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WAR THUNDER from Gaijin is a single or multi-player mission based game where the player controls either a warplane, including Bombers, Fighters and Fighter-Bombers, or a tank/ground force depending on the scenario/mission selected. The tutorials are quick and easy and get you through the basics with a mind to getting you into the actual game as quickly as possible. As it is a free to play gamne I imagine there will be ingame purchases, though to date I haven't encountered any or the need to buy anything that I haven't already received from playing.


When you are firing at an enemy there are various reticules and sight-assistants to help but you still need to use commonsense and physics when firing. For example, if you fire continually you will either jam the guns or run out of ammunition, or both. If the target is a distance away or moving then if you fire directly at it there is a very high possibility that you will not hit it because the moving target will be gone by the time the bullets get there, or the trajectory doesn't allow for the shells to travel in a straight line at the same speed, you have to aim higher to ensure a firing arc. All of this is commonsense, the same as flying straight into another plane will not see you miraculously survive - you will probably tear off one of your wings and watch it fly away. The only disappointing thing is that when this occurs and your plane starts to fall from the sky the game switches to a cut-scene showing your plane spiralling towards the ground and it is whole, both wings intact.


There are lots of plnes and tanks, upgrades, different ammunition and bombs, new weaponry and equipment, so the game isn't going to grow away from you quickly. When you join in a multi-player combat you will be tasked with destroying the enemy planes or ground forces or bridges, buildings etc, plus if you "die" you get to come back at least once, but lives aren't indeffinate. The only problem I had when I first joined a game was that I didn't know what side I was on. I wasn't told whether it was the Red or the Blueside and ocourse I couldn't see my name above my head to check. It's possible I missed the indicator, but if I did, I have done so every time I have played; I went along with Red is usually the enemy unless otherwise stated. I'm sure my own team would soon be shouting at me if I had shot at one of them.


Visually this is exciting and the animations are excellent. The controls, mostly via the keyboard, are a bit awkward, especially when diving and stalling. The Left mouse button controls the firing and the Right mouse button will zoom you in to get a better view while moving the mouse affects the direction. There are numerous fun parts of the game - flying and bombing, diving in and strafing buildings and ground forces, riding roughshod in a tank over anything that gets in your way, these are all adrenaline pumping effects.

Like many ftp and FaceBook/Android type of game you get a bonus every consecutive day when you sign in. Here it is in the form of a crate that may give you extra ammunition, different type of ammunition, more bombs etc.Even if you can't find time to play do try to log in and gain your daily reward whenever you can; they are very useful as you continue to gain experience.


For a free to play game WAR THUNDER is a lot better than many of the older generation full price games and as good as any of the recent war-based games I have played in this genre.


© Chris Baylis 2011-2015