War Wings Review
Remember World of Tanks? What if you had it in your pocket? And it was about airplanes instead? And had touchscreen controls? Ok, so War Wings doesn't really play much like World of Tanks, but the main concept is pretty similar -- collect a bunch of World War-era vehicles, and use them to blast apart other players.
First things first, War Wings looks fantastic. I don't have a lot of experience with iOS titles, but the graphics here really look shockingly nice for being on a handheld phone.
The game impressed a lot performance-wise as well. Even with it's shiny impressive graphics, I didn't experience a single slowdown during my time playing. Some scenes are less impressive than others, like, for example, the hangar background, but the actual dogfights are very impressive.
Unfortunately for the game though, the graphics are the most exciting part of it, and the rest is decidedly less compelling.
Gameplay works well enough. The game's main mode is a PvP battle mode, where two sets of four players dogfight it out in the sky. The game is touchscreen controlled, with a faux joystick controlling your plane's movement. Two buttons control speeding up and slowing down, and buttons for firing weapons and reloading round out the control scheme.
The actual buttons work fine, doing all they're intended to, but the joystick you have to be a bit more careful with. A few times while I was playing, I'd stray a bit too far outside it's set circle, which would lead to the joystick snapping back to the center and making my plane fly straight ahead. Unfortunately, this often happened when I was trying to steer away from crashing, which made this behavior a bit more than an annoyance.
Firing works more consistently, but you actually have to pay attention to your ammo count when firing, as there's not a lot of notice as to when you're running low. When your thumb is covering that corner of the screen, a lot of times you'll scope in on an enemy to blast away, and end up just lightly dusting them because you actually only had 3 bullets left.
In terms of content types, there's not a lot to be had. There's the main PvP dogfight mode, daily missions, and the occasional special events. Each provides you with rewards and in-game currency, which goes towards upgrading your plane, buying supplies, getting lootboxes, and eventually, buying new planes.
The available modes have very little variety to them and, for the most part, you'll be playing the base dogfight mode over and over again. This isn't bad on paper, as many games get by with a basic mode being it's main focus, but when your game is based on completely open air and freeflight, there's not going to be a lot of variety to your maps outside of backdrop. This means most every match ends up feeling the same, with no change to strategy or layout to be found.
The greatest variety in this game comes from the tons of different planes you can collect, with four different categories and tons of planes under each category. You can use earned currency to buy upgrades for each, and each category has a list of planes you upgrade through, but considering there's only stat differences and little else to differentiate them, there's not a lot of gameplay variety found amongst them either.
There are also no personality differences amongst your options. Something like different pilots per each type of plane might have helped this, but all that's there to entice you into wanting other planes is just their design and the fact that they're locked.
She may look nice on this splash screen, but the pilot is nowhere to be found in the actual game.
As is increasingly common in games nowadays, there's a loot system, which gives you incentive to keep playing matches and earning more. From these you can earn supplies, plane parts, and currency, which help you progress along your upgrade path and let you buy new stuff for your plane. However, there's plenty of content in the game that's simply not available at all through these boxes, or by any means other than paying real money.
There is an in-game premium currency obtained by paying actual money, and a decent handful of planes are only obtainable with this premium currency. These planes tend to have better stats than the average ones as well, meaning that pay-to-win is a legitimate strategy in War Wings.
Overall, War Wings doesn't offer much exciting content to players who aren't warplane aficionados or dogfight lovers. If the idea of making your plane fly in circles to shoot down the same four enemies over and over again gets you all excited, or if you love World War-era planes above all else, then this is the game for you. Otherwise, War Wings's paltry mode options, unsatisfying gameplay diversity, and lack of personality mean that most won't get a lot out of it.
For all of it's nice looks, War Wings just ends up being plane boring.