This is a segment I like to call In My Humble Opinion. Now, as I have stated in the video below, I am not nor have I ever been a professional journalist, professional games journalist, professional games reviewer, or even a professional gamer. I just like video games, its what I do in my spare time and it makes me really happy. This month I decided to focus on War Thunder, the free-to-play plane/tank fighter game from Gaijin Entertainment. Note that this review will focus primarily on the planes portion, as I have only played one tank game. However, the tank battle seemed equally as cool.
First I want to get into a bit of how the game works, then go into some pros and cons. The game is free-to-play and is downloadable on Steam, but has a stand alone client. Once you download the game, you have to open the launcher and create an account and update the game to the latest version (the first time download wasn’t too lengthy, but that depends on your internet service too.) After you go through that, there are a few tutorials which teach you how to fly your plane and shoot and all that good stuff. The basic WASD controls work as far as throttle and lean and you can use your mouse to point the nose of your plane where you want it. Clicking shoots your main weapon and you can use control for rockets and space for bombs. You can press and hold C to look around with your mouse without disturbing the direction of your plane. Now lets get to the cons.
The menu system has to be by far the largest con in my opinion. It is large, takes a while to get used to, and confusing. You have to choose what country, what planes to research, what modifications to research on the planes. While that lets you have a lot of options, it can be overwhelming. It gives you maybe too many options in one place. The chat and squad invite menu could be rather confusing as well. However, once you get used to the menus it is not a big deal anymore, it is just something that might deter first timers. If you stick with them, they become easier. The second and last con for me is the time it takes to level up planes. Since it is free-to-play it does have a cash option which can speed up the research time. I think it would be better if the speed of research was about 20-30% faster, however the gameplay is fun so that makes up for it.
Now to leave on a good note, the pros. The first is the graphics. For a free-to-play game, the graphics are really good. This is something pretty important as you spend a lot of time flying around looking at the scenery. The second is the ease of flight. The controls are simple, but you can really get into micro-managing your flying by using landing gears, flaps, and throttle control. This lets you really FEEL the flying. This is something that makes the game so much better, once you out-fly someone and kill them with a sub-par plane, it feels real good. Finally the third pro is the fact that this is cross-platform and multiplayer. There are enough people on every battle where you really have to be careful where you fly, and you can enlist the help of your PS4 friends and play in the same squad and on the same map on your PC.
For a game this good being free, there is no reason not to pick it up on any platform you have. With the addition of tanks which is basically an additional game, the different factions of planes and the single and multiplayer campaigns, there is no reason not to own this game. However, that is only my humble opinion.