World of Warplanes is the second instalment from Wargaming after they released the hugely successful World of Tanks.
World of Warplanes takes to the skies of World War II in the format of another free-to-play MMO and the game has all the ingredients to rival its predecessor in terms of popularity.
The only problem seems to be with the name as its too long for people to continually say and I’m sure ‘WoW’ is taken by another title so we’ll have to use ‘WoWp’.
World of Warplanes does exactly what it says on the tin and the game is all about 15 vs 15 aerial combat.
For newbies to the game such as myself, there is a brief but highly necessary tutorial to get you used to the controls if you want to get maximum enjoyment out if the game. You grasp the basics of flying and shooting your arsenal of weaponry before you a thrust into the action to test your skills against other human opponents.
Maybe now is a good point to add a disclaimer, because if playing against other human opponents and showcasing your skills isn’t for you then neither is this game and you should probably stop reading.
Luckily for the complete novice the controls are easily mastered and there’s no throttle so you’re left with the worry of not trying to crash into the ground. You can perform quick aerial manoeuvres but performing these at altitude could stall your aircraft.
Also the game supports many different control methods from typical mouse and keyboard, to gamepads and flight sticks.
WoWp follows on from World of Tanks by featuring ten levels of aircraft from five nations – this time it’s Great Britain, USA, Germany, USSR and Japan. Obviously as you advance through expertise and combat time your aircraft increases in power.
When you start the game the match-making engine pulls you quickly into games, so if your friend is more advanced you may find yourself fighting with and against strangers until you improve your standing.
The most noticeable difference over World of Tanks is that World of Warplanes includes a game type called superiority. Once a team destroys enough objects it starts to build up superiority and if the opposite team cannot counter this by destroying something before the meter reaches 100% then they will lose.
Battles are also limited to fifteen minutes each, although you’ll be hard pressed to find one that lasts this long. There are not many hiding places up in the air and this encourages opposing teams to engage each other quickly.
Even if you are a novice like me, you’ll be happy to know that your pitiful level 1 aircraft can withstand more than a few hits, so if you screw up (and you will) you will not be blown to bits.
Whether your team is victorious or gracious in defeat you will earn the usual Credits and XP, which you can use to grow your array of weapons, aircraft and engine sizes. Credit can also be used to obtain special consumable items and ammo, but you will need a hefty amount to purchase a new aircraft.
Remember this game is free to play but if you do purchase a premium account you will get 5-% more XP and credit. This is not necessarily a disadvantage as it is possible to move up the rankings without purchasing an account and here is where Wargaming have done themselves proud.
If you’re fortunate to play the title on a high-spec PC you will take advantage of some of the best graphics on a free to play title. I used the Intel i3970X and the AMD R9 290 and managed easily over 60fps on highest settings without any lag.
It seems Wargaming have once again found the place between realism and playability to deliver a great aerial combat title with World of Warplanes. The fact that it’s free to play means you do not have to wait to treat yourself – so what are you waiting for?
Overall 8.5 out of 10