World of Warplanes is an aerial Massive Multi-player Role Playing Game where you can become a pilot flying biplanes from the 1930’s to jet fighters from the Korean War. The game comes from Wargaming who are best known for the World of Tanks game of the similar formula.
There are more than 50 planes for players to chose from with varying types like; light and agile, heavy fighters and ground-attack planes which all have multiple variations of weapons and ammo types against engines and other crucial modules allowing players to customize their planes to be powerful assets. Players also experience teamwork with 30 player dogfights where every plane has a vital role to winning or losing.
Players get to chose from three factions; U.S.S.R, Germany and U.S.A. Each faction has its own perks and disadvantages with U.S.S.R being mostly agile and easy to control planes which lack toughness, Germany has planes designed for a wide range of combat tasks, mostly ground forces as well as a lot of prototypes, experimental and blueprint models and last the U.S.A planes are rugged agile high-altitude planes which work well against carrier-based aircraft.
As of now the only type of PvP is called superiority mode where the rules are;
- Destroying enemy aircraft and ground targets granting the team a certain number of ‘superiority’ points. The team with more points gets an advantage.
- As soon as one team gains an advantage over the other, the Superiority Scale starts to fill. The larger the advantage, the faster it will fill up as the team continues to gain superiority points.
- The enemy’s Superiority Scale can be reduced by damaging and destroying enemy planes and by destroying ground targets.
- Once a team has achieved 100% on the Superiority Scale, they will be the winners.
- Victory can be achieved by destroying all enemy planes.
- The battle last no longer than 15 min, if neither team wins during this period, the battle ends in a draw
- if all aircraft are destroyed, the battle also ends in a draw
- The winners are awarded points which then can be used to buy upgrades and new planes in the marketplace
Now that you have an idea of what the game is about, here is my review of the game. Firstly, this game is built around a really niche audience, the one where you have to really like planes a lot, almost at an obsessive level. All the stats are based around airplane specs, like Altitude Climb and rate of ascension. Not to say this isn’t a really clever and unique and complex way to make the user experience a lot more engaging, but it makes an average player turn and run away fast from the game. Chosing a plane for me literally came down to playing ‘eenie meenie miney mo’ and just hoping that plane (as long as it wasn’t a 1930’s biplane) would be good enough to fight against other planes. Half the time it wasn’t. I also have no idea how other planes fare against each other. Just because I got a jet apparently didn’t mean I could withstand a machine gun from a biplane nor my missiles being powerful enough to take down a biplane fast.
There isn’t much of a tutorial on how to read or understand any of the stats which made playing the game slightly annoying when I couldn’t figure out why I was doing so horribly. After you chose your plane you are taken to a ‘queue’ screen where you sit and wait until a game is prepared for you. This process can take anywhere from thirty seconds to ten minutes, and there is no basis for how it determines a game. I sat waiting for a game when it said 20 people were in queue and then proceeded to be placed in a 4 v 4 game. Where did the other 12 people go? Why did I have to wait for 20 people before I could get a game started?
After starting a match you wait about 30 seconds so everyone can get ready to fight and then you are off! Thankfully you don’t have to actually ‘start’ your plane, you are already in the air and flying so that makes it almost everyone friendly! Once you start flying though, it all goes to hell, the controls are made like someone has three arms, with ‘wasd’ controlling the speed and flaps on the wings but the arrow keys are how you make proper turning maneuvers while the mouse is a way to shoot stuff and fly like an armless pilot.
On my first attempt I died very quickly, not realizing how anything worked besides the quick tutorial of how to fly the plane which I guess would be helpful if the controls were just something I had to get used to, not something that would never provide a fluid and functional gaming experience. I spent plenty of time practicing, but there is such a large gap in ability between people who act like they play flight simulator the way I play Minecraft (which is to say they are nerds with no life) that the level of skill between players is not relevent to what plane they are using but how good of pilots they are.
All of my complaints are not relevant of a bad game, except the controls, but of a game made for a very select audience and I did not fit into the category. If you are a huge fan of airplanes or a pilot you will have a pretty good experience playing this game and should at least give it a shot, if you are someone looking for a fun game to play casually with others, this is not the game for you. World of Warplanes is built around a hardcore desire to be a fighter pilot simulator so much that it pushes anyone who isn’t already a pilot or has spent more than 20+ hours in flight simulator down a flight of stairs and kicks them in the ribs.
Remember though the game is still in Alpha so it is not polished yet there may be changes made that are not final yet.
Check out the War of Warplanes website for more information.