Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’d have known that Belarusian developers Wargaming.net have been making waves all over the oversaturated MMO market with their unique Armored Warfare MMO “World Of Tanks”. Everyone from WWII aficionados to hardcore FPS gamers were drawn by the game’s unique premise and just 1 year after its initial release in Russia; the popularity of “World Of Tanks” blitz-ed across the world and Wargaming.net even localized servers in China, Europe, North America, South East Asia and Vietnam. As of now, World Of Tanks currently boasts 40 million players worldwide according to Wargaming.net.
Trailing from the smashing success of “World Of Tanks”, Wargaming.net decided to bring the speed and intensity of aerial combat to the MMO market with their spin-off title “World Of Warplanes”. I was fortunate enough to be able to play a beta build of this highly anticipated MMO over at the Wargaming.net booth. The premise of the game is simple enough, 2 team of warplanes would go head to head over a map riddled with ground targets. The objective, eliminate all the planes on the opposing team or destroy all designated ground targets. Wargaming.net did not skimp on the sheer number of planes available to players, like its grounded counterpart “World Of Warplanes” would have plane connoisseurs salivating at the plane selection screen; everything from the infamous German ME-262 to the American F-86 Sabre jets.
The demo started and I was dropped straight into the fray with several AI controlled bots, as a gamer who played the ever loving crap out of games from the Ace Combat and HAWX series(all of them feature modern high performance jets instead of propeller driven planes); the first thing that hit me was the sheer weight of the aircraft, the plane felt rightfully heavy and sluggish. Every pitch and yaw required a second to even respond (to be honest, I crashed several times before I even engaged the enemy). After finally getting a hang of actually flying the aircraft, I flew my Korean War era jet straight into a squadron of enemy biplanes marked out in red by the intuitive UI, I pulled the trigger and a stream of machine gun rounds came rattling out of my plane, the measly biplane crumpled under the sheer firepower. I downed my first plane, but the rest of the squadron quickly swarmed me, took advantage of my slow turning speed and shot me down without much difficulty. After my embarrassing defeat at the hands of AI controlled biplanes, I decided to change to a propeller driven fighter and the difference was immediate. My prop plane was lighter and more maneuverable, pitch and yaws were fast and nimble, and did not have to sacrifice any amount of firepower. I started the match and engaged the same squadron but this time I was able to outmaneuver a whole squadron biplanes at once, all it took was a squeeze of the trigger to blow each of them to kingdom come. After a few minutes of intense dogfighting, I emerged victorious and the demo ended.
Overall, “World Of Warplanes” is shaping up to be THE sleeper hit of 2012, with a myriad of planes to choose from gamers would be spoilt for choice. The handling of plane here throttles the line between realism and playability which makes it both exciting for plane connoisseurs and casual players alike.
“World of Warplanes” is still under closed beta but more information about World of Tanks can be found at http://worldoftanks-sea.com/