World of Warplanes Hands-on Preview from E3 2012 -- Slow and Steady Wins the DogfightBy Jason Wishnov - Posted Jun 15, 2012
World of Warplanes (hoping to further cash in on the success of games named World of War-something) is a sequel, of sorts. It's a follow-up to the surprisingly popular free-to-play MMO World of Tanks, developed by Wargaming.net, and its success lies solely on whether or not people find planes and dogfighting preferable to tanks and ground combat.
Don't expect an arcade-style dogfighter, however. Even the upper tier planes (which rank, as in World of Tanks, from one to 10) don't give the kind of control or speed that one might assume a F-16 to have, as Wargaming has sought for a significant degree of realism. Expect a learning curve; the multi-axis joystick I was using had some exceptional number of buttons on it, and I discovered the functions of a good four out of 15.
Truth be told, the combat was a little slow. The automatic match-making systems attempting to set up games of ten against ten, to try and assure that there'd always be somebody nearby, but planes do not respawn on death; you're out of the game, and so invariably, large stretches occur when no actual combat occurs.
The number of planes was impressive, unlocked slowly through accumulation of an in-game currency, which of course can be purchased directly via microtransactions. The free-to-play World of Warplanes is in beta at the moment, and coming later this year.