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World of Warplanes

World of Warplanes is a flight combat MMO putting players in the pilot's seat of early twentieth century aircraft. Featuring over 100 vehicles from the world’s major powers, players battle for air supremacy while upgrading equipment through advanced tech trees.

Publisher: Wargaming
Playerbase: Low
Type: Flight Combat MMO
Release Date: November 12, 2013
Pros: +Fast-paced aerial combat. +Over 100 vehicles. +Intricate tech tree
Cons: -Poor matchmaking. -Repetitive gameplay. -Clunky UI.

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Overview

World of Warplanes Overview

World of Warplanes is an arcade flight combat MMO set in the golden age of military aviation. Pilot over 100 aerial vehicles from the nations of Germany, Japan, Great Britain, China, USA, and the Soviet Union and fly four classes of airplanes: Fighters, Multirole Fighters, Heavy Fighters, and Ground Attack Planes. Advance through an intricate tech tree to upgrade your plane and its arsenal, beginning with entry-level machines and ending with jet-powered aircraft. Games are player-versus-player, pitting two teams against each other until all hostile aircraft are destroyed and one team commands authority over the skies. World of Warplanes features an in-game currency system where credits, experience, and gold can be exchanged for items and planes.

World of Warplanes Key Features:

  • Over 100 Aerial Vehicles  pilot from major nations during the early 20th century.
  • In-Depth Tech Tree includes numerous planes, items, and equipment to purchase and fly.
  • Four Warplane Classes – fighters, multirole fighters, heavy fighters, and ground attack planes.
  • Fast-Paced Matches – team deathmatch stylized combat.
  • In-Game Currency System – credits, experience, and gold can be exchanged for items and planes.

World of Warplanes Screenshots

World of Warplanes Featured Video

Full Review

World of Warplanes Review

By Sean Sullivan

With six cans of Pepsi surrounding me in some insane ritual, I gripped my Playstation 2 controller while playing Ace Combat 4. I love aerial combat games, especially when they’re more arcade than simulation. I find the fast-paced action of a dogfight to be exhilarating. And it harkens back to childhood when I dreamt of being an Air Force pilot before an Optometrist sealed my dreams away with a prescription. So when I learned about World of Warplanes I was amped to return to the skies.

Earning Your Wings

I started off by discovering how to skip the tutorial. For those of you who have your wings you can deny the tutorial missions in the “Missions” tab. New players are privy to a selection of 5 biplanes—one from the United States, China, Germany, Japan, and Great Britain respectively. Planes are differentiated by their stats, including hit points, maneuverability, and speed—loosely based on their inspired counterparts. It's an arcade way of approaching airplanes. Rather than attempt to capture the actual attributes of military planes, the developers have chosen to use basic stats as a rough measurement. It's a fine way to differentiate planes while trying to balance them.

World of Warplanes boasts a huge catalog of aerial fighters. Starting with low-tech biplanes that see your tail ripped apart by machine gun fire—without Dr. Jones' assistance—up to mid-twentieth century jet fighters.  I settled for the American Boeing P-12 and set off to battle to empty my ammunition belt.

Welcome to the Danger Zone

So the game begins. You’re in a biplane, nothing separating you and the open air. A crosshairs sits idly at the center of your screen. Dragging the mouse around drags the crosshair. Line it up with enemy planes and left click to fire. It’s rather simple and familiar to anyone who has played an arcade aerial fighter before. You can also boost by pressing “W,” speeding your plane up slightly. Hold it for longer than 10 seconds and you’ll overheat the engine. Hearing the incessant “Engine Overheated” for the fifth time in a match exasperated my patience. I get the mechanic. You’re supposed to conserve your boost for pertinent moments. But please don't remind me every time with a vocal sequence. I held off on boosting and set sights on an enemy airplane.

Your guns are limited by range. I had to be within 550 meters of my target or my bullets would fall into the void. Once in range a circle indicating the enemies trajectory appears. That’s where you should be aiming. Chip away at the enemies health until 0 to see them explode. The mechanics are very simple, making it accessible to anyone with a computer that can run the game over 30FPS. However, finding enemy players to shoot down can be an arduous task.

Playing at Your Skill Level

The matchmaking can be somewhat disappointing. In my first game, I was thrust into a 3v3 match above a war-torn city at dusk. Tanks and Anti-Aircraft lit up the sky. But with only six planes dancing above it, the match seemed rather lackluster. Where was my grand battle? Looking on from the Main Menu I realized that only 539 players were online. I would have much rather preferred the game throw me into a more substantial match then place me in such a mediocre firefight (I won that one by the way), even if it was with more advanced planes. I got into 3v3 matches over and over again. They often turned into 1v1 dogfights as other players crashed or died, sent back to the Hangar to try again.

World of Warplanes doesn’t necessarily match players of equal rank or skill level either. You can and will find yourself playing against players with superior aircraft than yourself. Now, the reasoning goes that a biplane is more maneuverable than some of the more advanced craft. But when they are more durable, shoot larger caliber bullets, and are faster, the biplane stands little to no chance. However, the system should alleviate the problems of a low population. Yet, from my own experience the range at which players are matched is not high enough. Team deathmatch games are not fun with such a small number of players in a match. Not to mention the combat became rather dull.

Pulling a Goose

Aerial combat quickly became bland and repetitive. There’s only one type of Multiplayer mission, Standard Battle. And the only true objective is to eliminate the opposing team's players. Sure, you could blow up ground objects but you better be in a Bomber if you plan on taking them out effectively. Even then, you’re at the mercy of teammates to watch your tail as you deliver bombs to ground targets. Otherwise, your slow moving plane will inevitably be gunned down, an easy kill for observant players.

Units on the field are static objects. They never move. They sit like bullseyes, begging to be blown apart. It makes the field feel like a child’s playset, and they haven't gotten around to moving their toys around. Similar games see the advance of war, as tanks roll forward towards battle. It makes for an interesting scenario as planes are forced to move to keep up with targets and are thrust into dogfights.

Because the community is so small, matches devolve into small dogfights as other players crash their planes into objects or the water, only ceasing when one player becomes bored. Blowing a plane up is unsatisfying. Where are the fireballs? Where is the chaos of war? Lost, staring at the anti-climactic explosions of World of Warplanes.

Staring At Crimson Skies

Maps come in a wide variety, from sulking deserts to ravaged cities and mountain villages. Combined with a nice selection of color tones to indicate time of day, most matches feel fresh as the game cycles through them. Nevertheless, I wasn’t wowed by the graphics. Even when maxing them out, the game doesn’t carry that shine. It seems aged. Explosions are mediocre, far from being sublime tokens of victory. The only time Bloom is noticeable is in the menu where it stung my eyes.

Maybe I’m spoiled by recent advances in technology but there was nothing particularly amazing. Textures seemed somewhat low-res and bland. They’re not bad. Don’t get the wrong impression. They are mediocre. Details on planes are just enough to make them feel unique. The only entrancing map was one featuring the Aurora Borealis. I thought, “Oh, that’s neat.” But it wasn’t game-changing. Perhaps I’m just a cranky critic. But then I browsed through the game’s menus.

Slow To Battle

The user interface can be annoyingly slow to navigate at times. Every transition between planes stutters as the game struggles to render the selected menu option. In contrast, games load fairly quickly sometimes. At other times, matches can take, what feels like, an unnecessary amount of time to load. My stopwatch was in the shop so I didn’t have a chance to conduct a study. The game loading seemed to consist of two stages: one loading screen to find players and one to load the match. I might be wrong about this but why not find a match and continue to let me browse the menu? It would give me a chance to take a look at the tech trees and plan what nation I want to be piloting rather than staring at the same tooltip I've seen every match.

Paying the Wright Brothers

The game may be free-to-play, but once engaged, it clearly wants players to inject cash into the game. Upgrading your started planes requires researching various aspects of the plane. And you must upgrade five of your planes before moving on to the next tier. It’s as slow as the PZL M-15 jet. Without paying for credits, you’ll be dedicating hundreds of hours of in-game time to unlock every plane. And that’s only for one nation.

You earn experience for every match that can be spent on new vehicles and equipment to pimp your ride. Alternatively, you can trade in your cash for gold currency—that’s a necessary exchange to expand the hangar. You can also buy planes in your tier, bypassing the need to research them and giving you another check mark towards the next tier of planes. Experience boosters are available for the impatient. That's all dandy and standard to every free-to-play game. It's a fine model and one that works in dozens of games. You can't buy victory simply by purchasing a plane. You have to be able to fly it too.

Final Verdict - Fair

World of Warplanes isn’t bad but it’s nothing spectacular either; it’s almost good. When compared to games seeking to create similar experiences, it lags behind. I want to like this game and if it was the only one of its kind on the market I would probably have fallen in love. But when War Thunder is sitting in my Steam library, I can’t help but feel that World of Warplane is lacking in more than one hangar. If you like simplistic arcade shooters with a low population then feel free to press "Play Now."

Screenshots

World of Warplanes Screenshots

Videos

World of Warplanes Videos

System Requirements

World of Warplanes Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: Windows XP
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 3.0GHz or AMD Athlon 64 3200+
RAM: 1 GB RAM
Video Card: Nvidia GeForce 6800 Series 128MB or AMD Radeon HD 4550
Hard Disk Space: 5 GB free space

Recommended Requirements:

Operating System: Windows Vista/7
CPU: Intel Celeron E1400 Dual-Core 2GHz or AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4400+
RAM: 3 GB RAM
Video Card: Nvidia GeForce GT 240 or AMD Radeon HD 3850
Hard Disk Space: 5 GB free space

Music

World of Warplanes Music

Additional Info

World of Warplanes Additional Information

Developer(s): Persha Studia, Wargaming
Publisher: Wargaming
Game Engine: BigWorld

Early Alpha Testing: August 2011
Alpha Testing: February 23, 2012
Closed Beta: May 30, 2012

Release Date: November 12, 2013
Release Date (NA and EU): November 13, 2013

World of Warplanes was developed by Cyprus based international MMO developer Wargaming Public Co Litd. Wargaming's first critical and commercial success was the military-themed games World of Tanks and World of Warplanes was initially drafted during development of World of Tanks. It was announced at E3 in 2011, only two months after the release of World of Tanks. The first public trailer was shown at Gamescom in August 2011. At the 2012 European Game Awards, World of Warplanes was selected as Europe’s “Most Wanted Online Game.”  After releasing World of Warplanes, the company announced their third installment in the military arcade saga, World of Warships. Wargaming also announced an online collectible card game MMO titled World of Tanks: Generals. The company has its own eSports league called the Wargaming.net league. They acquired Gas Powered Games, the company responsible for Dungeon Siege and Supreme Commander, on February 14, 2013. On July 22, 2013, Wargaming purchased the intellectual property rights to Total Annihilation and Master of Orion from the Atari Bankruptcy proceedings.