“Hmm. Well that’s not good.”
My first match of World of Warplanes was off to a rocky start. In my infinite wisdom I had decided I was too good to look at the controls and jumped feet first into a match and now was now in the midst of rapidly becoming a splatter on the ground as I my plane quickly barreled down towards the ground.
“How about this?”
My haphazard attempts lead me to speed up and barrel roll towards my imminent doom. Then, unceremoniously I crash. I watched as the dog fights continued over my smoking wreck. Looking at the controls afterwards, I came to the realization that I had been insurmountably stupid in my first play through. The controls were actually relatively intuitive but I was making it needlessly complicated. I waited for the match to finish and jumped straight into the next one.
From Wargaming.net comes “World of Warplanes” which seems they want to take the success from “World of Tanks” to the skies.
Visually the game is solid. They’re not necessarily pushing any boundaries with the game’s engine, as it builds upon the same engine used with “World of Tank”, but it is pretty and captures the feel of an extremely large aerial battlefield. Which seems obvious regarding the nature of the type of combat the game is offering, but is a nice change of pace from a lot of the more claustrophobic offerings more popular multiplayer shooters currently offer.
With any online multiplayer game, the core mechanics will make or break a title. You can’t rely on a story or character development to carry the experience. The players need to enjoy what they’re doing every time they sit down to play. For those who enjoy aerial dogfights, I think it fits the bill quite well. The pacing of the matches is fantastic. The large maps allow for a slow almost serene start or any point where you’re far away from the action, but because you’re completely out of a match when you’re dead, approaching enemy planes and AI controlled ground guns causes one to tense up – working to ensure you survive the encounter. Damage is specific and takes more than a single lucky shot to gun down an enemy plane. Which in turn makes dying an issue with bad position rather than ‘cheap’ tactics. When you do take someone else out, it becomes that much more satisfying. Aiming and turning seem to be sluggish at times but that may have to deal the much older planes and my familiarity with the game.
When you do try it, please, for both my sake at yours – check out the controls first. It’s a fun experience and something I’m really curious to see how it shakes out as the closed beta and eventual release pans out.