After the experience of Birds of Steel and IL-2 Sturmovik: Wings of Prey, Gaijin Entertainment has seen fit to use its knowledge in the "air" field, as well as an ever-fascinating scenario like that of the Second World War, to create a free - particularly deep and interesting to-play: War Thunder.
Available on PC for a year now, albeit in the open beta format, the game takes advantage of Sony's opening towards this kind of productions to also land on PlayStation 4 and therefore offer the owners of the new console another reason to sift through with interest. free titles downloadable from the Store. The enthusiasm that has been created over the weeks around this simulator is tangible, thanks to a cross-platform setting that in fact never misses opportunities for confrontation. and a structure that draws heavily on both the multiplayer facets of the action, with exciting sixteen-against-sixteen matches that alternate with cooperative missions, and single player ones, thanks to a very dense and demanding campaign. The entire architecture lays its foundations on a system of continuous growth, which is sometimes managed automatically and which allows, through investments in research and development, not only to improve the aircraft that are part of our fleet, but also to unlock new and more powerful ones, in a crescendo that after a few games appears particularly tasty and rewarding.
Where do I go to go where do I go?
Let's get the pebble off the shoe right away: there's one aspect of the War Thunder experience that we just didn't like, and we're talking about the interface. It was obviously designed for the PC version and the developers did not consider it necessary to change it with the arrival on the PlayStation 4, but committing a gross error, given that the navigation between the menus is the least intuitive and practical we have seen on the Sony console. , with the possibility of moving a pointer (yes, the mouse pointer!) using the touch pad integrated in the DualShock 4 which, however, does not solve in any way the criticalities of this solution.
The point is that the intricacy of the interface inevitably makes a learning curve steeper, which in itself is anything but benevolent towards more casual users, and this translates into a "wall" that you hit during the first few games and that you can only tolerate with a lot of patience, a virtue that not only is lacking in many people, but that a video game shouldn't require. as a fundamental requirement for its use. In fact, it really should be the other way around. Closed this necessary parenthesis, it cannot be said that War Thunder is lacking the numbers: the planes currently available are over two hundred, for a total of five factions (Germany, Russia, USA, United Kingdom and Japan), and new ones will be added in the future, with a view to an offer that will also range towards tanks and will therefore offer many different situations, to the benefit of variety. Furthermore, as mentioned above, there are really many missions available, whether they are competitive ones or those to be played alone with the support of artificial intelligence. Of course, in some cases the structure remains basic, asking us for example to go from point A to point B and possibly deal with enemy threats, but there are certainly many intense and engaging moments.
War Thunder is a title of great interest for those who love aerial simulations, full-bodied and free
For all tastes, or almost
In short, the setting of the missions moves between highs and lows, fortunately with a prevalence of the former, but in general the air you breathe is exactly what one would expect from a simulation product. So get ready to have to travel many kilometers without encountering even an enemy and then, suddenly, find yourself facing an apocalyptic scenario, made up of frantic dogfights while from the ground the artillery tries to target you continuously.
The gameplay proves to be up to the situation, also thanks to three different styles: the first, of arcade vocation, sees our aircraft respond promptly to inputs and limit nervousness as much as possible; the second is a widely practicable middle way for those who want good realism without getting stuck in too rigid mechanisms, with the aircraft that must be controlled gradually, paying attention to sudden maneuvers; finally there is the completely simulation option, rigorously with the first person view from the cockpit and all that follows, therefore many variables to be taken into account during the execution of each single maneuver. The higher the simulation level, the greater the satisfaction of eliminating opponents, using the planes of one's fleet as "lives" to be consumed over the course of a mission. The controls use the analog sticks for yawing and the management of speed and rotations, while the backbones are used to zoom in on any target and open fire with equipped weapons, starting from a simple machine gun to then get to unlock missiles ( obviously not research) and bombs. The controller lends itself very well to War Thunder's precise and delicate approach, and from this point of view, you can't really complain about how Gaijin Entertainment worked on the conversion.
Whoever pays wins?
As is well known, the free to play format often lends itself to an interpretation that tends to reward users who spend real money, creating rather unbalanced confrontation situations between those who pay and those who benefit from the experience for free.
This aspect appears relatively limited in War Thunder, in the sense that some planes and upgrades are objectively unattainable for those who do not want to put their wallets in their hands, but despite this it is possible to do well even without it, moving within a fleet that still counts on many aircraft. Indeed, to be honest, the ways in which the game releases credits on the first are fairly generous, so after a few games it is already possible to expand your team, add new models and start the search for the implementation of the related upgrades. And if the game convinces, premium packages are available on the PlayStation Store that make an even more dense and in-depth experience of this simulator possible, which represents yet another example of a positive "work in progress", with great development potential. This structure is supported by a technical sector that lives up to expectations, very close to that seen on PC, with a 1080p resolution that enhances the detail of the landscapes and a frame rate that never shows the side to evident drops, while the sound it plays only a functional role with respect to action.
CommentVersion Tested: PlayStation 4 Digital Delivery: PlayStation Network Price: Free Resources4Gaming.com
War Thunder undoubtedly stands as a title of great interest, both for historical fans of war simulations and for those who have never tried their hand at such productions. Faced with an interface that is not exactly immediate, in fact, the three styles available allow anyone to try their hand at missions and with the campaign, in single or multiplayer, enjoying a precise and multifaceted control system, as well as a strategic approach that on the one hand does not hide moments of waiting, on the other hand proves to be particularly satisfactory when we manage to score eliminations, perhaps in a context of exceptional complexity. Beautiful to look at, full-bodied and engaging, War Thunder can be played for free without problems and should therefore certainly be tried.
- Lots of missions, lots of planes
- High quality cross-platform multiplayer
- Three styles for controls, they suit everyone
- Cumbersome and not very immediate interface
- There are clearly advantages for the payer
- Sound only functional