Wargaming.net is the company behind two very successful free to play video games, World of Tanks and World of Warplanes.
Both of those games are exciting, blink-and-you-die fast paced video games where the difference between winning and losing often comes down to reflexes as much as strategy.
Their third game just dropped into open beta, meaning that anyone can play it now, and if I’m right it’s going to be another big hit.
World of Warships, it’s called, and it is a completely different feel from its stablemates.
A Warships match is a team battle, 12 ships on each side, with the game randomly assigning you teammates. There are destroyers, cruisers, battleships, and aircraft carriers, and each vessel type feels DRAMATICALLY different to play.
The first thing you’ll notice is that you have to spend a lot of time just finding the bad guys. It takes time to get anywhere in Warships, time that you are supposed to spend strategizing, but I’ve yet to see that happen, at least not with random groups.
So do you press the attack with your team’s destroyers going in fast and laying down torpedos, or do you play defense with those same destroyers laying down smoke screen so your battleships can inch closer to their targets.
Battleships punch HARD and they take a lot of damage to kill, but they’re slow and their reload time takes forever. Aim well, because if you miss it’ll be 10 seconds before you can fire again. That’s 10 seconds where you are absolutely not dangerous at all, and your enemy will take advantage of this by bringing you down like a pack of hyenas might tackle a lion.
Cruisers are those ‘tweener ships. Faster than battleships, sturdier than destroyers, able to dodge a bit, able to shoot a bit, they make excellent scouts.
Carriers seem to hang back. Their job is to launch computer controlled fighters to shoot down the other side’s bombers and protect your fleet, or launch bombers to go blast the other side.
You can see what I’m getting at here. This game is real time, not a turn based game, but it FEELS like a turn based game because there are things about it that slow the pace down, and a natural punch-counterpunch rhythm begins to show. It’s really nice to have a game that isn’t over in the blink of an eye.
Until, that is, your enemy is down to its last ship and that one has decided to run. Spending 15 minutes trying to carefully search a vast body of water just to cap off the game gets old, REAL fast.
World of Warships is fun, IF you enjoy strategy and don’t mind a game that builds slowly to a peak. It’s really different from anything you’ve ever played before, and that’s good these days.
The game is free to play but you are limited on the number of different ships you can play without spending some cash in their store. Ship upgrades do create a power imbalance, but it takes a while, so if you play often enough you should be able to keep up.
I give World of Warships a very solid 8 on my scale of 1 to 10, and recommend the game to you. That’s Into Gaming, I’m Mark Lautenschlager.