Team17 surprised plenty last month with the announcement of Worms Rumble. Taking the long-running franchise from its turn-based, iconic systems to a battle royale title is no small task, especially with 25 years of history.
We sat down with Adam Findlay, the game's lead designer, to discuss how the decision was made, what titles the team took inspiration from, and whether the all-important Holy Hand Grenade will be returning.
Worms Rumble Developer Interview
A Big Change A Long Time In The Making
After over two decades of Worms titles, what prompted the switch? It turns out that it's been something the team has been pondering for some time.
"After making 25 years of turn-based Worms games we wanted to try something a bit different!" Findlay explained, understandably. "We have always asked the question, ‘What would a real-time Worms game look like?’ and we are really happy with how it’s turned out so far."
Of course, there's always the possibility that the game will prove divisive with long-time fans, something the team are mindful of.
"We hope to appeal to fans both new and old, it’s a big departure from the classic Worms gameplay, but we think we have retained the fun, charm and humour that has been synonymous with Worms games of the past."
Last Worm Standing
Battle Royales are all the rage, but filtering that through the Worms IP certainly separates Worms Rumble from the pack. While the game offers a deathmatch mode, the battle royale seems to be the focus - why this mode, and why now?
"We’ve heard people in the past describe that Worms as, “The original Battle Royale,” which I think is quite a fun way of looking at it: fighting other players in an elimination game where you have to battle over resources."
"For Worms Rumble we wanted to create a side-on 2.5D Battle Royale mode, one that offers quick, bite-sized games, easy to drop in and out of, with that just-one-more-game feeling. But Battle Royale is just one of several game modes planned", Findlay added cryptically.
The Games That Inspired Worms Rumble
With 25 years of history, there's plenty to draw from for the franchise, but when looking for inspiration for Worms Rumble, the team took cues from some surprising places.
"When looking for Worms Rumble inspiration we obviously looked back at classic Worms titles, what would and wouldn’t translate over to a real-time version of the game."
"We looked at other games we feel have a real sticky appeal, that just-one-more-game feeling I mentioned earlier, games like Rocket League and Splatoon." Findlay reveals.
With fan-favourite weapons promised, we asked Findlay to name his favourites, and we're so glad the potentially problematic Holy Hand Grenade has made the cut for Worms Rumble.
"My three favourite weapons would probably be the Concrete Donkey for its purely destructive nature, the Prod for the ultimate finishing move, and the Holy Hand Grenade for its trademark hallelujah."
"The Holy Hand Grenade has returned for Worms Rumble and was shown off in our recent early closed beta."
The game is slated to launch on PS4 and PS5, as well as PC, but Findlay was coy on any further platforms, as well as what we can expect from the next-gen version.
"We are currently focused on launching on PS4, PS5 and PC," he explained, "We will be looking into all the new features that the PS5 supports to see what we can support with Worms Rumble".
Oh, and if you're wondering if any worms were harmed in the making of Worms Rumble, we've got the answer.
"Only of the digital variety!"