With World of Tanks proving a phenomenal success, it was only a matter of time before we saw the mighty World of Warships join the console fold too. To start things off though, we won’t find Wargaming’s next big thing setting sail in all its full glory, and instead it will rise through development via the Xbox Game Preview program, with frequent updates and support given until release… and hopefully long after too.
In its current ‘console’ state World of Warships is probably the barest fans will see it. In my time with the closed beta, I was only able to jump in and enjoy versus matches against A.I. controlled opponents. But in the several matches I was able to enjoy – and enjoy is a shocking yet accurate statement – World of Warships has proved that the experience we should expect to be a part of in the coming months is one that has been built from the ground up with care and the utmost attention to detail.
So, as I said, my time with the beta was limited purely to A.I. versus matchups, but at present World of Warships does have three unique ships to choose from to take into battle; the American USS Albany, the Japanese cruiser, Chikuma warship, and the British classic, the Weymouth cruiser.
Now unfortunately my personal knowledge of warships isn’t the best you’ll find, however each ship does come with a few differences to note, and much like that found in World of Tanks the visual appearance won’t be the only difference you need to pay attention to should you hope to be competitive in battle.
My personal favourite choice, simply due to living in the UK, is the British Weymouth cruiser. This medium sized cruiser proved to be surprisingly poor when it comes to protection, with armour easily penetrated by distant shots, however the addition of powerful artillery does ensure you can remain competitive.
The Albany on the other hand is perfect for quick manoeuvrability and what it lacks in its firing range, it certainly makes up for with up-close power.
As for the Japanese Chikuma and it seems that this is a ship that is more focused on speed than anything else. Sure, the firing range is fairly decent and it’s armour isn’t terrible, but should you want to get out of a situation that’s gone south quickly then the crazy speeds of this one are the way forward. At least that allowed for taking down several battles during my time with the game.
At present there is only one ‘map’ if you like, however being the open seas it’s hard to argue that you’d need a different arena, as besides the rocky landmasses that prove to be capable cover, there isn’t really much else you could really change. That said for what there is, everything already looks in tip top shape. The water effects are fabulous with rippling waves only building in velocity as you push forward at an incredible rate of knots, and gunfire looks, feels and sounds absolutely perfect… at least for what you’d expect in a warship!
One thing that certainly did standout however, which could potentially be attributed to playing the A.I., was just how repetitive things in World of Warships felt. When firing, the general gist of things is the same – find cover, sneak out, take a shot, and dive back in to cover again, before doing the same once more. Or at least until there are enough ships free of enemy tracking to launch a full-frontal assault on any enemies that remain.
Of course, it’s only early stages with World of Warships: Legends on Xbox One at present and a simple look over with envious eyes towards the PC version will soon show you what this game should become when it finally catches up with its opposite number. If that level of realism is maintained then us console owners should be in for a fantastic ride.
There is one final thing to note that cannot go without a mention, and there is an incredible attention to detail on show here in World of Warships and whilst the environments and water mechanics behave and look exactly as you’d expect, the intricate design of each ship deserves a commendation too. From every flag to every fixing and even the rivets and bolts that hold things together, there is visually little difference between any of the ships included in the game over their real-life counterparts, and whilst we’ve seen titles achieve near life-like realism with vehicles before, this is certainly something that will be enjoyed by the masses when it launches fully on Xbox One; slowly circling the camera around the beast you are powering through the waves is rather awe inspiring.
Let’s just hope this promising sea-faring adventure continues ‘making waves’.
Massive thanks go out to Wargaming for giving access to the recent Closed Beta on Xbox One. If you wish to get involved yourself, keep an eye out for the launch of World of Warships: Legends on Xbox One as an early access product from 16th April 2019.