The creators of World Of Tanks finally release the second chapter of their epic WW2-era gaming franchise. Does it take off into new heights or sputter out before leaving the tarmac?
In 2011, Wargaming.net released their ground breaking title in the F2P (Free To Play) MMO genre World Of Tanks to the masses. In the past two years, they have racked up praise for their innovative title in the form of great reviews, awards and garnered a Guinness World Record for concurrent players on a server. Now, the Belarus-based developers have taken to the skies to dogfight for gamers attention (and currency) in their latest title, World Of Warplanes.
As the title is similar to their previous World Of.. title, there is no story to the game, as this primarly a PVP experience in the WW2 era.
While there is a lack of story, the gameplay is where this game gets its gold stars. You start out with basic biplanes for one of the world war 2 axis(Germany/Japan) or allies (USA/UK/USSR) era countries. From there, you earn prestige and in-game currency via flying in both open 15vs15 open player skirmishs and group missions that can be organized by using your friends list. You can use the in-game currency and prestige points earned to research new equipment, purchase new planes in light/heavy fighter and ground attack models, not to mention have the opportunity to equip them accordingly with new chassis, engines and weapons. In addition, the ability to train your pilots on each craft their assigned is an interesting wrinkle to the title. The only negative, which comes with many F2P titles, is the notion of purchasing credits if you do not earn enough in game.
One major positive for this title is the ability to control your plane using mouse/keyboard, joystick and gamepad controller schemes. For our review, we used both a Logitech G series gaming mouse and when testing the gamepad method, used a standard Microsoft XBOX360 controller. In the process, we found the control with the mouse/keyboard was just as responsive as with a gaming pad, which should not suprise fans of the developers previous title. When it comes to the fun factor, World Of Warplanes at first may prove to be frustrating depending on whom you play against, as the first few times you jump in a mission map you may be shot down by either a AI enemy, one of your fellow players or crash. However, I found the learning curve on this game to be shorter than most titles of this nature, as I was able to get up and flying in less than a half hour into playing via some very user-friendly flight tutorials.
The games graphics are quite frankly, amazing, for a F2P title. everything from vistas to valleys to water on the multiple maps look fantastic on our current-generation computer. The game loads quickly from hanger to mission map. In addition, the high resolution models used in hanger for aircraft are some of the best I have seen in any title.
In its current form, the game presents amazing maps to play, but these same maps are repeated over and over at random depending on the skirmish you decide to join. However, Wargaming.net is well known for their updates to their titles, so expect new maps and equipment to be released for the game in the not too distant future. Matchmaking, as mentioned previously, is done both in random battle and can also be put together by making new friends via the aformentioned skirmish mode.