Review by Richard Winstone
Rock, Paper, Torpedoes, taking to the high sea, changing the landscape of the battle, an exciting and refreshing change to console gaming. So get ready to hit the oceans with the newly released PS4 and Xbox One title.
“This is the second Wargaming title to launch on home consoles, and the quality of the experience is a testament to the incredible talent and passion of the development team in St. Petersburg. We hope players will enjoy embarking on this new voyage with us!” Kirill Peskov, development director for wargaming St. Petersburg.
So let me get a few things cleared up right away, I have played World of Tanks for years on the PS4 and have quite a number of hours into World of Warships on the PC so I am a fan of Wargaming.net’s products in general. so you’d be excused for thinking that any bias I have would be positive, quite the opposite, I actually had very high expectation for this game and almost dreaded playing it as I feared disappointment. I’m going to try my very best to avoid any PC game comparisons, as this is a different game for a different ordinance. This is not a PC port, the game features an all-new control configuration, redesigned gameplay for faster-paced action and it doesn’t disappoint.
So with that out of the way, let’s get into it, So the principle of the game is sailing historically accurate naval vessels into all-out warfare, AK47’s pffft try a 405 mm 18inch main battleship gun or devastating torpedoes. The action is intense and fun from the outset.
The ships, every class have the own weakness’ and strengths and every nation has there twist on what the ships should do giving a wide range of choices for gameplay.
Destroyers: small, fast, stealthy, manoeuvrable with torpedoes being the weapon of choice, and a smoke screen to hide yourself and allies from prying enemy eyes. The natural predators of the large slow battleships, you’re a scout with the ability to send the biggest and baddest ships to have ever sailed the seas straight to Davy Jones Locker before they even know you are there.
Cruisers: The backbone of the fleet, medium-sized, can have large calibre guns and torpedoes all round middle of the pack. Your role is to hunt down and sink the destroyers before they can sink your teammates depending on the nation of your choosing your equipped with a range of tactical equipment to aid yourself and your team, such as hydroacoustic search, this allows you to detect ships hidden behind smoke screens and can detect incoming torpedoes to give you and your allies more time to react, or Radar, a wider range but can’t detect torpedoes, some even have fighter planes at there disposal
Battleships: The big Bads, biggest guns, biggest health pools, more armour and a cruisers worst nightmare one salvo from your huge calibre guns can be enough to send a cruiser captain back to port but select your shots carefully you have the longest main battery gun reload time of all ship classes, your not going to be able to steamroll straight into the fight and expect to tank your way to victory.
On the topic of ships, every ship in the game is real, they have seen service and are accurate representation in capabilities, armaments, armour profiles, size and design. Some might not care but having the historical accuracy means each of your ships has a past, a story from epic victories to sad tales of countless lives lost at sea. This adds a lot to the game and you often find yourself in an off the cuff recreation of some of the most famous sea battles ever. If you care to find out that is, it’s there but not forced upon the players. Currently, the ship nations are restricted to UK, USA and Japan but as with all Wargaming titles we can expect regular updates with new ships new nations and new ways to play the game.
You are also allowed to outfit your ships with a range of commanders, much like the ships they all have their traits, and they all have their stories, real-life military men with a wide array of skills for you to captain, gaining the edge with reduced detectability or improved shell penetration, all this adding to the customization of your ships to fit your playstyle.
There are many obviously good choices, so lack of knowledge about naval captains and ship isn’t a requirement, making the game available to the masses. One particular feature I loved was at lower tiers 1-3 not all commander skills are available even if you have them unlocked, this is designed to at least reduce the ability for seasoned players to “seal club” new and less experienced ones by taking away the advantages they may have through the commander’s skill tree.
The control system is great very simple and intuitive and only takes a few matches to get to grips with, my only real advice here is remembering what way your ship is pointing before you scuttle yourself by going right when you wanted to go left.
The battles are fast paced, smooth with plenty of action going on around, paying attention to the minimap is key to a successful battle, know where you are in relation to the other ships and where your needed or can take the advantage, or even when to tactically retreat from certain death.
Visually the game is stunning, vivid colours, high level of detail, the wakes from the ships are beautiful, showing off the capabilities of the current generation of consoles, it also supports HDR.
Ok so now for the horror part of this review, with many developers and publishers coming under fire for Micro Transactions………..
Yes, World of Warships: Legends has microtransactions in the form of Dubloons that can be used to gain premium accounts (50% credit and XP boost) Premium ships (fix ships with no tech tree) and some other items, I will not lie I have a rather extensive collection of premium tanks on World of Tanks, there usual fairly balanced and are more of a collectors item, they have no real benefit other than additional free XP this is not pay to win, and premium ships are currently only available to tier 4 out of 7.
You don’t need a premium account of ships to get you into the USS IOWA (top tier battleships), yes it will take you a little longer, but when the grind is fun, it’s not a grind its fun. I personally think it just gives you the options if you want to spend the money you can if you don’t it is not going to hide the end game from you behind a paywall, not forgetting the devs need to get paid and this form of microtransaction where it is purely an option is a credit to them.
So bear with me this was a quick off the cuff attempt to do a how to play for world of warships it will be available on my twitch channel and with enough comments and suggestions I might even do a weekly upload looking into more advanced game mechanics, this is for beginners bare basic stuff, there no point in bombarding people with complexity of know what ships have 23 or 27mm of armour. Hence the title how not to suck…….. enjoy.
Even with my high expectations World of Warships: Legends gets a solid 9.5/10
Great gameplay, stunning graphics and longevity, what more could you want from a free title?