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Review

World of Warplanes Review

  • First Released
  • Reviewed:
  • PC
Robert Handlery on Google+

Flight of fancy.

With a fuselage chewed up by bullet holes, an injured pilot who's bleeding out, and smoke trailing out of your engine, few things are more gratifying than ramming your doomed fighter headlong into the jerk who put you in such dire straights to begin with. World of Warplanes makes as much room for tactical sneakery as it does fancy flying, which gives your likelihood of surviving an exciting air of uncertainty. When the skies are swarming with fighters, dogfights spill into one another as you rocket through waves of antiaircraft fire and near misses. Layer on top of this an exhaustive list of unlockable planes and part upgrades to tinker with, and you have a game that is far more enjoyable than its repetitive nature might suggest.

World of Warplanes is a streamlined arcade-style experience built for easy accessibility. It takes only a minute or two to come to grips with the simple controls, and after a quick piloting tutorial, you're booted right to the battlefield with minimal handholding. It's a whirlwind introduction to be sure, but the flow of battle quickly becomes a familiar groove once you get a few missions under your belt. The fact that there's only one competitive player-versus-player mode to dive into helps you get acclimated quickly, though that limitation is ultimately to the game's detriment.

Hang in the hangar for tinkering fun.

Matches pit opposing squadrons in 15-on-15 battles for air supremacy over massive square maps. Victory is achieved by dealing enough damage to your opponents' base or by blowing every enemy bird out of the sky. The latter tends to be the deciding factor in nearly every battle simply because aggressive players are always on the hunt for the next potential kill. This doesn't make bombing and air-to-ground strafing runs any less useful, since you still gain experience for them, but it does keep matches short. Most games rarely bump up against the 15-minute time limit because there's no one else left in the air at that point.

Given the flight speed of the zippier fighter craft, it isn't long before squads clash in explosions of gunfire and chaos. Whether they unfold high in the clouds or closer to the ground, the inevitable dogfights that erupt are a thrilling highlight. Jockeying for position as you dive and climb or circle around to flank a foe--contending with antiaircraft flak and dangerous mountain terrain all the while--makes for some exhilarating moments. Taking damage to key areas of your plane and getting your pilot injured can severely impact handling too. That usually draws enemy fighters to you like hungry buzzards eager for scraps, but it's pretty awesome to land those last few kills when you're limping along.

World of Warplanes' maps are packed with beautiful scenery both at ground level and in the skies.

Things are just as exciting near the ground.

Speaking of explosions, your time on the battlefield is often short-lived, at least until you sharpen your piloting skills and unlock better gear for your planes. The experience and cash rewards for making it through a match intact give you a big boost, although death is only a minor bummer thanks to the way missions are handled. Get blown up, and you can still stick around as a spectator to see how things play out, though hopping instantly back to your hangar lets you grab a different ride and start a new game. At first, it's a nuisance that planes are tied to each match you initiate, forcing you to wait until a match is completed before you can free up the plane again. But the upside is that this encourages you to try lots of different craft and gradually improve your whole fleet rather than rely too heavily on one favorite.

The depth that World of Warplanes lacks in its sparsity of modes and short-lived air battles pops up in the huge number of craft you can unlock. With hundreds of planes arranged in class tiers across five different countries--USA, USSR, Germany, Japan, and the UK--there's a lot of sweet military hardware to dig through. You'll find everything from old biplanes and burly bombers to more modern jets, and each craft looks outstanding. Gaining access to them is a slow but satisfying process that makes each match you play, no matter how short or long, feel like it's contributing to your overall progress.

Your first few aircraft are flimsy and get torn apart quickly in direct fire. Spending accumulated experience earned with each craft lets you access new planes and upgraded parts for each one, ranging from engines and guns to armor and special bullets. That's when they become a lot more formidable and fun to fly. It's a two-stage process, however. Once you spend experience to gain access to each additional ride and extra parts, you have to shell out accumulated in-game cash to actually buy and equip them. It's a grindy system, albeit one that lets you get a lot of cool stuff without having to pay actual cash.

Bombing runs are a nice break from dogfighting.

Spending real money on gold currency is needed if you want to expand your hangar to hold a larger number of planes at once, or to speed the whole process up, but you have a good amount of starting space to work with. A small handful of souped-up planes can only be obtained with gold. Aside from being a bit more powerful than their non-premium counterparts within the same class, these craft are not necessarily the absolute best you can fly, but they don't require research and they give you a boost in earned credits and experience. Elsewhere in the shop, you can purchase gold, credits, and temporary packages that boost your experience gain. These purchases range from reasonable to extreme in price, but they give you a solid advantage by providing quicker access to upper-tier crafts and powerful ammo.

Taking down a tough adversary is tops.

World of Warplanes' maps are packed with beautiful scenery both at ground level and in the skies. Diving close for bombing runs gives you a closer look at ships, buildings, and infrastructure, while the sun and cloud lighting effects are beautifully captivating. Flying high gives you a strategic advantage to divebomb planes below you, and cloud cover can obscure the view, allowing you to spring a sneaky surprise. The map topography and ground-level designs make a much bigger impact on combat when you drop down to hug mountain peaks, buzz past AA guns, and rocket through deep canyons to try to shake someone on your tail. Despite the game's good looks, it stinks that the map rotation is so limited. Each setting is impressively rednered, but you can't pick which map you play on in a given match. This leads to lots of matches where you fly over the same few vistas, adding to the repetitiousness of the experience.

Taking to the skies in a seemingly endless string of short and intense matches proves to be a lot of fun in World of Warplanes, even when you feel caught in a time loop playing the same maps ad nauseam. Every encounter is pleasantly unpredictable, and the crazy kills and near misses keep the steady grind for cash and experience interesting. Ultimately, it's the variety of planes and unlockable goodies available for each aircraft that keep you pushing through the more limited, recycled stretches of this airborne assault freebie. There's room to grow here, but World of Warplanes leaves the runway with a sound foundation intact.

The Good
Beautiful settings and crisp plane detail
Thrilling dogfights
Tons of planes and parts to unlock for customization
The Bad
Limited play modes and map variety
Matches grow repetitive over time
7
Good
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Nathan Meunier is no stranger to the unfriendly skies. From bombing runs to dogfights, he's been locking and loading in the cockpit since the early days of the flight combat genre. For this review, he tested out lots of different planes and engaged the enemy in more than 85 matches.

Discussion

53 comments
johnross963434
johnross963434

Do NOT spend money on this game. I bought premium days for it just to try it out. Thank God I only paid for 3 days.

As soon as my first day of premium was finished I would get disconnected from every single match. The problem magically disappeared as soon as my final premium day was over. As in the very first match that I was no longer in premium the problem was gone. I did nothing whatso ever to fix it, it just went away as soon as my premium was up.
They utterly refused to give any refund or to add 2 days of premium to the account. They say that that is their policy and that the problem was on my end.
Is it possible that the problem was on my end? Sure. But it was odd that the problem went away directly after the premium days were used up.
I am not telling you how to spend your hard earned cash. If you want to spend it on this company then by all means do so, but I will never again spend a single penny with this company again in any way shape or form.
Besides that War Thunder is a much more realistic game (and better in my opinion, even with the crappy name)

Iffy350
Iffy350

Il-2: 1946 Ultra Pack 3 RC4

kyphe
kyphe

They destroyed this game, I had challenging fun in mid to late beta but 2 weeks after release I uninstalled it as it is is a dire broken mess less than a 5 out of 10 from me, no way am I grinding that crap again

kingck123
kingck123

world of whoreplanes is a another grind tatcular game that wargaming has shoveled out. gajin's war thunder is far better it cover more computers in terms of playablity, its far less grindy, and to top it off they have experence in the combat simulators IE IL-2 and wings of prey. so they know what they what they are doing

uglypinkmoose
uglypinkmoose

This game actually looks pretty good to me but I doubt my PC can take it 

Jughed
Jughed

Is it optimized as well as War Thunder?

WT might be the best example of a game I've ever seen in that department.  

sadun_tryst
sadun_tryst

Don't listen to comments saying "This is better than that", just try the game and see for yourself. 

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

While I wouldn't play Wargaming.net's games anymore, I would say that I have disdain for some of you who shamelessly pitch War Thunder here at the expense of another game.

arnoediad
arnoediad

I cant believe this game does not feature an inplane camera or whatever you call it. And, besides, can there be in a same battle both biplanes and jets or 2°WW aircraft?? If so, then I ve lost all of my interest in this game..

Caldrin
Caldrin

As other have said War Thunder is just a better game.. I think Wargaming where a bit slow getting this out the door.. lets hope they do better with World of Warships..

RenegadeGR
RenegadeGR

want arcade and upgrades = WoWp
want simulation = WT

LordOtman
LordOtman

There is War Thunder out there.

World of Warplanes go home.

MAD_AI
MAD_AI

After playing War Thunder and replaying il2 Sturmovick,  I have no desire to return to the simplified arcade style of World of Tanks or Warplanes.

Slagar
Slagar

Crimson Skies!! 

Must give this a go :)

NiGhtPiSH
NiGhtPiSH

I tried both World of Warplanes and War Thunder on my seriously outdated desktop machine and guess what? War Thunder runs better and looks & feels better. World of Warplanes feels a little sluggish at times and the controls aren't as responsive.

johnross963434
johnross963434

I would also like to note that I had a friend playing World of Warplanes on another computer at that same time and he had ZERO problems. Odd. The only difference was I paid for premium time.

penpusher
penpusher

@johnross963434 I've been playing since the beta and have never encountered such an issue, and have never encountered anyone else who has. The problem was very likely your end, why should they pay you for that? 


I can't think of a single thing that would cause you to lag just because you were on premium. You don't get special server access, priority match making or anything other than a boost in exp and credits.

penpusher
penpusher

@kingck123 I find warthunder to be equally "grindy". That's how f2p games are set up to encourage you to pay for premium time.

sadun_tryst
sadun_tryst

@JughedNo, Warthunder is far better optimized. Looks better and still goes at much higher framerate.

johnross963434
johnross963434

@sadun_tryst Agreed try both World of Warplanes and War Thunder.

I personally will be sticking to War Thunder as I like it better and I do not trust the company that makes WoWP.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@Gelugon_baat I don't see it as that bad, in almost every comment section people are comparing games and saying A is better than B. The only difference here is that there are so few comments that an overwhelming majority puts up one particular game as better than World of Warplanes. It's not like Warplanes will suffer for this or that people will play one game over another just because a stranger on the internet said so. You could argue that they should give Warplanes a chance, but if it doesn't look appealing enough and other alternatives present themselves, then why bother. Even if you're not using money to play it, you're still using time that you could have used doing something else. 

WGA_Jasysae_PL
WGA_Jasysae_PL

@arnoediad Hi arnoediad,


Thank you for your comment! Please mind that World of Warplanes is not a simulator but much more of an arcade. The interface and controls are easy to use. However the elements that do not require direct players input, such as physics and armors are being realistic. Each plane reacts in the air similarly to their real life counterparts. As the game is completely free to play I would like to encourage you to give it a go and let us know what you think about it!


To answer your question there is a possibility that a jet plane will meet in battle with a 2WW plane however it will be a high tier plane and if wisely used, the older construction can be very effective. At this point we do not have a cockpit point of view, thank you for your suggestion!


Best of luck!

Wargaming Ambassador - Jasysae

johnross963434
johnross963434

@penpusher @johnross963434 It is very suspicious that it started 1 day after my premium started and ended just as my premium did. Literally the very first match after premium ended I did not have this problem.

You say it didn't happen to you. Good for you. just because you don;t know anyone who it is happening to does not mean it isn't happening.

If people want to waste their money on this game, its their money to waste. I have been playing since beta as well and I will NEVER spend another penny on this game.

PERIOD.

Far to suspicious the way it started and ended as my premium did.

Besides that War Thunder if far more fun to play.

johnross963434
johnross963434

@penpusher @kingck123 I have been playing War Thunder for a bit now and have not even felt a twinge of needing to pay for anything. You seem to be defending World of Warplanes/Tanks a lot. 

Just curious, do you work for them???

WGA_Jasysae_PL
WGA_Jasysae_PL

@Hurvl @Gelugon_baat If we are to compare World of Warplanes with War Thunder, World of Warplanes has a completely different game dynamic. It is much easier to play, control your machine, aim the enemies, and simply enjoy it all. As such, World of Warplanes is designed for those who are not exactly willing to be forced to learn complicated mechanisms in order to be able to play and enjoy the game. I would like to invite everyone here to give World of Warplanes a go and share with us all your feedbacks!


Thanks for all your comments here!

Wargaming Ambassador - Jasysae

johnross963434
johnross963434

@WGA_Jasysae_PL @arnoediad Yes it is free to play, and if you do play take advantage of the "FREE" part. Just do NOT sink any money into it. I paid for premium time and "magically" I started having disconnect problems. They also "Magically" went away as soon as my premium time did. As in the VERY FIRST GAME that was not premium had ZERO problems. Do not waste your money on this game. I did, and I am sorry I wasted it.

RenegadeGR
RenegadeGR

@johnross963434  arcade as in the gameplay feel, not mode. WT's "arcade" mode is not as simple to play as most other flight games.

johnross963434
johnross963434

@WGA_Jasysae_PL @Hurvl @Gelugon_baat War thunder is just as easy to play. I didnt have to learn any "complicated machanics" to play War Thunder at all. It does take a few days to get used to it after playing World of planes, but once you do it all just kicks in. War Thunder is far more fun and way more realistic.

johnross963434
johnross963434

@WGA_Jasysae_PL @Hurvl @Gelugon_baat War Thunder has an Arcade Mode that is just as easy as WoWP to learn and to play. Is War Thunder complicated? That depends on the player, you can go with Arcade mode which is as easy as falling off of a log, or you can go Simulator mode which is as realistic as I have ever seen.

AS for the invite to try WoWP Thank you, but I did try it and I even payed for 3 days of Premium. 

Lets just say I might play WoWP on occasion if I have a friend who wants to play that, BUT I will NEVER EVER EVER EVER spend another penny on any game from the makers of WoWP. 

I was a WoWP and WoT fan.

Then I got jipped for 2 days of premium.

Then I tried War Thunder...... It was the best $2 I have ever spent.

Needless to say I will be sticking with War Thunder.

Jughed
Jughed

@WGA_Jasysae_PL @Hurvl @Gelugon_baat 


War Thunder forces you to learn complicated mechanisms?  The most popular mode is really arcady with a mouse and keyboard control system.


The dynamic looks exactly the same as the review I just watched. 

Hurvl
Hurvl

@WGA_Jasysae_PL @Hurvl @Gelugon_baatLol, that's a first, a game dev replying to a comment on Gamespot. I've seen some indie devs reply to other people's comments over at Rock, paper, shotgun, but never here and certainly not to one of my comments. I've got a backlog of great games that would dwarf any warplane, so no thanks, but since World of Warplanes is F2P there's nothing stopping anyone else to try it.

World of Warplanes More Info

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  • First Released
    • PC
    World of Warplanes is a stand-alone free-to-play game being developed by the team that created World of Tanks.
    5.1
    Average User RatingOut of 25 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate World of Warplanes
    Developed by:
    Wargaming.net
    Published by:
    Wargaming.net
    Genres:
    Tactical, Shooter, Action, Third-Person
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Teen
    All Platforms
    Violence