World of Warships is the latest instalment from the popular MMO developer, Wargaming. Having already established themselves with World of Tanks and World of Warplanes, naval warfare seems like the next logical step.
For the uninitiated this is an MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online game), allowing players to take control of a ship, chosen from many different fleets across the world. Some of the vessels available include aircraft carriers, destroyers and more, each meticulously detailed and historically accurate. Though embarking on the water to destroy an opponent’s ship is fun, this isn’t an experience in which you can pick up and play immediately.
My first naval battle involved me playing as a U.S Navy aircraft carrier named ‘Independence’. As soon as I entered the game, I was struck by how lovingly crafted each warship is. The up-close look I had of my aircraft carrier was a sight to behold, as it majestically sailed across the open ocean, with pacific islands planted firmly in the background and battered planes resting on its deck.
Despite a wealth of firepower at my disposal, there’s no denying that learning the intricacies of each ship can be frustrating. I often found myself struggling to succeed in combat, whilst I sat like a stranded duck and awaited a barrage of incoming enemy attacks. The only way to make ensure you become a proficient ship captain, is to invest as much time as possible learning every aspect of the game. Whether it’s the weaknesses of an opposing fleet, or how best to defend yourself across each variant of ship, your patience will be tested, but the satisfaction of mastering naval warfare will prove triumphant every time.
I often find naval battles in video games to be slow and dull, and tend to skip most of them on the Total War games I’ve experienced. Not least of all because they take around 40 minutes in real-time to complete. World of Warships, however, manages to create naval battles that get into the action fairly quickly and require the players to keep on their toes. This is a refreshing change, and makes the battles quicker and more enjoyable, as well as addictive. I quite quickly had my ship sunk after being taken out by a few Japanese planes, but I instantly wanted to get back to learn from my mistakes.
If I were to compare the gameplay to any other game, it would be the naval battles of Empire and Napoleon Total War, but modernised to include WW2 warships and planes. Wargaming’s best talent is to develop games steeped in history, and present historically accurate environments and in-game models. Even beyond destroying an enemy fleet, its world has the potential to teach people about the greatness of war on the water.
Having already conquered land and air, Wargaming look set to take the sea by storm. World of Warships asks you to invest a lot of time, but with the detail that’s built within this naval simulator, fans of sinking ships will no doubt have a whale of a time.