World of Warships: Already, this is looking like a very well-balanced, gripping sim. - Games Weekly

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Monday, April 27, 2015

World of Warships: Already, this is looking like a very well-balanced, gripping sim.

I’ve been a big World of Tanks fan since its release, and while World of Warplanes left me kind of cold, I’ve had high hopes for World of Warships ever since it was announced. There’s something about the slow pace of the 20th century, pre-missile naval warfare that really appeals, from the heavy broadsides of massive battleships to the darting attacks of nimble destroyers. It’s just pretty cool.

And, thankfully, it looks like the game is going to be absolutely deliver.

As of writing, the game’s in Closed Beta, and while there is a limited array of ships so far, otherwise the game seems pretty much feature-complete. All the ships classes destroyer, cruiser, battleships, and carrier are there, but are limited to certain nationalities. For instance, the Americans get carriers, but only the Japanese get battleships, and the Russians, Germans or British aren’t there at all.

But what is there is wonderfully realised. From the pacing of multiplayer matches to the UI that so cleverly keeps track of what all your various turrets are doing, World of Warships is fiendishly polished. Wargaming’s taken the decision to allow main batteries to only fire at one point, but since you can free-aim (in fact, you can’t lock your targets at all, as judging distance and fall of shot is an essential skill), you can attempt to bracket vessels sailing in close proximity. Secondary batteries of smaller calibre guns open up automatically at close range, and can fire all around your vessels, but are auto-aimed; and there are anti-air batteries as well, that only come into play when aircraft are in range.
The relationships between the other three classes of ships is very rock, scissor, paper,
Finally, destroyers, and some cruisers, have torpedoes, which are slow to reach their target, and relatively easy to manoeuvre away from at range, but inflict devastating damage and critical effects. All are represented in beautiful detail on screen, with raging explosions, lethal fires, and grand gouts of water from torpedo impacts.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the gameplay is how carriers work they’re much more like artillery in World of Tanks, but when you launch a squadron (which can be fighters, bombers, or torpedo planes), you can then control them on the top-down map, making the carrier experience more like playing an RTS. Fighters can be ordered to escort and protect other ships, while your bombers can deliver devastating close-in payloads. And torpedo planes are horrifying, able to lay down up to six lethal fish at close range, capable of taking out even a battleship.

The relationships between the other three classes of ships is very rock, scissor, paper, though of course clever handling and tactics can always win out. Destroyers are great at getting close to bigger vessels and hurting them with torpedoes, while cruisers can swarm a battleship. Battleships, the biggest, toughest boat it the game are very slow, but can take out destroyers in a couple of salvos but destroyers also have smokescreens… it goes on and on. And the matches have a pace and sense of weight to them entirely unique. Everything feels heavier and slower, as this kind of combat should.

You can definitely colour us very excited.

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