Exclusive review of the flight combat MMO World of Warplanes

By: Fidel Homs

It’s time to fly. It’s time to combat. Set in the tragic background of the Second World War, World of Warplanes opens a new MMO world in which players have to show all their top gun ability to survive and to prevail. Won’t be easy to twirl through the air forgetful of enemy fire, to hold own position just behind the enemy tail: huge instead will be the gratification, landing after hard fights, to be still alive and to feel triumphant as a true Red Baron.

It’s quite simple to begin to play at World of Warplanes: you need only an account and a client downloaded. Once in-game then the user interface is easy and immediate: you can see three main pages, your hangar, the tech tree and the store. The hangar page shows available airplanes, statistics of each of them, and the button you need to begin a game. At the moment four game modes are available: training, team training, single battle and standard battle. Training is recommended because it’s not easy to drive a warplane, still in a videogame, but… going straight to the point: game isn’t easy but you can easily master your ability with the normal effort required by a new game; the learning graph isn’t so steep as can appears at the first glance. Selecting “Training” (individual) and clicking on “Battle” player is immediately in air to prove his skill or to learn basic aircraft control: to pitch (up un down), to yaw (left and right), to roll and turn (left and right, but faster). The “final examination” consists in flying through a set of hoops positioned in mid-air. It’s important to highlight that if the game is fun playing it with mouse and keyboard, with a joystick it is probably wonderful: so it’s highly recommended to use it.

Selecting “Single Battle” mode and clicking “Battle” is useful to get some basic combat skill, since in this game mode player has to face two aircrafts controlled by IA: you’ll realize that it’s not so easy to control the airplane, to follow your enemy and to shoot him at the same time: it’s not easy but it’s extremely fun, above all when, after 2 or 3 games, you succeed in shooting down them. “Standard battle” is the game mode that lets players to face each other: in the top left of the screens is always shown (even if you are in tech tree or store page) the number of online and in queue players, so you can have an idea if it’s a good moment to join a battle. Considering that the game is in Closed Beta yet and due probably to the number of online players (still low), the only imperfection of the game seems the matchmaking system, because in every match could join some advanced players able to fly with high tech aircrafts (class IV or V), and to kill easily low tech players (class I or II).

Tech Trees Page explains how various aircrafts are organized: three main factions are the historical background (USSR, USA and Germany), and each faction shows its aircrafts according to their technological evolution from older to newer. Older ones are cheaper (in terms of “credits”, the free game currency, that you get playing Standard Battles), newer ones are expensive, and you need to buy first of all older to get step by step newer. In addition each faction, starting from a single airplane (for example, the P-12 for US Army), has two different tech trees, so that for each faction there are 19 aircrafts, 57 in all. Lastly airplanes can belong to different typologies: fighter, heavy fighter and attack aircraft.


To understand the true differences among various airplanes typologies players have two choices: to buy patiently every airplane in the favorite tech tree ; to analyze planes features in the hangar screen (if you have unlocked them) or in the store screen. These features are hit points, mass, engine power, wing area, top speed (in lowest or highest altitude), rate of climb, average time to turn of 360°, weapons equipped: they are really useful to understand the true toughness, handiness, speed and offensive power of the plane. Considering that movement is quite essential in this game, players should evaluate carefully each plane according to own skills.

Graphic features are great: performance are good on a low system (as that we used to try the game), so we can suppose that medium or high system can gift a realistic game experience. Airplanes models are accurate, directly shaped from air force history; aircraft movements and weapons effects are pretty good, smooth and effective at same time. Music is simply epic, allowing players to live a true flying dog-fighter adventure. In addition it’s possible to customize totally the UI, choosing (in “Battle options”) which indicators are needed to fight and which one can be hidden, to get a cleaner interface. Main indicators show speed (on the left of the sights) and altitude (on the right): then it’s possible to remove (to increase the flight experience) other four“supporting” indicators, concerning team mates, a minimap-radar, an addition camera (showing locked targets) and a aircraft condition panel.

Main game mode appears (for now) the “Standard Battle”: it allows not only to improve step by step own flight skills, but also to gain valuable credits, required to buy aircrafts stronger and stronger. There is another game currency (Gold) presumably affordable with real money: credits and gold are always shown in the general interface, in the top right of the screen. This second currency confirms a modern model of F2P that doesn’t give any real advantage in combat to paying players, but for their chance to save some time, to get faster same airplanes an hardcore player can get in the same time.

The game will be easily theatre of fierce & fun battle among friends: matches in which two airplane squadrons face each other to get the sky dominance have the same PvP charm of an Arena or a Moba (multiplayer online battle arena), bringing probably players to develop common flight strategies, even directly learnt by air force history.

By: Fidel Homs

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