hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

World of Warplanes

Review: World of Warplanes

12:00 PM on 12.21.2013 // Chris Carter

A world worth visiting, for free

Free-to-play is still a bad word these days with a lot of gamers. But it doesn't have to be. Titles like Path of Exile have shown that providing a model where most of the content is free, but the cosmetic upgrades are paid, can facilitate an environment that not only respects their players, but influences them to want to spend money.

Lying somewhere in-between is Wargaming, one of the biggest F2P publishers out right now. Their newest game, World of Warplanes, is mostly a great example of how to do free-to-play right -- it just needs to fix a few other things first.

World of Warplanes (PC)
Developer: Persha Studia, Wargaming
Publisher: Wargaming
Released: November 13, 2013
MSRP: Free (with microtransactions)

[Wargaming provided us with a press account for testing, but for the vast majority of the review, I spent my time with it with a good old fashioned free account to best judge the experience for readers.]

Wargaming makes it particularly easy to pick up World of Warplanes. All you have to do is go to the game's site, download the client, and within minutes, you're basically up in running in your first dogfight. For those who care, the cost of the free-to-play scheme is essentially an always-on DRM trade-off, as you have to be constantly connected with their servers to play. After a short and enjoyable tutorial you're basically throw out into the wild, with the ability to select instant matchmaking team deathmatch fights.

Pretty much every control scheme is supported here, from a keyboard, to a mouse, to a gamepad, to an elaborate joystick and throttle setup. Mouse movement is ideal in my opinion, as the plane moves in the direction of your device, giving it an incredibly simplistic and easy-to-pick-up feel. It's like telling the plane what to do rather than playing a standard flight simulator, if that makes sense. It fits the arcade nature of the game perfectly, and since all you really need to do is click to fire your machine guns and use consumables, it has a great learning curve. 

But Warplanes is just that -- arcade-like in nature. Don't go in expecting a fully-fledged realistic simulator, because you're going to be disappointed. World of Warplanes is a relatively simple game, and the flight physics operate on a similar pared-down manner. Concepts like losses of speed when making impossible turns and rolls don't exist, and you can just fly around unfettered by the wind and the laws of physics in general. In other words, you'll hardly ever stall, and you have more time to keep shooting people.

Good thing then that it's fun to just fly around and take down otherss in a 30-player setting, as it leads to some particularly tense moments. Flying straight into the path of enemy planes and escaping by the skin of your teeth is easy enough to do on a consistent basis, and the different types of planes all have varying play styles to master. Getting outnumbered is another scenario of note -- struggling to stay alive can be strangely addicting. In terms of the barriers of entry, while the visual style of Warplanes may not be on par with high-end PC titles out right now, it'll run on nearly any machine, which is a smart strategy for a free game.

Now, on to the free-to-play parts (I can hear the groans now). World of Warplanes has three types of currency -- XP (performance based), Credits (earned in-game), and Gold (real-money currency). XP makes up the bulk of the game, as this is what you'll essentially use to unlock all of the game's content. Credits can also be used to facilitate purchases, from planes to cosmetic upgrades. This operates very similarly to IP and RP in League of Legends. Gold is used to basically flag "premium accounts," which are in a way like MMO subscriptions. You can earn more XP and credits, to unlock more planes at a faster rate.

So how is this fair? Well, Warplanes matches you with players of a similar rank, and outside of the planes, you can't buy any substantial combat advantages. So while premium players may be playing their own games with tons of unlocks with other similar crowds, you're not in their game getting wrecked by their super planes.

Having said that, you can unlock everything on your own, but you will move at a very slow pace by design -- lest you pay the exorbitant prices involved to unlock them before their time. Early on you'll start unlocking things left and right, but it slows down after around 10 hours of play. If you're okay with flying the same planes on occasion and not making a whole lot of progress you'll be fine, but personally I could have used a bit more variety -- all it would need to do is look to its older brother World of Tanks.

Another problem is the lack of variety. I had a lot of fun playing Warplanes, but if you're not keen on going in for dogfight after dogfight (constant team deathmatches, basically) you're going to get bored a lot quicker. I don't really have any complaints on the solid netcode that supports 30 players, but a lack of different modes really hurts the longevity of Warplanes. It doesn't help that the maps mostly feel the same, with early levels feeling particularly bland. I would love to see some ravine-type maps or death races through canyons in the future.

World of Warplanes has a studio that prides itself on supporting its games long term, so I have no doubt that Wargaming will continue to improve upon the formula. In the meantime, it would be a good idea to give both Warplanes and War Thunder a try and see which one you like best.



World of Warplanes - Reviewed by Chris Carter
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Chris Carter, Reviews Director
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Virtua Kazama avatarVirtua Kazama
One thing I've learned about the Japanese fighting game players: They are willing to play any fighter no matter how good or bad it is, and they don't shit on the game or the community behind it.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
I killed Darth Vader by crashing a spaceship into him 10/10
Parismio avatarParismio
Watched the first ep of One Punch Man and I was not disappointed. It seems like they'll be adding their own stories into it because I don't remember that fight in the last 5 minutes in the manga. I'll have to reread it to make sure.
Paul S avatarPaul S
What the hell is Sega using in the printing of their PS3 game manuals? I wouldn't be surprised if some dumb kid stuck one in a plastic bag and started huffing the fumes to get high.
CeeDotGreen avatarCeeDotGreen
Been playing MGO obsessively, still can't find anyone in their right mind that uses the Hush Puppy. So of course I'm gonna be the dumb bastard that tries.
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Why don't we have more games that use filtered 3D models to creat faux-pixel art? It's such a cool, smooth style, but you never see any games using it.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Oh lawd. Next Saturday, Gamestop will have three hour access to Tri-Force Heroes. Nintendo, really wish we could just get normal demos from you more often, please!
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
I made this. Want one? [IMG]HTTPS://[/IMG]
JawshButturBawls avatarJawshButturBawls
Star Wars Battlefront is pretty good. Except the beta is basically a demo with nothing in it so that upsets me. but it's still pretty good.
gajknight avatargajknight
Just cleaning up the last of Gotham's Most Wanted before I finish Arkham Knight. Those Riddler trophies...much more fun than Arkham City but my word, stop it Rocksteady. Love the game though, outstanding. In my top 5 this year, fo sho.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
SCIENCE. IS. AWESOME. [youtube][/youtube]
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Looks like my copy of Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash won't be here till Tuesday. What do I pay for Amazon Prime for again? I think I might have to stream me playing it.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
I have just heard someone say Uncharted was a "role playing game."
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
The glitched walking animation people carrying crates in Novigrad do is hilarious.
TheLimoMaker avatarTheLimoMaker
Undecided what to do with my weekend now my fiancée is away. One part of me says I should work my ass off, another says I should go watch The Martian while the last part tells me to be a slob, play games and masturbate to Highschool DXD.. Such a hard lif
Steel Squirrel avatarSteel Squirrel
The 1.10 patch for The Witcher 3 is out. Downloading for PS4. Pretty excited to see the changes, especially since it said the damn swamps in Velen would finally see performance enhancements, along with like a million other areas. So good! Yes?
wutangclam avatarwutangclam
Just got confirmation that a feature I spent way too long writing is going up on Sunday. Not a bad way to start the weekend off, though I wish I had a slot on a weekday.
gajknight avatargajknight
PB&J sandwiches. Saturday morning cartoons. A blanket. Ominous sounds coming from the next room. Blood seeping from the walls. A dark figure standing in the corner, staring, watching. Darkness, everywhere. Such darkness. This is childhood.
Torchman avatarTorchman
Dear Namco, give me a proper localizer Super Robot Wars title. I need it in my viens, especially this
Mark Plechaty avatarMark Plechaty
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:
World of Warplanes

  Nov 13

World of Warplanes soars out of beta

Go fly planes and shoot the things for free

  May 28

Wargaming unveiling first console title at E3

Plus new stuff on World of Warplanes, and World of Warships

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -