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World Of Warships Is Hard To Put Down And Wargaming's Best Yet

by Daniel Tack on Oct 08, 2015 at 06:20 AM

The third addition to Wargaming’s suite of wargames takes the battle to the seas as players embrace torpedoes, artillery barrages, and repair crews scrambling to put out fires and keep flooding down. While Wargaming has already tackled tanks and planes, the best place for some quick fun is on the big blue, with this entry striking an addicting balance and providing multiple interesting ways to play.

Players start out with two unimpressive ships and a dream. From there, you play some co-op missions against bots, acquire currency, unlock new options, and quickly get an idea how the base gameplay works. As you begin leveling up your account, you unlock the ability to add custom elements to your ships, like captains and modules that let you suit the core ships to your playstyle. Progression is quite fast, and after just a few hours I had a respectable fleet at my command. The feedback loop is quite strong, and you’re never out of a game for more than a few seconds. Even if you get blown up at the beginning of a match, simply return to port and grab a new ship while you wait for that battle to complete. You’re back on the sea in seconds, and you still get rewards from the match when it finishes. Currently, players can only delve into US and Japanese ships, but a few elite Russian ships are available. Plus, the game is expected to follow the path set by other Wargaming titles, so expect new updates in the future.

Battleships and cruisers both play focus on artillery shell tactics – something that feels like the Battleship board game in some respects. Instead of telling your opponent that you’re firing at B5, you’ve got precise controls at your command to land your shells, turning your boat in the correct direction to have multiple turrets blasting away. You can track your shell shots using the camera function to see where they land, allowing your next salvo to have some science behind it. The satisfaction from landing a long-range shell on an opposing ship’s gun battery or engine is really great, and this doesn’t lose its impact even after dozens of games. Battleships often have high-cooldown, heavy impact weaponry and truckloads of hit points, whereas cruisers are the jack-of-all trades option and often have anti-aircraft capabilities to shield your team from opposing aircraft carriers.

Destroyers focus on speed, deception, and lethal torpedo assaults. Torpedo barrages are one of the most devastating things in World of Warships, and can level even the heartiest of ships by blowing hulls wide open, causing flooding and many other problems even if the initial burst damage is survived. If you’re a rogueish type that loves dishing out a ton of damage quickly and then hiding in a cloud of smoke to get away before heavy artillery or planes can take you out, destroyers are the class for you. The assassins of Warships, they’re a ton of fun to play and handle differently than the plodding artillery classes.

And then you have the aircraft carriers. These massive bases are almost defenseless to enemy attacks, so they generally want to stay far away from the action and hang out with other ships that can come to their aid in case of an ambush, but they also wield tremendous power. These play differently than the other classes of ships, offering players the ability to deploy bombers, fighters, and planes to the map similar to a real-time strategy game. If you’re looking for a commander’s experience where you call the shots without getting your hands dirty (that is, until some destroyer happens upon you and launches a lethal torpedo barrage), the aircraft carrier is an awesome choice.

While it still helps to play smart and not charge in against superior forces, I found the island-hiding and barrage battles in Warships to be far more interesting and entertaining than my experience in World of Tanks, which often ended up in two players both finding a good place to hide and stare at each other, waiting for someone to come out of cover. Warships seems to reward more aggressive play, seeking out opposing aircraft carriers for a juicy takedown and skill-based artillery shell wars, and this makes for a more engaging experience overall. If you’ve never tried a Wargaming title and you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, this is the one to try first. From the satisfaction of your first test shell landing nowhere near the target to your recalibrated incapacitating hit to the despair of hearing torpedoes are incoming and there’s nowhere to go, Warships provides a wide range of fast, fun experiences.