War Thunder Exclusive Preview

8 Overall Score
Graphic: 9/10
Gameplay: 8/10
Audio: 7/10

Gorgeous graphic | Fast paced and fun

Some features were locked due to its beta stage | Long queue times for PvP matches

War Thunder Exclusive Preview


Recently we had the chance to to jump into War Thunder, the new warplanes action MMO published by Gaijin Entertainment and try the game for a while. The game could be the only real rival for World of Warplanes in the run for the best air action MMO and surely has some good weapons.

When you enter the game after the login screen , you find yourself in the main menu screen. From here you can join a game or create one, set your options, open the game store and access to your tech trees and hangar to upgrade or customize your planes. The interface is very clean and intuitive, and we had no problem  to find or do anything. We have to say that in the actual state of the game some very interesting menu voices like World War and Tournament were unavailable so we didn't had the chance to try them.

By clicking on the big yellow "To Battle!" button at the bottom center of the screen we entered the queue for a fast PvP match. We personally had to wait some minutes in order to play, which we think this is a bit long for a game like this where you are supposed to quickly join the action. However probably the reason is just that the game is still in beta and there aren't too many players online, so it's not a big deal.

When we entered the battle we were surprised by the beautiful graphics. The airplanes models are really accurate and detailed, and every surface and material is extremely realistic thanks to a wise use of the shaders. The cockpit view is amazing too and you will feel like you really are in an old WWII warplane, with its control panel and a lot of touches of class like the scratch on the cabin's glass. Gorgeous. The environment is terrific too. The dev team did a really good work shaping a believable environment where the players can unleash their thirst for destruction. Light effects and shadows are impressive too and so are the elements on the ground. Sometimes the flight simulator/action games have nice graphics but a poor realization of the ground landscape. That's not the case of War Thunder. The ground, from water to forests and mountain is stunning and in some cases, from certain altitudes it feels almost like watching a Google earth photo. So you understand that we liked the graphic of War Thunder, but maybe many of you want to know if it's heavy as it its beautiful  too. The answer is no, even on a not high-end PC the game run smooth even with maxed graphic settings.

The gameplay is another winning aspect of the game. It doesn't matter if you are a simulator fanatic or an arcade-addict, as you can always switch the control systems choosing from different styles ranging from arcade to the full realistic experience. After some unsuccessful attempts, all ending with we smashing ourselves on the ground without even be touched from the enemies, we chose to play the most basic arcade style with the mouse directing the plane and firing and the WASD used to rotate it and manage its speed. Even if we were skilled as a drunken monkey, we think that with a Joystick and some time to spend practicing, playing the game at the max realism mode would be an awesome experience.

When we finally managed to reach the battle the real fun started. The combat, as promised by the developers, is really fast-paced and addicting. When you enter the storm of allies and enemies fighting you have to think fast as you won't have the time to breath. Bullets and rockets whistle around you and you have to dodge them trying at the same time to stay on the tail of your target and shoot it. Aiming and shooting requires a good amount of skill and may be a little frustrating the first few matches but you get better and understand how the combat mechanic works in a bunch of games. Very intuitive. Be careful in combat as you haven't infinite lives. Before entering the battle you have to choose some planes from the ones in your hangar all from the same nation's tech tree and "equip" them. In the match you will use these planes from the first to the last, automatically switching on death. When you finish your planes you are set as spectator.

There are different models and type of planes, from agile fighters to heavy bombers specialized in attacking the ground units like tanks, and each one plays and feel completely different. The planes are real and historically accurate models and are divided by nations in different tech trees: USA, UK, Germany, Russia, Japan.

There are a lot of game modes too, from PvP battles to co-op missions and campaign that re-enact real historical battles like Pearl Harbor. If you don't feel to play with other players you can always play the missions and campaign with AI allies too. Every campaign is composed by some missions with different objective and you can choose to play them all or just the ones you like.


War Thunder is a really good game and a fierce competitor for Wargaming's World of Warplanes. The graphic is one of the best we've seen in a free MMO and the game is actually fun to play. Some really interesting features like world war and tournaments weren't available during this beta and there were some queue problems for the PvP matches, but we had a very good time playing it. If you like flight action-simulation games or just want to try something new, fast-paced and fun, maybe you should give a chance to War Thunder, you could end up loving it.


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9 Comments - "War Thunder Exclusive Preview"

  1. Brass November 27, 2012 at 4:43 PM -

    Just wanted to say that at the moment the queue times for the EU server are a bit excessive, however its just as easy to fly on the RU server and there is no wait time.

  2. Dan November 27, 2012 at 6:45 PM -

    “War Thunder is a really good game and a fierce competitor for Wargaming’s World of Warplanes.”

    Fierce competitor?! WoWp is nowhere near War Thunder. It’s flight models are non-existing, planes feel like winged bricks, it only has one game mode and a limited selection of planes for now. And it also runs on lower detail settings than WT on my computer.

    War Thunder is better in every aspect, and after they’ll add the possibillity to use tanks (and in the more distant future, ships) I will be leaving WarGaming’s “World of …” franchise for good

  3. Steve Largent November 28, 2012 at 2:22 AM -

    Set the server for any server and you have no wait. If you set it on EU you will have a wait.
    Also you can “equip” plane weapon set during a game.
    I was also beta testing World of Warplanes but stopped after getting into War Thunder. There is no comparison.

  4. superpope December 10, 2012 at 8:34 AM -

    true to all comments.
    im very sure when the game is fully operational and tanks will be involved its goodby WOT WOWP
    the technique in the planes is much more advanced then in wowp also the gameplay is awsome i erased wowp after i played war thunder this game is awsome and will be e huge hit they will grow ver very fast we have to spread the news so war thunder can grow even faster.

  5. Sgt.Gunny December 19, 2012 at 6:39 PM -

    Hate to jump into the War Thunder is better than WOW discussion(World of Warplanes, not the other WOW)…But it’s true, the amount of detail, the gameplay mechanics, and the overall quailty of workmanship that has gone into War Thunder “blows away the competition” I tried Wolrd of Warplanes too, and all I can say is, War Thunder WINS!

  6. Fawlty_Tailguns January 18, 2013 at 12:50 AM -

    I uninstalled world of tanks today. This game is now my focus, WG will have a REALLY hard time to counter this. With land armour and ships on the way-what CAN they do to compete?
    Nothing, that’s what. Gaijin have so far done a simply superb job.

  7. nikster10 February 7, 2013 at 12:17 PM -

    yes i still have wot but i dont play it as much as war thunder

  8. hyperion February 19, 2013 at 5:27 PM -

    Game is still beta and only avation playable. But Even current state game is rocks. Very funy. Always action and adrenaline. I hope they will add Naval and ground units with same quality with air units. Plus game is cheaper than WoT if you want to buy prem items.

  9. Lommax May 16, 2014 at 4:38 PM -

    WT is an excellent game. It’s definitely a higher class of game than WoWP. I will say that, with the ground combat now part of the open beta, it’s a completely different style of combat from WoT. WoT is a great arcade style game. WT focuses more on realism, even in their arcade mode. So you actually have two totally different games that will appeal to different player bases.

    War Thunder does win in the category of actually having tanks and planes in the SAME game and able to interact with each other.

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