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Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 465 Ratings

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  • Summary: War Thunder is a next generation MMO combat game dedicated to World War II military aviation, armored vehicles, and fleets. You will take part in all of the major combat battles, fighting with real players all over the world.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Oct 17, 2013
    90
    Don’t be fooled: even if it's a free to play game, the qualities of War Thunder are so many that the game stands up as the new reference for flight and combat simulations.
  2. Aug 14, 2014
    90
    Overall the War Thunder tank battles are great even at this early stage.
  3. Dec 9, 2013
    87
    War Thunder, is a little gem on its way to become a diamond. Any aviation or second world war fan should have War Thunder on his PC or PS4.
  4. Dec 11, 2013
    85
    It offers a lot of different play styles. Let's play in arcade mode or with more realism with g-forces and limited ammunition - or let's play in a more complex simulation mode.
  5. Aug 7, 2014
    78
    War Thunder rules the air but the lack of polish hurts, as does the dull ground warfare.
  6. Jun 20, 2014
    72
    With strong visuals and convincing audio backing it up, I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent inside my P-36 Hawk, and its generous free-to-play model never got in the way.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 134
  2. Negative: 51 out of 134
  1. Aug 17, 2013
    10
    This is best simulation of World War II. Take your plane and prepare for best war simulator ever!yet better this game is simulator it MMo mode!!!!!!!!
  2. Dec 20, 2013
    10
    The best session MMO and the easiest way to learn how to fly, with getting small history lesson. After WarThunder flying school, you would not have any trouble with some hardcore sim, like BoS, or DCS. Expand
  3. May 21, 2014
    9
    As far as P2W games go, this is one of the best - quick, adrenaline filled battles and affordable premium currency. The core game mechanics of high intensity air combat is fun across all tiers.

    After playing arcade battles for a few months (and spending like 50$), I'm starting to like this game more and more. The skill gap between players is HUGE, with 3-4 top players getting 90% of kills each match. Luckily, I'm one of them. Chances are if you have some experience with mouse flying from other games, you will like the game too. MOUSE FLYING IS AWESOME and joystick is not really needed for arcade battles.

    The scoreboard for most matches lookes like 8-6-4-2-1-1...0-0-0-0-0, with some planes(P39,P63) clearly performing better than others. A lot of players in tiers 1 to 3 seem completely blind and oblivious to the radar, so they get sniped by autocannons from the side at 0.77km.

    My review is based on Arcade mode, as I found Realistic or Simulator battles to have too few players, long waiting times and 5 minute flights to get to the objective. Arcade battles drop two teams of 15 players head on, with pretty nice furballs developing within a couple minutes or so. This is much more fun than World of Tanks or World of Warplanes.

    In terms of country balance, it seems that each nation has good planes and mediocre placeholders. Americans have P-39 and P-63 which seem to insta-chop-off-my-wings very frequently. Russians have IL-2 and I-16. German entire line of heavy fighters is awesome (BF-110 to Do-217 to ME-410). The only country I don't understand is Japan, as their planes seem too fragile and poorly armed.

    The game has a couple of arcade play modes, mostly capture the airfield or bomb out enemy base. Both have ground units that move and can be destroyed with bombs or rockets. There's bunkers, tanks, ships and it seems like in the future each may be player controlled.

    The in-game currency seems reasonably priced, with a month of premium account costing about 15$, comparable to most other MMOs. I personally found that spending just 10-20 golden eagles is enough to raise a plane to 100-150 crew level, required to turn a plane's crew into "expert". Doing so offers in-game bonuses of slower gun overheating, less blackouts during high-G turns and quicker reload times.
    Expand
  4. Aug 19, 2013
    6
    Great visuals, sound and the feel of planes. Battles are cinematic, intense, full of flak fire, planes burning and bomb explosions.Also the game is very well optimised so it runs great on lower end machines with reduced settings. Mouse controls are just excellent, although some players complain that they're too good and make joysticks redundant in Arcade mode.

    Three realism modes Arcade, Historical, and Full Realism will appeal to a very broad range of players. There are also single missions and campaigns (some of which you have to pay extra for..which is fine) but they net meagre rewards and are not worthwhile at the moment. And if you want to progress in War Thunder you really need to be earning those XP points...which brings me to the downsides.

    What stops me from giving it a positive score is what happens outside of battles, namely the progression and economy models. Although at first leveling up is a pretty quick affair, with each level it becomes more and more time consuming. It gets pretty bad, to the point where without paying for the game reaching maximum level in one nation will take you half a year. Some can live with that...but then there's the crew level problem. You can buy crew levels with real cash, all the way to the top, skipping that part of the grind entirely which is borderline pay to win.

    Other aspects of the progression model are equally strange. Crew skills and their effect on plane performance are undocumented. You have 5-6 crews and each can qualify for a dozen planes on different levels which leads to heaps of confusion. You take a hangar of 5-6 planes into each battle, usualy they are at different tiers and some players tend to exploit this to get better matchmaking. Ah, yes, matchmaking....it doesn't work very well, mainly because it has to balance players bringing their tier 1 and tier 10 plane into the same battle.

    On top of everything else although the game just went on Steam and has all the aspects of an almost finished commercial product, the developer makes huge changes to the economy on the fly. You can sink a lot of money into the game and you never really know what you're getting, since the economy model can get dramatically overhauled at any time.

    I would strongly suggest giving it a try, the visuals and spectacular gameplay are things you really should experience. But don't stay too long or you may start to feel unwelcome. And think twice...no, think THRICE before opening your wallet.

    Fly safe!
    Expand
  5. Nov 17, 2014
    5
    First off, this is a review for the Realistic/Simulator aviation node as I dont play Arcade and barely touch tanks.

    Warthunder is a decent
    flight game with very nice graphics and inconsistent but mostly good sound design.
    Now there is a reason why I dont call it a flight simulator, because it really isnt. Damage simulation and impact on flight-performance are semi-simulated at best with the damage model being very simplistic. Wind effects are poorly implemented (like flying in prop wash) and generally a lot of 'Simulator aspects' you find in a real flight sim are not really modeled, for example control loss through compression isnt modelled at all.

    Nontheless it is a good game for people who want to take a quick glance at the world of flight games without spending a penny.

    The major issues atm are:

    Balancing: Most simulator players want somewhat historical match-ups. If I take a Hellcat I wanna fight the Japanese over some Pacific Island, right? Now lets look at the Hellcat in game. The Hellcat is modeled after one with 1944 modifications, so farely late in the war. Nontheless its Battle Rating (the magical number determining what it goes up against) is lower than that of the first Zero from 1941. Hmm. Its actually so low you will never run into any 1944 Japanese Fighter. What you end up facing instead may often be aircraft like an I-16, a 1939 pre-war soviet early monoplane. And guess what? Neither is that historical nor fair, because you might have figured, the Hellcat is far superior. Now there is historical events to enjoy historical matchups, however only one per day and about 40% of them are horribly broken, unfair or have wrong aircraft (example P-40E in the carrier battle of Midway)

    Inconsistency: There is a lot of different teams working on different stuff and there seem to be next to no guidelines on what to implement. One aircraft has control stiffening at high speed, the next one doesnt. One aircraft has realistic G-limits, the next one doesnt. Very few aircraft have Mach-numbers modeled, most dont. One aircraft overheats like it should which rather instantly kills your engine (for some reason), the next one doesnt although it was known for overheating. Inconsistencies like that can end up deciding the fight, which they really shouldnt.

    Overall its a decent game. Nothing spectacular, but there are no real alternatives, so for now its probably worth a shot.
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  6. Jun 8, 2014
    2
    A great game but a terrible f2p model. It could be much better if the microtransaction system was less blatantly greedy. Personally I found it very frustrating trying to get into, and issues with matchmaking ensure that you'll feel it if you havent spent any cash. Expand
  7. Aug 26, 2014
    0
    Makes no sense. Tells you to land for ammo and what have you if you land its a automatic crash and fail... No tutorial of any kind? Completely confused in this entire monstrosity of a **** things on the ground in the air nobody knows whos shooting what. It's a globby mess... I would advise something more organised. Expand

See all 134 User Reviews