War Thunder hands-on: aerial combat never looked so good

At the recent EuroGamer Expo, I had a chance to go hands-on with War Thunder, a Free-to-Play MMO flight combat simulator which is currently in the open beta on PC, but will be a free download title for the PlayStation 4 launch.

After spending some time with one of the game’s developers, I found War Thunder to be incredibly addictive, with missions given to you while playing online and the presence of multiple players giving the game a huge sense of scope and achievement. The control scheme will likely take some time getting used to, as it is incredibly sensitive in the build I was playing, though I was informed that you can customize everything about the controls to your own preference.

War Thunder is visually stunning, boasting highly detailed environments while the water effects are incredibly realistic, and a lot better than anything I was expecting. The planes themselves have been created with meticulous detail, and in aerial shootout’s you can clearly discern battle damage such as bullet holes and other such details. I was also told that in the future you will have tanks to also utilize in battle, and because the game is forever expanding, you can expect more historical war machines to be added. The planes are also slightly customizable, though the extent of which you can tweak them has not confirmed as of yet. In addition, you can also bone up on your history of each plane thanks to a small profile detailing its history and other such info.

Microtransactions are present to help support the game, including a premium service which gives you slightly more EXP per match, though none of these help too much. Plus, anything you purchase with real cash is also unlockable normally through the ranks, and will not offer any advantage over the players who just want to play for fun.

Overall, my time with War Thunder ultimately had me leaving the booth wanting more — a testament on how amazing this game is. Undoubtedly, War Thunder is one of the PS4’s launch titles I am most excited for come November 29.