What happens when the turn-based tactical violence of Worms becomes a real-time shooter? See for yourself in the free Worms Rumble open beta weekend, which started today. This latest Worms spin-off is a 32-player side-on shooter with all the usual wacky weapons, throwing down in deathmatch and battle royale modes. I like Worms because of the game it is, not the brand, but Rumble could be good in its own right. The beta is also on PlayStation 4 and does have cross-platform multiplayer, so you can batter your PlayPals too.
It's a double-edged sword, using a well-regarded and long-running brand for a game that's quite different. Sure, the familiar name gets you a lot of attention, but the attention's primarily from people who expect a different sort of game. Elements of Worms could support a decent side-on shooter, mind - the splendid Soldat cite Worms as one of its inspiration, after all. Many fans have been sceptical of Worms going battle royale.
"Sorry to hear you're concerned about Worms, but please know there's no need to be," one of the dev team said in response on the Steam forums in July. "Team17 have been making turn-based Worms games for over 25 years. We thought we'd try something a bit different this time! Trying something new doesn't mean removing our past or never doing turn-based again."
To try the Worms Rumble open beta, wriggle onto Steam. It's a 2GB download. The beta started this morning and will end at 8am (3am EST) on Monday the 9th. The full game is due to launch on the 1st of December, priced at £11/€15/$15.