“World of Tanks”, the World War 2 vehicle shooter title, was a global phenomenon when it was launched in 2011. This resounding success has brought Wargaming – its developer and publisher – to the top level and is the premise for the birth of “World of Warplanes” in 2013 and especially, the latest title “World of Warships” in 2015. The setting takes place in World War  II-era naval combats. World of Warships will bring players to fiery battles where team working and strategic thinking will determine the outcome of matches.

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World of Warships is considered a title to reinforce Wargaming’s position in the warfare themed MMO game segment. After dominating the land and skies with World of Tanks and World of Warplanes, the appearance of World of Warships was inevitable to dominate the open seas. In short, the core concept is ship control and gunnery to destroy opponents. Ships are controlled from an overhead view, where players can use WASD keys to steer the ship. Also, for gunnery, selecting weapons and using your mouse cursor to aim and shoot enemy ships. It seems simple enough for  anyone to pick up. However, to master the game requires a whole bunch of skills and instincts. Warships are vast steel juggernauts, so players cannot accelerate, stop, or turn warships immediately due to their bulkiness. Moving at the sea is not nimble with  resistance to the water, players have to plan moves in advance, keep an eye on enemy positions and teammates in order to coordinate. Observation and purposeful movements, like changing course and speed, will help make the ship to dodge torpedoes, aircraft attacks, and detection from enemies. If the game only consisted of destroying enemy ships by targeting them and shooting, World of Warships would no longer appeal to players. Fortunately, gunnery in the game requires a mix of aim, mathematics, and geometry.

The game offers two types of camera angles – Third person view, and Binocular view – that players can utilize while aiming. With Third person view, players will have a wide viewing angle for observing multiple targets. However, it would be hard to shoot targets from a distance accurately. Contrariwise, Binocular view will prevail in observing movement and aiming at long-range targets. The core shooting  mechanism of World of Warships is “leading the target”. In which players have to correctly anticipate targets, identify direction, gauge the distance and travel time of shots. This principle is also the same when players use torpedoes.

In World of Warships, there are four ship types: Destroyer, Cruiser, Battleship, and Carrier, which all offer completely unique styles of play. Destroyers are the fastest and most agile, with a capability of increasing their speed and stopping quicker than any other class. Torpedoes are a destroyer’s main weapon. Utilizing speed and  maneuverability, the warships can get close to enemies and then launch deadly torpedoes. They also have the ability to use smoke screens, allowing them to conceal their movement and any nearby allied ships. Cruisers are notable for their rapid-firing artillery and maneuverability, the latter of which helps them dodge enemy torpedoes and salvos fired from battleships. Their high accuracy and rapid rate of fire is an advantage for destroyer hunting. The combat roles of cruisers range from protecting  allies from torpedo attacks and airstrikes, to providing artillery support and capturing  Key Areas. With thick armor and impressive dimensions, Battleships can take a serious  bruising and keep on fighting. This type can stop enemies in their tracks, block potential attack routes from long range, and support allies from the rear. The last type is Carriers, which carry four kinds of aircrafts: Bombers, Torpedo Bombers, Attack Aircraft, and Fighter Planes for striking anywhere on the map. In game battles, every warship type has pros and cons, and no one overwhelms the other. For example, battleships have the  advantages of long-range, strong firepower, extremely good protection, but have the fatal weaknesses of poor maneuverability and slow fire rate. They will become prey when an enemy destroyer approaches. Likewise, Destroyers, with excellent maneuverability and dangerous torpedoes, are very vulnerable to Cruisers, which have a high rate of fire. Hence, the warship classes are dependent on each other and have to work together to form a successful team. This aspect makes World of Warships to begin an attractive team-based game.

Moreover, all four types of ships also come in multiple tiers representing advanced technologies in Tech Tree, which players have to research to unlock experience points and stars collected from battles. Although higher tiers offer prettier and stronger ships, there is no guarantee of a victory if players do not have reasonable tactics. No matter what tier you are playing in, positioning and an understanding of team compositions will be key factors for victory.

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In terms of Game modes, the game comes with 3 modes including Standard, Domination, and Epicenter. The mission for players and their allies in Standard mode is to capture the enemy base or destroy all enemy warships. In Domination mode, neutral capture areas will appear on the map and the goal is to advance the team’s victory points to 1,000 before the opponent does so. A team earns victory points by capturing  and holding areas and destroying enemy ships. The last mode, Epicenter, is similar to Domination mode in many ways, but its Key Areas are located at the center of the map, one inside another. This mode encourages more aggressive pace with close range encounters. Not only that, World of Warships also enriches the gameplay with 5 battle types: Introductory Mission, Co-op, Random, Ranked, and Team. With Introductory  Mission and Co-op type, players will participate in PVE battles to gain naval skills and combat maneuvers. The remaining ones are where players will be challenged in PVP style battles. This is an opportunity for players to show off team coordination and their gunnery skills.

Graphically, World of Warships is a stunning warfare-themed MMO game. The visuals in World of Warships are enough for players to admire at first sight. Warships are well designed and simulated quite real with stains. Water surface reflection effect, as well as light effect are shown quite well, making the scene in the game come alive significantly. In addition, explosive effects – an important element in military-themed games – along with powerful gunfire sounds, when warships open fire, create an EPIC feeling for  players. 

If you are looking for a naval action MMO, no game does it better than World of Warships.