E3 2012: Hands On: World of Warplanes

E3 2012: Hands On: World of Warplanes

E3 2012 had some pretty large booths set up for some amazing games. One of the biggest areas was occupied by Wargaming.net, the creative minds being the free-to-play MMOG World of Tanks. The title launched around the globe back in April of 2011 and now has about 30 million players worldwide. The second game from the company will be World of Warplanes that is set to launch this year, followed by World of Battleships in 2013.

In the booth, I was fortunate enough to sit down with Frederic Menou and Alexander Kasianenko, the General Manager of Europe and the Project Manager of Wargaming. Sitting at a table with a mounted screen on the wall, I was walked through the basics of their upcoming title all about, you guessed it, warplanes.

World of Warplanes will be a flight combat MMO that puts the greatest military fighters from over the years into massive dogfights. There will be three types of classes to pick from starting with light fighters that are close-range combatants. Heavy fighters have more armoring, but lose the agility of the light fighters. There will also be ground-attack planes that stay low in order to take out ground targets for points.

The detailing for the planes is amazing, especially how damage shows up while you’re in combat. Having the chance to try hands-on demo for myself, I can say that the gameplay is very realistic by including both friendly-fire and kamikaze crashes. I was surprised to learn that you’re not forced to wait until a match is over in order to start playing again though. Once out of the match, you can either chose to watch the rest of the fight through the eyes of other players or pick a new plane up for a different round.

You’ll have to wait until the match is officially over before getting your plane back and have to repair it before it can be used again. The game has been created around the idea that you can play in a few fights and go about your business if you want to, without having the obligation that comes with most MMOs who require you to play for certain amounts of time in order to accomplish anything. Of course, if you want to spend hours playing and customizing your units in your hanger, you’re very welcome to do so.

Controlling the planes was easy due to the game’s smooth mechanics, easy to use interface, and  high-resolution graphics that you wouldn’t expect to find in a free-to-play title. I’m not one to play simulations myself, but I ended up having a lot of fun. I even did better than the manager himself, much to his surprise.  Below are some screenshots to the upcoming title. If you’re into having quick PVP matches that allow you to pick them up and go whenever you please or just a fan World of Tanks already, then you should take some time to look into it.