Battle for free on the open seas

Video Game Review: World of Warships (PC, MAC)

“What’s not to like about driving around in a 40,000-ton battleship with 16-inch guns?” says Nicholas Moran, an Army National Guardsman and Wargaming’s resident historian and chief evangelist to the military community. After playing the game, all I can do is agree whole heartedly.

Belarus developer has become world famous for releasing the free to play game World of Tanks for PC and XBOX that has been a massive hit with millions of players. Now they have created a new naval warfare game that has the same easy to play feel of its land loving predecessor. This player vs player game is called World of Warships and is also free to download.

Although you start out in smaller warships they have a very solid feel. It’s not like they make you captain a little yacht with machine guns. There is instant gratification right from Tier 1. The graphics are great, the sound is amazing and this game really captures the feel of naval combat.

With over 75 warships to choose from you begin by selecting one of the different types of vessels you would like to pilot. There are four broad classifications: fast and deadly destroyers that specialize in high damage torpedoes, super heavy battleships that are slow and armoured, cruisers that are like middle weights and the aircraft carriers that are much despised for their cheesiness.

The video game is still in development and is updated regularly. The game boasts historical accuracy and war buffs will be pleased to see actual World War 1 and 2 era ships recreated and modelled with stunning precision. To date there are only the Japanese and American warships available but there are plans to introduce the British, Russian and German navy eventually.

I’ve been having a lot of fun as captain of a Tier 5 Japanese Furutaka-class Cruiser. So far my simple strategy has been rushing to a choke point and blind firing a volley of torpedoes then cruising back to the safety of friendly ships without dying. Nothing is more satisfying than nailing an enemy ship with a handful of torps and watching them sink into the cold dark sea.

And nothing is more frustrating than when an enemy aircraft carrier finds you alone at the beginning of a match and sinks your battleship. There variety of modes in this game makes the replay value very high. Commanding a destroyer boat is a completely different game than controlling a battleship and Wargaming should be commended for offering such variable and unpredictable gameplay.

“If I’m feeling like playing the biggest and most destructive ship on the block, I’ll play a battleship to slowly move around the map and destroy everything in my path,” lead game producer Chris Stott says. “On the other hand, I really enjoy the speed of the destroyer if I want to rush into the front lines first, weave between the falling shells, and hopefully get my torpedoes in the water before my ship explodes.”

I have to admit when I first installed this game I expected a naval combat game to be slow paced and boring but man was I wrong. The seascapes are dotted with islands and large peninsulas that create a strategic element to the game.

It is hard to describe the pure terror of watching a behemoth battleship suddenly appear from behind an outcropping of land when your main guns are facing the wrong way and their turrets are pointed directly at you. Scrambling for positional superiority is a real chore because cannons turn very slowly and navigating on the water happens at a snail’s pace.

World of Warships goes above the call of duty by providing amazing graphics and physics. When your 305mm cannons fire the water is displaced appropriately and the giant ship gently rocks back from the incredible forces at play. In combination with top notch sounds this attention to detail can really immerse you into the game.

It’s hard to dislike World of Warships and there were no drawbacks for me other than the inability to invert Y axis on the mouse. For old school gamers like me who learned to play FPS games in the 90’s by playing Quake this is a real distraction but after a few hours the awkwardness passes. Top notch game, looking forward to new updates and additions.

System Requirements:

Windows XP and newer Windows 7 recommended
CPU: Intel Core Duo 2 (2.6ghz) and higher, AMD FX 4170 and higher, AMD A8  and higher
RAM: 2GB but 4 GB recommended
VIDEO: nVidia GeForce 8800GT/9600GT and higher, nVidia 740m, 830m and higher, or Intel HD 4600 and higher
Internet speed 1024 Kbps or higher

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