If you ever wanted to see how a good free-to-play game works then look no further than World of Tanks. It was easily accessible for any player and it allowed you to enjoy almost the full game without ever needing to open your wallet as it focuses on premium look rather than ‘money buys you more powerful weapons’. After growing a massive following and a push into the e-sports scene, Wargaming has expanded their family to the skies with the addition of World of Warplanes. Is the move to aerial combat the right tactic for Wargaming?
World of Warplanes is built around the same mechanics as World of Tanks. You’ll get a range of planes ready to fight as well as plenty to unlock when you progress through the game. You can unlock more equipment such as engine swaps and bombs/rocket to deliver more firepower to the battle. With real money, you can customize your plane with a range of camouflage patterns and also decals such as nose art. You’ll sit in your hangar organising and customizing your favorite fighters and there’s quite range to work for.
Here you can see my German Me262 HG III – a jet class heavy fighter. It’s a big plane that delivers good speed and firepower but lacks maneuverability. There’s many classes to try out to see what kind of pilot you are each with their own attributes and weaknesses. After a few rounds, I found myself playing as a support style player – hanging back as my fellow teammates rush into the enemy position pulling them apart. I usually provide some backup firepower, peppering chased enemies on the crosses. It’s all about giving each class ago to get feel of what fighter suits you.
The mechanics on Warplanes are quite simple as it’s mostly mouse based (also supports controller) – if you’re looking for a combat flight simulator then look away. The game is all about easy accessibility as it mostly revolves around basic movements and timed shooting. The real tactics to the game is the use of teamwork and it’s always the deciding factor to any engagement.
Teamwork is crucial as the playing field of Warplanes is very balanced and linear. Most of the time, the regular players know how to provide assistance without even prompting. Sometimes I get too focused on gunning down an opponent, I forget other enemies are flying directly behind my tail peppering shots into my back. As my plane was quite heavy for a quick pull out, my friends came into the engagement taking them out before they could do any serious damage. In other engagements, I’ve seen enemies float above the dogfights waiting for a prime time to pull a dive attack. Just some of tactics you can utilise for this game.
Visually, Warplanes looks incredible for a Free-to-Play game. The rendering of aircrafts in the game are quite detailed backed with some brilliant shadows and lighting. The terrain bar the water textures however are quite disappointing. I don’t expect much for titles like these but it’s good to see Wargaming put effort into vehicle detail once again. Too bad they couldn’t matched the vehicles’s quality to the environment.
The only slight issue I had while playing World of Warplanes is the massive wait times to jump into a game. Sitting in the lobby for 5-10 minutes can be quite a nuisance and the lack of local servers means your ping will skyrocket to a high 200ms. The matches also don’t usually last that long as each players only get a single life. Once the match is over, you’ll get sent back to the main menu where you have to rejoin another queue for 5-10 minutes. This greatly affected my enjoyment of the game as I was only able to fit in a mere 3 rounds of Warplanes within the hour. It’s time consuming and unnecessary. I get the wait times but having to queue up again for another round is just tedious.
Wargaming has created another fun and easy to pickup Free to Play title. Combat is a great mix of shoot em up and co-operation but the wait to get into a game is just a nuisance. It’s early days but hopefully they can come up with a better system that doesn’t force you to queue after every single match. If you can handle the wait times and have this fetish for combat planes and shoot em ups then Wargaming’s latest offering maybe something you should look into.
Note: A review account of World of Warplanes was provided to us by Wargaming. It had all aircrafts unlocked with lots of gold available.
Wargaming's World of Warplanes is an impressive shoot em up with easy pick-up mechanics and satisfying combat. The long server wait times and queue system however needs to be addressed.