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E3 2012 Preview

Garrett Fuller Posted:
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The team at Wargaming.net continues to grow and build upon classic style war-gaming with their first title, World of Tanks. Now the company is getting ready to put forth their next big installment with World of Warplanes. We have had sneak peaks at Warplanes a few times over the last few months, but at E3 we got a great look at a truly amazing game. World of Warplanes will appeal to the pilot in all of us. The physics of the game wrapped up in an amazing graphics engine with stylish mechanics impressed us beyond our expectations.

The first aspect of World of Warplanes is that you can play through different tiers. The early tiers encompass the bi-plane era of WWI and 1930s combat. This allows you to get a handle on the flight mechanics of the game. One thing the team felt very strongly about was allowing players to use high end flight sticks as well as simple keyboard and mouse hardware. It is so anyone can enter the game and play at any level. This early tier is captured beautifully allowing players to customize their planes with all kinds of flags symbols and achievements. Tier one combat can be used on any of the maps that the game launches with and gives the players a great introduction to the game.

Moving into the Tier two levels of the game you are now entering the WWII era of air combat. This would be considered by some to be the golden age of aviation. There were no jets, not yet, and the airplanes of the time came in many shapes and sizes, from small fighters to larger bomb carrying aircraft. Some of flight mechanics in World of Warplanes really come into play here. For example, if you are carrying bombs, and drop them, your plane will suddenly feel lighter. The heavier your ammunition is the harder it is to maneuver the plane. Also, damage is a major element in combat. If you take damage on your aircraft, you are slowed down and will lose speed as the damage gets worse. Now there are definitely buffs in the game to help you recover from damage quickly or boost your weapons skills. Overall these elements bring s great sense of realism to air combat.

The customization players get to enjoy really makes their planes stand out. You can enter fights with your won squad colors and customize the planes any way you like. Not only does the game foster this level of environmental impact by the player, it also allows the player to use the environment on the map itself. For example, the maps are designed with all kinds of obstacles to make the dog fight scenarios very real. The game has different canyons and mountains to fly around give players the advantage to use the map to take out their foes. In one part of the demo we saw a plane fly under an overpass to have the pursuing plane crash. It was like watching a flying ace move from the WWII era, but was amazingly cool. You can also use smoke to hide and confuse your opponents. The team at Wargaming.net is doing everything it can to make these battlefields a reality.

Using the camera is important in Warplanes. They did not want the game to be built as a flight simulator because there is so much you can do with the plane on the screen in a dogfight situation. The biggest is to see damage when you get shot. Also you can turn the camera view around to quickly see behind you to find planes in pursuit. The targeting interface is really solid and falls into the easy to learn, hard to master format. The key to the game is that anyone can jump into a dogfight.

We got to see the basic trailer for World of Battleships but nothing of the game play yet. Battleships should be shown in the next few months and if Warplanes is any indicator, the game will look amazing. Knowing that Wargaming.net is building up their world and platform to connect all three games (think Battle.Net if Diablo, Warcraft and Starcraft shared one game world) in a giant world combat zone is something truly amazing to look forward to.

World of Warplanes is a fantastic treat for anyone who has ever played a flying game in the past. Real pilots and casual flyers, or just gamers in general will find something fun in amazing game. One part we forgot to mention was the whole idea that old prototype planes that never saw combat will also be included in the aircraft selection of the game. We wanted to thank the team at Wargaming.net for a truly impressive display and cannot wait to fly into World of Warplanes when it launches.


Garrett Fuller

Garrett Fuller / Garrett Fuller has been playing MMOs since 1997 and writing about them since 2005. He joined MMORPG.com has a volunteer writer and now handles Industry Relations for the website. He has been gaming since 1979 when his cousin showed him a copy of Dungeons and Dragons. When not spending time with his family, Garrett also Larps and plays Airsoft in his spare time.