World of Warplanes is a Finely Tuned Machine

Tuesday, September 18, 2012
While meeting with the folks from, I got a little face time with World of Warplanes. Still in closed beta, World of Warplanes takes the concept of world of Tanks and applies it to classic warplanes, from biplanes to early jets. The game looks to become as diverse as World of Tanks, with German, US and Russian planes available now and Japanese planes available at the game's launch.

World of Warplanes isn't a flight simulator, but trying out different planes, I could feel distinct differences even between planes in the same class. Flight games are constantly fighting to find a balance between arcade play and realistic flight. Often, in search of a specific demographic, a flight game will sacrifice one for the other and end up missing out on a larger potential audience.

World of Warplanes has seemingly struck the perfect balance. The gameplay feels authentic without needing a pilot's licence, and accessible without being dumbed down. This balance is furthered by the new "module" system for upgrading your planes.

The modules represent historically accurate configurations of weapons, armor and engines on each of the planes. Each module structures the plane towards specific play styles. This makes it easier for players to upgrade their planes for the roles that best suit them, either focusing or ground or air targets, heavy armor and weapons or speed and maneuverability. Players can also research individual components, as in World of Tanks, and even create their own custom modules should they desire a deeper customization experience.

The planes themselves are divided into various classes, from interceptors to dedicated ground attack planes. Each nation will also have their own specific class of plane. The only ones revealed so far are the Carrier based planes for the US and Japan.

The gameplay is similar to World of Tanks in that two groups of up to 15 players fight across a map to destroy each other or complete specified objectives. Rather than holding and capturing the opposing teams base, players can choose to destroy ground targets such as tanks and airbases to gain points towards victory. Many of these targets are not static and will fight back. Buildings are often defended by AA batteries, making them dangerous but tempting targets. Friendly fire is a reality in World of Warplanes, so luring enemy planes into your AA guns can be a very dangerous tactic.

World of Warplanes promises to be an exciting and fast paced game with all of the strategic elements and customization that made World of Tanks unique. Flight enthusiasts, aviation buffs, action fans and even more casual players should find the game accessible and fun to play. In this way, World of Warplanes is what every online game should be.