When I first heard about World of Warplanes at Gamescom last year, I backflipped on the spot. At the time, people were speculating about the possibility of having a game of World of Warplanes take place in the skies above a live game of World of Tanks – something like the Battlefield series from DICE, but using multiple game clients – and the thought of the yet undisclosed World of Battleships only made the fantasy taste sweeter.
It’s possible, that in the future, such a fantasy could become a reality. Though, I thought it prudent to mention right at the beginning of this preview, that at this point in time, and likely come the release of World of Warplanes, this will not be the case. Our fingers are crossed that someday soon, it will be.
Back on track, World of Warplanes in its Beta Test state is a highly competent ‘Dogfight’ Flight Shooter that, like World of Tanks before it, offers a huge amount of variety in a simple, refined game engine. Players compete in what appears (at the time of writing) to be a series of 5v5 Deathmatch Battles in order to earn experience and currency that can be used to purchase new planes and upgrades.
In the Beta Test, upgrades and ship attachments have not been implemented, though there are close to 20 ships available for for 3 countries: the USA, USSR and Germany (with Japan soon to come). Each of these planes have varying strengths and weaknesses, and are categorised using tiers of roman numerals. A plane with a rating of I, for example, is considered to be of lowest quality, and X, highest.
As with most Dogfight Shooters, World of Warplanes is best experienced with a Gamepad or Controller. I tried a little with the mouse and keyboard setup myself, but was unhappy with the experience. This is not a fault of Wargaming – it’s just not a great way to play air-combat games. When I switched to the Xbox 360 Controller, I had a far more enjoyable experience. There’s definitely some polish to be added in terms of responsiveness and general plane control, but thus far, it’s been easy to learn, hard to master and thoroughly enjoyable.
Of course, without the ability to customise weapons and attachments, players are limited to using their on-board machine gun. This limits the potential gameplay, meta-game and balance options significantly, and prevents me covering them in this preview.
What I can say is this: so far, even with a single, difficult-to-target-with machine gun on every ship, World of Warplanes is intense, and we can’t wait to see more. More weapons, more upgrades, more planes, more maps and more game modes, and we’re feeling very sure that they’re just around the corner. Keep an eye out for more World of Warplanes coverage, right here on MMOGames.com.