Put on your admiral cap and your sea legs – World of Warships is taking us on a cruise! No, there won’t be any daiquiris or middle-aged women flirting with the cabin boys; instead we have gunpowder, torpedoes and watery graves (and the occasional victory). That’s the agenda when your cruise ship is a battlecruiser and you’re fighting for naval superiority in the Northern Pacific Ocean in Gamescom 2014.
World of Warships is a little different from Wargaming’s previous action multiplayer titles. While both World of Tanks and World of Warplanes both feature fast-paced rounds, where quick reflexes are key to victory, WoWS is more slow and methodical. Ships can take a lot pf punishment, and are slow to fire, so you really need to think before each shot, and not just “spray-and-prey”. The match we played took about 12 minutes to win, but the developers told us they are working on balancing the game some more to drop the duration of each round to under 10 minutes.
Slower gameplay also means you need to rely on your team more, since no one player can reach every point on the map and take down every enemy ship. You’ll have to coordinate with your team, and stick to your ship’s strengths and combat roles if you want to tilt the battle in your favor.
World of Warships features four types pf warships: Destroyers, Cruisers, Battleships and Aircraft Carriers. Destroyers are the smallest vessel available – they are faster, maneuverable and come equip with torpedoes to take down Battleships. They are also the most vulnerable ship in the game, taking very little damage before they sink. Cruisers are a solid attack vessel take can both take and deal a decent among of damage with front and rear cannon and turrets. Battleships are slow and powerful, and can soak up massive amount of enemy fire. However, one well-place torpedo from a Destroyer can sink them easily, so they still need to be aware of their surroundings. Aircraft Carriers are just that – huge ships that can launch squadrons of different planes to aid in the fight. It is strictly a support class ship, and has no means of defending itself from short range attacks.
When taking damage, each type of ship will react differently. While Destroyers are sunk pretty easily, the larger ships are more resilient. However, it is still possible to cripple them with well-aimed shots. Players can cause critical damage by hitting specific areas of the ship, and even destroy a ship’s turrets and engines for the rest of the match.
You’ll do all of this naval combat is a variety of environments and weather conditions. From the fjords of the North Atlantic, through the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan to the Antarctic circle, each map with present its own layout and challenges. Weather will include calm waters, fog and even storms in different times of day.
World of Warships appeals to the more thoughtful and tactical multiplayer gamer, with its slower gameplay and emphasis on combat roles and teamwork. It still holds dear the things that made previous titles so successful, and offers a role for each type of player. There’s still no official release date, but when Wargaming decide to finally christen World of Warships, it will do so with the US and Japanese navies included. And as always – it will be completely free-to-play.