War Thunder was originally announced in 2011 under the name "World of Planes". War Thunder is a WW2 next-gen free-to-play MMO. In 2012, the name was changed to "War Thunder" because of the Wargaming.net (War Thunder is developed by Gaijinn entertainment, we are talking about two different companies here) project "World of Warplanes" and because the game was to include tanks and ships rather than just aircraft as it had originally. I started playing probably last year or something like that. And here I am going to review it.
Okay, have you heard of World of Tanks? If you have, War Thunder is in the same boat, a WW2 vehicle-based quasi-simulator combat game. I used to play WoT but now I only play WT. I will be comparing the two here and there throughout this review.
War Thunder features aircraft and AFVs (armored fighting vehicles) from several different nations: the US, UK, Germany, Japan, and Russia, (France and Italy are included as "subcategories"). All nations have aircraft but Japan, Italy, and France do not have tanks, British tanks are not fully added to the game, but some premium (you have to pay some cha-ching for them) British tanks have been implemented with the free-to-play tanks coming later. WT is distinctly different from WoT in that aircraft and tanks are implemented into a single game and that it includes wheeled, semi-tracked, and fully tracked vehicles. WoT only includes fully tracked vehicles and there is no aviation aspect to the game. WT includes the usual assortment of heavy, medium, and light tanks, tank destroyers, and unlike WoT, self-propelled anti-aircraft guns. The game can be played with varying levels of realism to suit each player. Naval units will, but have not yet been added to the game. I look forward to that day. WT has been advertised as "next-generation" and I believe this claim is justified. The damage and physics model is complex, and the mesh of ground and air units into a single game, while not new, sets WT apart from WoT. Originally, I thought WT was just a complete rip-off from WoT. But upon playing it it was more unique than I had thought, and not just because of the two-dimensional (ground and air) combat.
First off, WT has a different perspective. In WT, ground vehicles are larger. It is something like the difference between 1/72nd scale and 1/35th scale models. WT is set to a different scale than WoT. And they look, feel, and handle differently (they don't look different in terms of the actual vehicle, I'm just talking about the game engine and psychics type stuff). To me, WoT is more cinematic and "gritty" whereas WT is more simulator-like and more realistic overall. In WoT, vehicles are knocked out by depleting their health bar. Armor penetration is a big part of the game, but once armor was pierced what matters most is the damage points of your shell compared to the hit points of the vehicle. In WT, vehicles are usually knocked by their crew getting killed, with no health bar system. It matters where you hit, not how much, which is why I can knock out medium tanks with my M5A1 Stuart light tank (I'll be doing a post on that baby pretty soon). Also, WT supports respawns, which is something I definitely like, in WoT if you get knocked out, your out of the entire battle.
The driver view, one of my favorite features
In the air, things follow a similar system, and their is no health bar.
|look at the incredible detail on that bomb|
|most of these screenshots are taken from replays, the WT replay system is excellent, allowing you to see from any players perspective|
|Toro! Toro! Toro!|
The damage model is very cool, fenders get bent, wings break off, tank guns can even "flower petal" (get split open) I actually got a kill at point blank even though my gun was wrecked in this fashion. Radio antennae bend and sway, and of course the tank suspension is fully modeled. When driving, your tank will actually get progressively dirtier and some of it will wash off if you drive through a stream.
There are plenty of different features and aspects to the game, it is a little "rough on the edges" but with every update I believe the game will become more and more polished and of course plenty of great features and vehicles will be added. It has great potential and I like it a lot. (I play on low settings on my windows 8 just so you know) I will be doing more WT-related posts, so if your interested, stick around. - Andrew
My rating 8/10
PG: (for some inappropiate nose art examples) (chat is not an issue as it can be turned off)