Sunday, February 2, 2014

World of Warplanes Review

Note: this blog has been migrated to Medium, with the articles here available to preserve permalinks. Please see this post at https://medium.com/@ianrbuck/world-of-warplanes-review-32ad63af9571

I don't often play online multiplayer, but when I do it's World of Warplanes. I'm way more amused by that reference than I should be.

I had been enjoying World of Tanks for a few weeks when World of Warplanes came out. Naturally I had to give it a try. The overall format is very similar to World of Tanks: you have a hangar where you pick one of your planes to take into battle; the battles consist of two teams of fifteen planes each; the battles last until one of the teams is eliminated, or one team has achieved air superiority, or fifteen minutes has elapsed.
The control scheme for mouse and keyboard is quite simple: point the camera in the direction that you want to go, and your pilot will figure out how to go that way (it's very similar to Freelancer, if you can remember back that far.) Joysticks are supported, but I don't know anyone with one of those so I can't try it out.
I took some footage of my first day in the game, which was amusing. Since pretty much everybody was a noob, there were a lot of deaths due to head-on collisions. Note: I have improved a lot since then.
Because the game is still very new, the tech trees are pretty sparse. Most of them branch once at the beginning and are linear from there. They are continuously adding planes, and the German tech tree is halfway respectable now. My favorite plane is unfortunately still missing: the P-38 Lightning. Initially this limitation prevented me from getting into the game as much as I had gotten into World of Tanks. However, I have come to appreciate the fact that World of Warplanes is more fast-paced, and it turns out that I am better at Warplanes than Tanks; so I have started playing Warplanes more often.
I would definitely recommend World of Warplanes to anyone who wants a game that they can either pick up for a few minutes or dive into for a few hours on a regular basis. And the fact that it is free doesn't hurt at all.