World of Warplanes

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World of Warplanes review

World of Warplanes review

Free as a bird.

With World of Tanks, Wargaming got free-to-play right. They made almost everything in their game completely free, gave their players an enormous number of toys to play with only asked them to open their wallets if they wanted to customise their tanks or buy one of a small selection of special, premium vehicles that weren't any better than anything else on offer, merely different. Money didn't confer an advantage, only exclusives, simple favours or faster advancement up the same technology tree everyone else was climbing.

Wargaming also made a game that could be disgustingly good fun. Free-to-players sometimes talk about the grind, the process of repeatedly playing a game in order to unlock better elements, to push through to the fun. It's a resignation: an admission that what's happening now isn't so great, but what you're working towards will be worth it. World of Tanks wasn't about this sort of purgatory because it didn't make playing a chore at any level. It was always a heavy metal deathmatch which only rewarded you with more choices the more you played.

So everything was in place for World of Warplanes to be just as impressive. It's built around exactly the same model, offering scores of aircraft for free, from the famous to the obscure, all tiered according to how advanced and shiny they are. As well as gradually unlocking more and more aircraft through play, more equipment is also made available. Engines can be swapped out of most planes, or larger, fiercer guns mounted in their fuselages. Bombs and rockets can be slung under their wings and these warbirds soar off to battle pregnant with their new, deadlier payloads.

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World of Warplanes European open beta this week

World of Warplanes European open beta this week

Goring snoring or actually pretty good?

You can't not have heard about World of Tanks, the historical, simple, free-to-play competitive online game that put Belarusian developer Wargaming.net on the map, and all over the map, so big and powerful it has become.

Now a new "World of" game is ready for you to play: World of Warplanes. It's a similar deal in that it's simple to play (played with your mouse and a couple of buttons), free-to-play and competitive - 15 vs 15. And it's based on the olden days, and the emerging aeronautical designs of the 1930s to 1950s.

German Fighter planes are the current favourite, according to a poll on the European World of Warplanes website, but American Fighters aren't far behind.

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World of Warplanes Preview: Shooting the Breeze

Flying a plane using a mouse is like steering a car using your teeth. Yes, you can just about manage it, but why would you ever want to? Aren't you just inviting disaster and going to get yourself hurt? But this is what World of Warplanes wants you to do.

Swish the mouse to the left and right, it tells you. Pitch yourself up and down. Look, see, you're flying! Then, very many holes appear in your aeroplane and you're dead, because you were flying about as gracefully as a side of beef.

I'm getting ahead of myself. First, as you've probably guessed, World of Warplanes follows exactly the same model as Wargaming.net's record-breaking World of Tanks, but it substitutes that game's steel sentinels for - you got it! - a selection of period aircraft.

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