soon respawn and get back into the action. There was definitely a pattern as each game I’d die about four or five times in a row then get back into the swing of it.
In all the games I played, there were only two games where I finished outside of the top ten, but the highest placement was 4th. I’m happy with that as the action is absolutely mental and lucky to get one kill, let alone 20+. Despite these consistent placements, XP is a little stingy.
Another introduction into the game is the roll. Holding down L2 will have your worm curl into a ball and dart across the screen performing longer jumps. It’s an excellent technique for evasion, but you can still take damage from this manoeuvre.
Show Me Some Skin(s)
As a Team17 fanboy, I could show some bias and say the game is perfect: it’s not. There were a few minor glitches which can occur with cross-platform gaming like losing the odd game through a server error or shaky sprites if throwing too many grenades at the wall. Nothing game-breaking as it’s relatively rare but enough to make a comment on it.
My biggest criticism has to be the rewards. As you level up your character, you unlock a handful of items, skins for your weapons and titles like how many baseball bat kills you’ve made (at the time of writing, 100+ :D).
Unfortunately, you can’t see the skins so well due to the sizes on screen, plus everybody more or less looks the same – other than the handful of players that select the most absurd patterns to stand out. On that basis, along with the one deathmatch map, it does seem quite limited.
One of the trickiest things is seeing where you are when three or more are in the same area, and it gets a bit scrappy, but that’s not actually a bad thing and surprisingly good fun, just a bit messy. My personal problem is usernames are shown and everyone else as __S0m3th!ng[ofa]us3rnAm3_ while mine is more memorable, so people target me if I kill them – ha!
Level 42 (50)
That’s a dad joke – ask your nan or the original developers of Worms about that heading. The current cap for levelling is 50 and that it is going to take a bloody long time. Fortunately, the gameplay is just so much fun that the levelling and customisations are an afterthought to a very satisfying rumble.
Somehow I managed to clock up two separate sets of trophies for Worms Rumble – one for the PS4 and the other for the PS5. For some time, I was playing the PS4 version without realising. Switching over to the PS5 game, my family immediately noticed the improvements in the visuals, but I didn’t see anything – it would have been a placebo effect.
However, the DualSense triggers were ace. Firing the default pistol gives a little bit of resistance each shot, but the shotgun and assault rifle were just brilliant. Switching to the PS5 version, the haptic feedback helped as in close up scraps you don’t always know if you’re firing. With the shotgun, I would keep tapping R2, but naturally, the resistance wasn’t there with the reload and it changed my gun preference (the assault rifle – the shotgun is great, but not the best, in my opinion).
Last Squad Standing is fine, but I’d much rather play with friends and not having any with the game, nor friends in general, <sniff>, I was happy to stick with Deathmatch – not so much Last Worm Standing as, out of character, I much preferred the sporadic skirmishes that the former offered.
Worms Rumble Review Summary
There’s room for updates such as additional maps, and perhaps Team17 unlocks – Moving Out outfits or even more Sony stuff such as Crash Bandicoot to keep it fresh. Regardless, Worms Rumble is incredibly satisfying, with that same charm of the original but a complete transition from turn-based to real-time mayhem. It’s currently free for a month, so try it yourself. I’ll be on it again later today, Netflix can do one.