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World of Warplanes preview and impressions

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I had the chance to check out Wargaming.net's upcoming flight-based MMO, World of Warplanes. Set to feature 15-on-15 battles, multiple maps, and various modes, World of Warplanes looks to draw in fans of the company's previous efforts and newcomers alike. Additionally, with both free-to-play and premium subscriptions, the game will allow different types of players, from the casual to the more dedicated, to enjoy some intense action as they steer their warplanes through the sky as bullets pass all around them.

In terms of its gameplay design, I was told that World of Warplanes would be accessible, but Wargaming.net still wants to provide a deep experience that sucks fans in. As I watched some video footage of the game in action, I noticed that the whole thing had this classic aerial dogfight appeal to it. It was almost like watching an old war movie, which is the direction Wargaming.net is really going for. According to General Manager Jeremy Monroe, one of the audiences the company is targeting with World of Warplanes is the group of people who are really into history, especially the World War II era. From the looks of it, I think those folks may definitely dig the game.

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World of Warplanes will feature four maps to battle across at launch. While these maps are already available in the game's beta, Warming.net will be adding more content post-launch. The game will feature 59 planes, all with their own distinctive perks and advantages. The three battling nations will be the US, Germany, and Russia, and the game will begin in the 1930s, progressing into the Korean war where players will eventually get to use jets.

From the looks of it, World of Warplanes looks to provide a hectic aerial combat experience for gamers to really get into. To add to that hectic nature, players will be tasked with destroying ground targets in their enemies' bases. It won't be easy, though, as many of these ground bases are fully equipped with anti-aircraft guns, so even picking these off will require a strategic and defensive approach.

XP and credits are the two types of currencies players will have access to in World of Warplanes. Both of these currencies can be earned in battle, and the amount players earn will depend on how successfully each battle played out. XP and credits can be used to enhance players' aircraft, as well as to unlock new plane tiers. World of Warplanes will be free-to-play, but individuals can also pay for a premium account. I was told that paying for a premium account will give players access to faster unlocks and more XP. According to Wargaming.net, what players who upgrade to premium accounts will be paying for is convenience.

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World of Warplanes definitely has a lot of potential. During my demo session, it seemed as though the game could appeal to a number of different audiences. Obviously, fans of Wargaming.net's previous endeavors should definitely watch out for this one. And as I was told during my time with the game, fans of the World War II era are sure to dig the style of the game. But it also seemed to me that gamers who enjoy flight sims will totally eat World of Warplanes up. Add to that the fact that the game features flight stick support, and you've got something gamers who own these peripherals may just want to take a stab at.

As previously stated, World of Warplanes is still in beta, but gamers who are looking forward to some high-action aerial-based combat can look forward to the game later this year. A specific launch date hasn't been confirmed by Wargaming.net just yet, but World of Warplanes is expected to release by the end of the year. And for gamers and fans of Wargaming.net's brand of MMOs who are looking for something a bit more slow-paced and tactical, watch out for World of Battleships, which is currently in closed alpha.

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Games: World of Warplanes

Tags: E3 2012

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