Review: War Thunder Beta

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About War Thunder

War Thunder offers a highly detailed and personalized aviation experience, giving players access to hundreds models of planes with detailed cockpits, dozens of upgradeable weapons, and flying skills that can be honed and improved with each mission. Thanks to the game’s painstaking attention to detail, you’ll truly feel like a World War II fighter pilot as you plunge into battle.

The genuine World War II experience isn’t limited to the skies. The massive historical battles featured in War Thunder cannot be fought by aviation alone, so the game will also expose players to combat on land and at sea.
Features include:

  • Varied PvP-experiences set in full-scale combat missions
  • Multiple settings options allow advanced virtual pilots and beginners to enjoy playing the game together
  • Rich PvE content: dynamic campaigns, solo missions, mission editor, and much more for single-player and cooperative gameplay
  • Impressive diversity includes detailed models of planes and their cockpits, as well as tanks and ships
  • Astonishing graphics, authentic sound effects, and beautiful music
  • Native Oculus Rift Support

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War Thunder is currently in Open Beta

You can register and download War Thunder at warthunder.com. The game is free to play, however you can purchase in-game currency for add ons and airplanes. To enable Oculus Rift mode click the gear icon on the launch screen then click the “Oculus Rift” check box. I played War Thunder and tried to complete the tutorial but the game got stuck twice during the strafing maneuver. The most irritating thing is, during the tutorials while in mid-flight the game will pause to tell you something and then ask you to “press any key”. More often than not this results in a crash and you restarting the tutorial from the beginning. This needs to be fixed before release. The Oculus Rift support was obviously an afterthought as the game only displays the Rift 3D mode when actually flying. The HUD is totally unreadable and off screen. I flew in cockpit mode and was able to mostly fly using the instruments although the numbers weren’t readable at all. I was constantly taking off and on the rift to select games  to play and the modify aircraft loadout. The graphics are nice and that is about the only positive thing I have to say about this game. War Thunder is not Rift Ready by any means and still needs a lot of polish before release. Don’t waste your time.

We give this game a 1 out of 5 Rifts

1of5

 

UPDATE 7/9/13

After receiving some criticism of our review we thought it was best to expound on our reasoning for the low score. We first came across War Thunder from this video.

The video makes it seem that the Oculus Rift integration is complete and fully functional. Our review is based on the perspective of a Rift user not just the game itself. The Rift integration is abysmal, even compared to some of the Rift tech demos floating around. War Thunder while very pretty graphics wise loses all that sparkle when it comes to gameplay on the Rift. Forcing users to take the Rift off and on again between flights is very frustrating and breaks immersion.

Immersion is the holy grail in VR. An almost perfect example of game immersion including menus is the Minecrift mod for Minecraft. Once 3D is switched on there is no need to remove the Rift to change settings or see inventory etc. This is hardly the case with War Thunder. The second big gripe we have is that the HUD is totally unusable, which puts the rift player at a disadvantage. You cannot see the radar ring at all and you are relegated reading instruments in the cockpit that are just illegible. Lastly the Field of View doesn’t change for the Rift mode making it feel like you are looking through cardboard tubes while flying.

The bottom line is we expect better. This is why we gave War Thunder a 1 out of 5. We look forward to reviewing the finished version of the game once fully completed. We hope they improve, because War Thunder could be a showstopper for the Rift.

 

I am a programmer, designer, and inventor in Dallas, Texas. Founder of Makertronic, interested in Web 2.0 & 3.0, Maker, and any new technology.

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