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Tencent Games (In China)
Shield Android TV
|Genre(s)||Action, vehicular combat, combat flight simulator|
War Thunder is a cross platform vehicular combat multiplayer game developed by the Russian company Gaijin Entertainment for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, and Shield Android TV. It was released on June 19, 2018 for the Xbox One.
The game is based around combined arms battles on air, land, and sea with vehicles from the interwar Period and the Spanish Civil War to the modern day with an emphasis on World War II. Players can attempt to control aircraft, tanks, and ships from a variety of nations including the Soviet Union, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Italy, and the United States.
War Thunder is divided into three main game modes based upon the amount of assistance provided to the player (e.g. through the interface) and the type of maps and missions played. Players may choose to participate in a battle with joint ground forces and air forces in tank battles or may choose to operate air vehicles only in air battles. They can also play joint naval forces and air forces in naval battles.
In this mode, the game draws two teams of players (of up to 16 players on each side) with vehicles from different nations of varying combat performance. It is possible to see vehicles of the same type on different teams, and different countries on the player's own team. Damage and physics are greatly simplified (e.g. in very high-speed dives planes do not have their wings ripped off and are still controllable, and ground vehicles receive a boost in engine power), but retain some realism (e.g. bombers are not as maneuverable as fighters). In Arcade, there are also mechanics that — while unrealistic — are meant to make the player's experience easier (e.g. aircraft are able to reload midair after running out of ammunition).
For aircraft, games are played in either "Ground Strike", where in order to win players must destroy all enemy ground units, shoot down all enemy aircraft, and destroy the enemy airfield and bombing points; "Domination", which consists of seizing neutral or enemy airfields by touching down on them for about five seconds, causing the enemy team to lose points; or "Air Domination", which requires players to have total control over an area of airspace for long enough to capture it. Also, to help simplify aiming, a 'leading marker' appears when an enemy plane is in range. This shows a prediction of where the enemy plane will be by the time the bullets of the smaller caliber weapon arrive if the plane continues its current trajectory.
For ground forces, "Domination" revolves around the capture of three strategic zones on the map, with "Conquest" featuring only one. In "Break", the two teams must capture a series of points in order, while in "Battle", each team has its own base zone and must prevent it from being captured. Similarly to how aircraft have a "leading marker", ground forces have a reactive crosshair that factors the ballistic drop of the vehicle's primary weapon at range. It is also color-coded to indicate whether the vehicle the player is targeting can be penetrated by the ammunition they are using at the range they are sighted for, or whether they are targeting an enemy or allied vehicle.
Previously called "Historical Battles", this mode is designed for more advanced players, and offers more realistic physics and damage modeling, while retaining some of the simplistic elements of the interface and controls of Arcade Battles.
In Air Realistic Battles, Fighters must take off from the airfield. Interceptors, ground attackers, and bombers all have the option of spawning in the air, with each type at a higher altitude than the other, respectively. More realistic damage models make long-range "sniping" difficult, and there is no "leading marker" to assist with aiming. High speeds can cause aircraft to lose maneuverability and seize up. Also, due to realistic G-forces, making tight maneuvers at high speeds can cause pilots to black out or their planes to rip apart, and the views available are the same as in Arcade Battles. Once ammunition or armaments are depleted, players can return to their airfield to reload and repair. For the majority of matches in this mode, players are selected to have only collaborating nations on each team, making it possible to recreate real scenarios, such as the Battle of Stalingrad between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.
In Ground Realistic Battles, players get to use more than one vehicle per game through the use of Spawn Points, which are obtained by destroying enemy vehicles and capturing points. Aircraft may also be used. Like the Air Realistic Battles mode, players do not have access to enemy player markers, penetration indicators, or range indicators (except for the separate rangefinder.)
Previously called "Full Real Battles", Simulator Battles are based on Realistic Battles with further restrictions on the user's interface and controls; only the first-person view in the cockpit and external turret gunner views for aircraft are allowed in flight. Tank players are restricted to the gunner's scope, the driver's port / cabin, and a commander's perspective located above the vehicle. Additionally, aircraft can only be played in "Full Real controls" (there is no "instructor" to prevent the aircraft stalling and the mouse can only be used to simulate a joystick). Players retain the ability to utilize their aircraft's flaps, trim, and engine(s) in Simulator mode. The heads up display is available to display speed, altitude, heading, engine/throttle settings, oil and water temperatures, and basic vehicle damage status.
Player tags aren't given for enemy units and players, while tags for friendly units and players are only provided if they are within 0.9 kilometres (0.56 mi) to the player. "Combined battles" do not show markers above enemy or friendly units and players. Thus, players must pay particular attention when dealing with aircraft and tanks that are available to multiple nations, and vehicles that use roundels as decoration for countries other than their own through personal customization of the vehicles.
Custom battles, available for air, ground, and naval vehicles alike, is a mode allowing for the creation of battles by individual players. The creator of the custom battle can select the map, game mode, and other settings; they can also set a password to restrict who can play.
Events in War Thunder provide custom missions, usually based on one of the three main game modes, but with alternative settings regarding allowed vehicles, mission specifics, etc. Examples are the recreation of historical battles by restricting available vehicles (e.g. Battle of Stalingrad).
Traditionally, the game developers prepare unconventional events for April Fools' Day. The 2018 event named "Silent Thunder" was based underwater, with submarines. For 2017, War Thunder made playable rank IX main battle tanks and attack helicopters. For 2016, ahead of the announcement of the naval forces update, War Thunder offered playable sailing ships of the 18th century fighting in the Caribbean. The year before, a new game mode called "Unrealistic Battles" featured inflated rubber tanks firing potatoes and carrots. Other notable examples include "March to Victory", introducing playable Mecha composed of tank parts; "The Pony Nation" introducing My Little Pony as a sixth playable faction; and "Gaijilla" was a battle against a giant Godzilla-like snail.
Early development and closed beta
The development of the game as World of Planes began in 2009. Gaijin Entertainment used its experience with its previous flight games such as IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey, Apache: Air Assault, and Birds of Steel in its development. In Closed Beta, the name was changed to War Thunder due to confusion with the similar competitor World of Warplanes, as well as other reasons such as Gaijin wanting the game to not just be focused on aviation anymore.
Open beta and release
Open beta testing started November 1, 2012 (for users from the Russian Federation; the global beta launched January 28, 2013) for Windows PC with about 200 aircraft and 600,000 players. On May 15, 2014, at 6 million registered players, the first ground forces for Germany and the Soviet Union were introduced. Until 2016 followed the American, British, and Japanese ground forces, with the introduction of the latter marking the release of the game on December 21, 2016, with more than 800 playable vehicles and 15 million players in total. In May 2017, it was announced that Italian planes would be introduced in the game as a faction on their own. At GamesCom 2018, the planned addition of helicopters into the game was announced.
This section needs to be updated.April 2017)(
At release, War Thunder was well-received with generally positive reviews. Gamespot praised it for its variety of airplanes and visuals, whereas IGN criticized the user interface for being "overly abundant and cumbersome" in contrast to the "sparse in-battle HUD".
More current user reviews on Metacritic level in at 6.5 of 10, with users within the past year reporting a number of errors in graphics implementation and imbalances in game mechanics, as well as a general lack of support for these issues.
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