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World of Warplanes

World of Warplanes

Wargaming has enjoyed massive success with World of Tanks. Now they're taking to the skies.

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Wargaming is transferring the brilliant free-to-play concept from World of Tanks to the skies, and the premise is simple.

You're there to shoot down all enemy planes, and your best option is to work as a team and protect each other from aerial ambushes. There's also enemy buildings on the ground that you can target to increase your domination of the match - but down all the enemy craft in the skies and you've won the day.

World of Warplanes

And that's it. During my first few hours with World of Warplanes I'm surprised at how simple and repetitive the concept is, but two things happen that change my perception of the experience. Firstly, a friend joins me in the skies, and secondly, after a investigation of the game's menus, I spot planes and weapons available - the kind that could chew through my inaugural fighter in a matter of seconds. I have to own them.

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Together, my friend and I discovered how easy it is to play cooperatively and the strategic opportunities our Skype-powered collaboration opened up. We find ourselves immersed as we help each other out of ambushes, flank the enemy and laugh as we suddenly crash in a head-on collision. Straight away, we line up to play another match.

During flights we find ourselves realising how sketchy our knowledge on aeronautical history is, but we still manage to conclude that the planes, pilots and atmosphere appear to be reasonably historically accurate, adding to the sense of immersion. The same cannot be said of the simulation of flight. Control over your plane hardly strives for realism, but instead offers sweet arcade thrills.

World of Warplanes

The planes that are replicated come complete with pros and cons lists to represent their real world counterparts - BF109 is fast and hits targets from a great distance, but is difficult to manoeuvre - but again, this isn't a fully fledged simulator. Sure things are more exciting as you plug in a joystick (supported), but I find that World of Warplanes is the kind of quick and easy game that I'd rather play using mouse and keyboard. It's designed for quick sessions and I don't find myself spending extended periods playing. There's a simple reason for this. There is a distinct lack of varied game modes.

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Where time and effort has been spent on researching realistic planes, weapons, engines and upgrades, it seems additional game modes were forgotten about. It's almost as if Wargaming are so proud of their planes (and rightfully so) that they're happy to just let us at it, but in the end World of Warplanes would have been better off with a more structured and streamlined concept. With time they'll naturally add more planes, upgrades and game modes, but sadly the latter category is rather lacking at this point.

World of Warplanes

Games that involve flight are often beautiful to look at and Wargaming have spent a lot of effort creating a world that invites the player to drop down and skim just over the tree tops. At the same time the lighting comes across as a little weak, and certain animations could do with some tuning to give the combat more of a heavy, weighted feel. The same should be said of the audio, that comes across as very soft - the arcade stylings would have gone well with louder gunfire and roaring engines.

In most cases where micro-transactions are involved as the primary source of income, we're mainly offered cosmetic alternatives. That's not the case here. You can easily drop twenty quid, score a monster plane that's fast, more agile and deals more damage.

World of Warplanes

But that's not a dealbreaker, as you don't have to spend a penny to enjoy Warplanes. The game offers a multi-tiered progression system, divided by country. While you play with a specific plane (and gradually open up options to upgrade it), you're working towards the next tier, which offers a better range of planes. Sometimes the tiers diverge, splitting more agile fighters from the slower bombers. Planes can be unlocked with in-game currency.

There is grind involved, but I was surprised at how quickly I got the option of new planes, with progression through to the likes of Tier III Japanese planes happening surprisingly fast. Though naturally there's a longer hike towards the higher tiers. And it doesn't matter how good your plane is if you don't work with your wingmates and have the skills to do so. In this game patience is key.

I've enjoyed World of Warplanes and already have plans to bring in more friends. With time - as more game modes are added - this game will surely get better, but I would still recommend it as is. Afterall it doesn't cost you anything to give it a go.

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World of Warplanes
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World of Warplanes
07 Gamereactor UK
7 / 10
+
Free to play, Lots of airplanes, Quick loading times, Deep game system, Rewarding upgrades, Sweet visuals.
-
Boring sound, Could have done with more game modes.
overall score
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World of Warplanes

REVIEW. Written by Oskar Nyström

"With time they'll naturally add more planes, upgrades and game modes, but sadly the latter category is rather lacking at this point."



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