When it comes to online games I have a strange love/hate relationship with the more competitive aspects of them. I remember playing Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and getting slightly fed up with the speed at which I died……Repeatedly. Ever since I have shied away from death-match style games of almost any sort and those I have dabbled with have been put down shortly after.
It was with a degree of trepidation that I downloaded World of Warplanes from Wargaming.net and entered my first live battle (after completing the obligatory training missions of course). It is at this point that many of you will be thinking how can he compare an first person shooter to an air combat game? Until about 2 weeks ago I would have responded like so ‘How different can it be, you choose your loadout, you see someone and you shoot them. They respawn you shoot them again, it’s basically all the same isn’t it?’. How wrong I was……
Admittedly my first few flights involved me dying spectacularly as I learned the ropes, namely that for some reason my wood and canvas framed biplane cannot stand head on against a twin-engine heavy fighter (who’d have thought it!) and that flying into someone right at the beginning can lead to a bit of a boring game! However as I fought more and more I realised that somehow this game had got its teeth into me and that maybe I had unfairly maligned player versus player activity based on my experience of one game. I actually care about my aircraft, I should be selling my low-tier craft and replacing with higher-tier more advanced craft, but instead I spend my tokens (the games temporary currency instead of real money while it’s in beta) buying more hangar space instead of on rare aircraft or training pilots, in order that I can have space for my beloved biplanes as well as my ever-growing range of heavy fighters, attack craft and carrier based craft.
There is nothing so satisfying as causing an opponent to fly in to the sea.
Then there is the other thing I really love about this game, the pace of it. It is not as fast paced as something like Call of Duty, my airplane takes time to fly over to enemy airspace and in that time I have the luxury to think about my plan am; I hunting ground targets? Am I going to fly high and rain death from above? Yes it does get hectic and, if you are a fighter or carrier based aircraft, you are going to have to move quickly, but it is rare (short of the aforementioned biplane v heavy fighter moment) for an error to spell instant death. However when you do die, that’s it, your part in the match is over, but there is nothing to stop you going back to the hangar and starting a different battle in another of your aircraft, a new map, a new team and new enemies to shoot out of the sky! If you are looking for something competitive that feels a little different I urge you to give World of Warplanes a try!
Finally, having played this game has made me rethink my attitude to PvP as a whole, that maybe there is more to it than CoD, Battlefield or the battlegrounds in World of Warcraft (all of which are fine examples of PvP combat). Maybe it’s just a matter of finding one that suits your temperament and as I watch my beloved Biplane collide with the last plane on the map (which incidentally is a heavy fighter) I smile to myself as the game proclaims my team victorious!
This was not the aforementioned glorious victory!
What are you favourite PvP games (or elements of games) that you play online and what is it about them that keeps you coming back for one ………. more …………. match?