Released online in 2015, World of Warships recently came to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in April 2019. This free-to-play tactical shooter is the work of Lesta Studio, with Wargaming taking on publishing duties. Unlike World of Warplanes and World of Tanks, this title focuses on naval warfare.
In World of Warships, players battle each other in a variety of ships from the early and mid-20th century. The developers chose this setting because it was the dawn of modern battleships: new, more powerful ships were put into production for the first time.
Navies from countries such as the United States, Japan, France, Russia, and the UK are all represented. Thanks to this, players have access to more than 200 ships.
If you have ever played any of Wargaming’s other games, then World of Warships will be familiar. Like other multiplayer vehicular combat games, there is no traditional narrative or campaign to play through. Instead, the action all takes place online in multiplayer battles.
Just like in World of Tanks, the main gameplay mode sees players fight against each other in two teams. Matches typically last around 10 minutes and once you have been killed, you are out of the running.
In these standard multiplayer offerings, there are two ways to win. Players can either kill all members of the opposing team or capture specific points on the map. Having this as an option is a good idea, as it stops every skirmish from just being about killing the enemy. Unfortunately, most users don’t seem to care about capturing points. So, most of the time games do just end up being deathmatches.
One of the most interesting things about World of Warships is that it puts emphasis on teamwork. Not only do the matches take place in teams, but also you can join divisions. These are smaller groups within a team for three individuals to work even more closely together. It adds a lot of depth to the proceedings, as you are not just playing by yourself.
Outside of the standard battles, there are some other game modes. These include a PvE mode that also requires you to work with others to successfully complete the missions. These are usually fun but smaller challenges that have multiple objectives. They also act as a good way to test out new ships or learn new weapons.
As in other similar games, playing matches and completing tasks will grant XP. This will then help to unlock new ships and weapons. My only real issue with this is that it can take a long time to unlock the late-game battleships. Buying content packs that unlock content is an option, but they are usually pricey and don’t offer good value.
The developers clearly didn’t want to make this a simulator experience. Rather they want you to be involved in as much action as possible. There are several different classes of ships and they have their own characteristics. Destroyers are lighter machines, able to move around more deftly. However, they don’t pack as powerful a punch as the larger cruisers and battleships.
Having different types of ships means there is opportunity for interesting encounters. After all, combat is all about using your ship’s strengths and taking advantage of your opponent’s weaknesses.
The maps themselves also keep the combat engaging, as they force you to switch up your tactics. Some are wide open spaces, while others have lots of environment to make use of. Good variety in the maps ensures things never get too stale and each match feels different.
Due to the fairly straightforward controls, World of Warships is also very accessible. You do not have to learn complex menus or worry about getting used to lots of commands. Getting to grips with moving the ships around and engaging the enemy is not hampered by the controls. Even using a controller on the console versions is intuitive and works well.
As a result, anyone should be able play this game without difficulty. Of course, the added benefit of simpler controls is that the combat is more enjoyable. Not having to worry too much about controlling the ships lets you focus on the actual action.
Ultimately, World of Warships is almost certainly worth giving a go. Especially so considering the free entry cost. If you have enjoyed titles such as World of Tanks there is a good chance this will be right up your street.
Just don’t expect World of Warships to be as frantic as some of those other games. The fact that the focus in on naval combat means battles are slower paced and require a more thoughtful approach.
And while the visuals may not be that impressive, World of Warships runs well and has lots of content. The only issue is the time it takes to unlock it all.