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Game Review: World of Warplanes
Before I can tell you on the pros and cons of the game, you have to know what it's about. The game itself was developed by wargaming.net. Much like its predecessor it revolves around the early to mid 1900's warfare. welcome to the era of dogfighting. the aircraft match the period, all of the planes are modeled after World War I and World War II fighters and range from wood and canvas biplanes to the first jets.
Like World of Tanks, this game is free to play and makes it's income by selling gold. You can use gold to buy special edition aircraft, convert experience, or buy premium ammo. It's relatively cheap and can catapault you into higher tier aircraft from the start, just don't neglect to play your starting planes, it's the best way to learn.
The first thing you need to know is the overall goal of the game. You can either win by air superiority or by killing all your enemies. This is a bit backwards because air superiority would involve controlling the skies, so no enemies but that's what they call it.
Air superiority is gained by taking out strategic ground targets and is one of my favorite parts of the game. As you progress to higher tiers, you have the option of using fighters or bombers (starting at tier 2). The fighters can take out enemy targets with straffing runs, while bombers take a more devastating approach. The details of both are found in the Gameplay- Tactical section below. Once enough enemy ground targets are destroyed the progress bar will start to fill. At 100% you win the game.
Killing enemies is the straight forward part of the game but is trickier than it looks. The game is set before guided weapons and, therefore, is true dogfighting. You have to rely on your skill, luck, and teamwork.
Just like real life fighters, going in without a wingman is near suicide. This isn't World of Tanks, its Aircraft, you can't just rumble in with a tier 5 and take on three tier 2's by yourself. The biggest advice I can say about strategy is get a plan going as soon as the countdown starts, at least pick a direction to fly.
There isn't much that can be said about the strategic value of the game itself, this is due to the fact that it revolves around who you play with. This is a bit dodgy because it's still in beta and people are still learning and trying out different plans.
The best course of action that I've found is either escort the bombers to anti-aircraft locations and let them take it out, it will relieve you from ground based fire while you concentrate on the fighters when their gone.
The second strategy, mainly for the bombers is have a designated pilot and a designated bomber. I inadvertently discovered this because my wife wanted to play with me. She controlled the keyboard, which are the bombs and speed and I ran the mouse, the direction and guns. This seemed to work really well for some reason, I only assume it was because I could concentrate on flying and didn't have to worry about everything else or it was because it was more fun playing with my wife next to me.
The only issue I have on strategy is when I'm working with idiots that refuse to pick or stick to a plan. There are too many people that respond with "kill them" or "win", when you ask "What's the plan?"
Now to move onto the main part of gameplay. This is not only the main focus of most players but the main issue with the game as well. in this section I will cover bombing runs, dogfighting, defense, and manuevers.
The first part is the easiest offensive part of the game and is done mainly with the bomber tiers. Bombers can carry different payloads but are almost always 1 shot 1 kill if your aim is dead on. Pressing the shift bar helps with aiming at various ground targets. The two techniques that I've used are low altitude bombing runs and dive bombs. Both techniques have their advantages. Where the low altitude run allows you to get on target better, increasing accuracy; the dive bomb technique allows you to stay clear of ground fire but runs the risk of missing or crashing if you don't pull up in time.
The second aspect of tactical is dogfights. This isn't ace combat, there isn't tracking and guided missiles, you have to have eyes on target. This can be difficult because you must lead the targets. The game provides a handy red circle in front of the enemy to assist with this but it's a pain at times. Your best option is trying to get behind a target or go for altitude and dive on an unsuspecting target. This is where teamwork is essential. It can take a while to take down a target and usually relies on multiple planes assaulting the same one.
The final piece of tactical is defense. Both bombers and fighters have their advantages here but it usually comes down to manuevering. Bombers are big, slow targets but have the added advantage of a tail gunner that automatically fires on the enemy behind you. The best option I've found is getting extremely low. All you have to do is concentrate on flying, while the pursuing enemy has to balance flying and shooting. if they put too much effort on flying, you get a slight break from taking hits, and your tail gunner continues to light them up. If they keep trying to fire on you they can impact the ground as you go up and around hills and cliffs. This has saved me multiple times.
The defensive measures for fighters are varied. You could take the low altitude approach but without a tail gunner you won't do them any damage. Your other options are aerial manuevers. There are way to many options here to mention , looking into actual techniques used by combat pilots can improve your a lot.
A final idea that can be used for both is to hit boost and lead them right into your anti-aircraft guns. It could take them out or at least force them to pull out of their pursuit.
There is only one thing to say about the graphics, amazing. World of Tanks is well known for their realism, their tanks showed all the bells and whistles, plus the armor varied on the tanks, shooting a hatch did more damage than shooting through the armor.
In the same way, the aircraft are heavily detailed and have varied stats. Shooting a wing can cause more damage than the body.
As for the maps, my only gripe is the scaling. Early fighters were small and could pass between buildings in needed. The aircraft of World of Warplanes are massive compared to ground targets. That's the only drawback to the beautiful landscapes of the game.
So, for my final thoughts.... 4/5. I would give it a perfect score but the dogfighting targeting system needs to be revamped to a degree. Other than that it's one of the best games I've played in a long time. This may change, hopefully for the better, as it's only in beta, but as soon as its released I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys warsims. After all, it's free to play, just download and start enjoying the experience.
I'll be updating this as updates come out in beta testing.
Be sure to read my review of World of Warplanes predecessor World of Tanks.
Also be on the lookout for the next generation of the series World of Warships.
Keep an eye out as the next installment of Wargaming.net's award winning series is coming soon. World of Warships will put you in the bridge of some of the greatest floating weapons platforms in history.
Enjoy the trailer from wargaming.net