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War Thunder Beta Impressions: Don’t Underestimate These Skies or Those Trees

by on February 7, 2013 at 4:20pm

War Thunder from Gaijin Entertainment will feature large scale, simultaneous air, land and sea pvp battles when it launches. The current beta version only has the air portion implemented, but it already looks fantastic. The arcade mode in this game has to be the most fun, accessible pseudo-sim flight game since Crimson Skies.

Josh leaves Justin in awe of his aerobatic prowess in this Just Playing session.

This video is intended for a mature audience as our commentary is not kid-friendly:

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If you want to maintain my attention, do not start off describing a game with the words “flight sim.” Let’s face it, there are plenty of simulation gamers out there that enjoy the details that make their favorite games feel true-to-life. That’s something I can appreciate to a point, and more times than not, the simulation gets in the way of me having fun and playing a video game.

However, there are those instances where I’m having a blast playing an action/arcade game and those engineer-arousing details show up in entertaining ways (usually in explosively entertaining ways). War Thunder deftly flies on that line of the arcade sim genre. Yes, I said it. Now both sides are upset. Just shut up and play War Thunder the way you like, and I’m sure you’ll be happy.

War Thunder

Being on fire is almost as fun as setting others on fire.

Now that everyone has calmed down, let’s talk about this free-to-play MMO WWII airplane game. The most important feature to note is that planes are just the first piece of the War Thunder experience (and currently the only available piece) as tanks and naval battles are coming to the final game. These planes though, they are ready to reward the pilots right away with intense dogfighting, massive air strikes, and too many break-neck close calls to count.

War Thunder’s maps offer a varied environments that are wonderful to look at, even when they get in your way. Which they will, because you aren’t as good of a pilot as you think you are. The mountains, the trees, and the trenches will reach up and grab you right out of the sky. As soon as you adjust to the map’s hazards, you will quickly notice that the other players are much more dangerous. Thankfully, crashing with style will entertain rookies rather than frustrate them, as anyone can appreciate the intricacies of a good physics system that has no mercy on video game airplanes.

Before you know it though, you’ll be making daredevil evasive maneuvers and exploding more enemies than explode you. Jumping into a game is easy, but you’ll have to level up before you can fly with you friends. Speaking from experience, War Thunder is even better with a wingman. Whether he is good or bad, witnessing other’s hijinx and being able to comment on them just long enough for you to lose control of your own plane is priceless.

The F2P model at work here is all about buying more planes and tweaking them to your heart’s content. Most mechanical upgrades can be unlocked through leveling up, but there’s always the option to drop some cold cash to look even more stylish as you wait for your skills to catch up to your toys. That’s the thing with war games, the technology and style will only get you so far, and feeling yourself improve and unlock new planes and equipment is satisfying on its own.

Thanks to War Thunder’s ability to offer a little something for both the action fans and the sim fans, the foundation is set for attracting a wide variety of gamers. Add in the non-existent barrier of entry of being completely free and War Thunder and its skies could not be more enticing.

War Thunder is currently in open beta on PC. Beta access and more release date info can be found on the War Thunder website.

Source:

Giant Bomb (image)

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