World Of Warplanes Preview

A hands on preview with Wargaming.net's newest title

For those of you who are familiar with Wargaming.net you've probably heard of World of Tanks, the award-winning free-to-play team based MMO featuring devastating tank battles.

Well Wargraming.net is adding another action MMO to its arsenal which takes place hundreds of feet above ground and is fittingly named, World of Warplanes.

I'm here today to bring you a preview of what you can expect to see from Wargaming's upcoming title. Keep in mind, however, that World of Warplanes is still in closed beta so some of what I'm about to talk about may change. Beta is beta after all.

On that note, lets get started!

Spreading Your Wings

So like most Wargaming titles, instead of setting out to do multiple things, World of Warplanes sets out to do one thing really well. That is to bring you some awesome airplane combat as soon as you enter the game.

Assuming that was their goal with World of Warplanes, then they have definitely succeeded.

Now admittedly I'm not usually a huge player of games in the airplane combat genre, but World of Warplanes allows even new players to the genre, such as me, jump right into the game with relative ease. The game is layered in a way that is easy to understand, but also allows veterans of the genre to really show off their mastery by introducing additional layers of difficulty to each part of the game.

What do I mean by this? Well, for starters, the controls are pretty simple to get the hang of. The "W" key is to accelerate and boost your speed, "S" slows you down, the mouse is used for turning, and left click is used for firing your main weapon. These basic controls were easy enough for me to jump into and understand, and at least have a pretty good understanding of how to operate my fighter plane.

Where things start to pick up is when you get to dynamic of flying itself. The dynamic of flying your fighter-plane feels extremely responsive and well done. As you're flying you can definitely feel the weight of the plane, and you'll need to plan out those long turns or barrel rolls accordingly.

If you're a few feet from ramming into a cliff, don't think that you'll be able to pull up at the last second like in an Indiana Jones movie. Trust me, it doesn't work.

However, If you want a faster plane that is a bit better suited to make those sharp hair-raising turns then it's actually possible, but we'll get in to the customization aspects of the game a bit later. For now I want to talk a bit more about my flying and combat experiences in the game.

It's also important to note that if you keep your engine running too fast for too long, it can actually overheat. Keep it going too slowly and you'll find yourself plummeting to the ground. By this point I'm sure you can start to see some of the dynamics that are involved with just flying on its own.

After learning the basics I immediately jumped into a PvP match. Training matches vs bots were available as well, but I figured I'd muster up some courage and jump right into some competitive game-play.

Matches are your typical team death match style game-play where, once you get taken down, you're out of the fight until the match ends. This added an incentive to actually play well, because you didn't want to be that first guy taken out on your team, let alone the entire match.

Although if you did happen to be "that guy" you weren't forced to stay and spectate the whole match if you didn't want to. You could still queue up for a new match and get the rewards from your previous one, once it was finished.

Taking the basics of what I knew about flying and combining it with the basics of combat (aiming and not getting shot) I quickly learned that when you mix those two together it adds another layer of difficulty and complexity to the game. Not only was I fighting gravity and obviously trying not to crash, but I was also trying to keep the enemy aircraft in my cross-hair so that I could line up a clear shot.

Take this and throw in the fact that everyone on your team was attempting to do the same thing while zooming around the bullet filled skies, and you have can have some pretty epic dogfights.

Initially I was so fixated on the action happening around me in the sky that I wasn't even aware of the beautifully laid out scenery down below. In the oceans and on the ground are well placed towns, villages, battleships that are ablaze and some pretty grand looking mountain ranges that really set the stage for those air combat scenes. Not to mention that all of the scenery looked extremely good even when I turned my settings down to medium for a bit to see the difference from being on high settings.

There is still some optimization that could be done (it's mainly noticeable when you get to high or very high settings), but as I said before, beta is beta and overall the game ran pretty smoothly even in those large dog fights.

One thing I noticed while I was busy shooting at other planes was that there were a lot of them. Not just the number of planes in the battle, but also the number of different types of planes.

This leads me into the next thing I want to talk about, which is customization.

 

Making Your Very Own Warplane
Now choosing the right plane and then customizing it to suit your specific needs and play style, plays a vital role in World of Warplanes.

There are many ways to go about combat in World of Warplanes, and after a few matches I quickly learned that I was the type of player who liked chasing enemies down while doing some quick maneuvers in order to finish them off. After spending some time looking at the different fighter-planes it became apparent that there actually were planes and upgrades I could get that would help compliment this play style, as well as other options that would compliment additional styles of play.

If you want your plane to be able to take more damage and be better from far away, then you could do that. Or if you wanted a highly maneuverable plane that was good at close quarters combat, that was an option as well. Just to name a few.

To begin customization on you're planethere are three types of currency that are used to to help in this endeavor:

  • Gold- currency that is purchased with real money.yw. it's the truth./ wh
  • Credits- currency that is received after participating in matches. More is earned upon winning a match.
  • XP- experience points that are earned after participating in matches.

Both Gold and Credits are used to purchase additional fighter-planes, as well as specific upgrades for them. XP allows you to do research on specific fighter-planes or parts. Once you've researched something, it then becomes available for you to purchase it.

Initially you're given some pretty basic fighter planes, each coming from one of the four different "Tech Trees"( U.S.A, U.S.S.R, Germany, and Japan).

Once you've chosen a plane you can begin upgrade the different modules (or parts) on it. These modules consist of engines, guns, frames and secondary weapons that each give different stats to your chosen plane.

Want more armor? Try buying a different frame.

Want to accelerate faster and longer? Try upgrading your engine.

Once you've done enough upgrades on that particular fighter plane, you'll be given the chance to research and buy the next fighter plane in that "Tech Tree". Upgrade that one enough and the next one will unlock. Each Tech Tree has several options available for you to choose from that can help you shape the plane and combat style for you.

Compared to the rest of the Tech Tree's the Japan tree seemed a bit limited, but that could also just be because it's beta. Something important to also note is that, while some of the planes were only available through the use of Gold (real money currency), the majority of the upgrades and fighter-planes were available through the use of Credits and XP gain that were earned just by playing the game.

Overall, the process of upgrading plane models felt really good and pretty easy to understand once I poked around the system a bit. Include the ability to add special paint jobs and designs to your planes and you have a pretty robust customization system.

The Verdict
Like many games from Wargaming.net World of Warplanes sets out to do one thing and do it well. I think they've accomplished that pretty well and fans of the genre will definitely want to keep an eye on this one as it gets closer to launch.

For more information about World of Warplanes head on over to their official website and sign up for beta!

As always keep it locked to Zam for all of your MMO news needs.


Corey "Crimzen" Jenkins

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