World of Warplanes
You can live the life of a daredevil pilot with World of Warplanes, a free to play online MMO.
- Over a hundred real planes available to pilot
- Conquest mode brings objective based gameplay into the fold
- Ability to customize your fleet of planes to your specifications
- A great addition to an underserved genre
- Largely generous with its free to play mechanics
- Each plane feels unique and satisfying to pilot
- Mouse and keyboard isn't the ideal method for playing a flight combat simulator
- New bomber class requires an investment of premium currency
After cutting their teeth on the widely regarded online tank simulator World of Tanks, Wargaming decided to try their hand at another staple of the military action genre. World of Warplanes was conceived as a way to continue the same commitment to technical and historical details that defined World of Tanks while exploring new avenues of gameplay. The fundamentals are the same. The main incentives for progression are the unlocking of new vehicles, which is achieved through a variety of in game currencies. Just as in War of Tanks, the development team's commitment to authenticity is admirable and studious, and each of the represented nations has access to nine tiers of planes. Altogether, that comes out to over a hundred planes representing the United States, Japan, Germany, Great Britain, China, and the Soviet Union. Fighters, heavy attack fighters, multirole fighters, and ground attack planes serve a similar role to classes in more conventional shooters, and the strengths and weaknesses lend a tactical advantage to how players need to perform, especially when working in the various team modes. Most of the available planes cover the span of time from World War II through the Korean War. It's remarkable how much personality each plane has. Apart from the clear love that was invested into historical accuracy, most of them handle distinctly and possess a sense of weight and control that lends them greater personality than just cookie cutter textures plastered to the same basic chassis. Even jets of the same tier and class may show dramatic differences across national models. And how the game controls is exceptionally important. The golden age of dogfighting simulators relied on joysticks to properly execute the complicated sort of stunts and bravado required of fighter pilots, and maybe aficionados would scoff at the decision Wargaming made in using a mouse and keyboard for the default control scheme. While it's not the most intuitive approach, it's certainly serviceable. For better or worse, you'll be doing a lot of dogfighting in the game. At its core, two teams vie for control of the skies in a death match or team death match structure similar in style to the earlier World of Tanks and first person shooters. While the fundamentals are solid and the range of planes was impressive, the grind could become tiresome. Experience is needed to unlock new planes and upgrade existing planes, and the gameplay variety was limited. Luckily, new changes to the game in 2017 largely overhauled the existing gameplay. Perhaps the boldest new change was the addition of a Conquest mode which serves as the new core of the World of Warplanes experience. Similar to variations of capture the flag, teams are tasked with taking out ground targets, including artificial intelligence defenses, and holding the territory as long as possible to maintain air superiority. This new spin on World of Warplanes lends a far greater level of strategy to the game and makes the roles that each plane fills more important. For the first time since its launch, it truly feels like the game it always aspired to be.