In late December I became the Captain of two enormous and impressive ships. One American and one Japanese. Setting sail on these mighty feats of human engineering, I immediately felt the similarities between this and World of Tanks Mercenaries. However, World of Warships Legends is a different beast.
It may feature a similar premise, systems and gameplay but the longer you spend in command, the more you realise that ships and tanks couldn’t be more different. The most obvious difference being that World of Warships Legends takes place on the ocean.
Without terrain, World of Warships Legends initially feels like a much less vertical game. In my first game, I sailed straight ahead and attempted to take out the enemy and was met with a swift bombardment, followed by death. I’m no World of Tanks pro, but at least in that game I could hide and bide my time. There’s an element of that in Warships, but it’s not the focus. At least not for me.
World of Warships Legends Beta
Instead, I pushed the enemy flanks, zig-zagged and tried to remain constantly on the move. Landing shots in World of Warships Legends is as much about the position of the enemy as it is your own. With multiple gun turrets on each ship, ensuring you have them facing an enemy and loaded with ammo is a constantly shifting set of goal posts. After firing one battery at a smaller ship and crippling its engines, I’d need to swing my ship around so as to aim my other turrets while the first was being reloaded.
It’s certainly a step up in complexity from World of Tanks Mercenaries, but it was one I wholeheartedly approved of and enjoyed. I’ve never really felt powerful or dangerous in World of Tanks, but in Warships, I was a deadly pirate captain and every enemy ship was mine to plunder.
Controlling your Warship is actually much simpler than it first seems. You set your speed — full, half, stop, reverse — and control your heading with the left stick. The right stick lets you look around and survey your surroundings, keeping an eye out for the enemy. To make things easier, you can use your binoculars and zoom into the distance. Any ships you or your team spot appear on your radar and on the HUD.
Aim At Where I Was Going to Be
The distance at which you can spot enemy ships and fire on them is much greater than in World of Tanks. Thus, the emphasis on leading your shots in World of Warships Legends is far greater. Something I struggled with initially.
I can’t tell you the number of shells that plopped into the ocean, probably destroying some poor whales, simply because I was aiming in the wrong place. Once I realised that the ships were moving at breakneck speed, despite appearing to travel at a snail’s pace, I was able to start doing some real damage.
Sailing in a group of destroyers and bombarding enemy ships as you frantically try to keep your broadside hidden, defend your allies and capture the enemy’s ground is ridiculously addictive.
Take Me Back
Unfortunately, the World of Warships Legends Beta took place just before Xmas so I wasn’t able to spend as much time with it as I’d have liked.
Just like other Wargaming titles, you level up your ships, unlock new tech and new ships via the tech-tree and grow increasingly more powerful. There are some absolute monsters included in World of Warships Legends’ tech-trees and as players come to grips with the way the game plays, there are going to be some truly epic battles.
For a closed Beta, World of Warships Legends is visually stunning. The water effects are some of the best I’ve seen this generation. This bodes well for a game where 99% of the terrain is water. The ships themselves are detailed and look very realistic. There were some odd moments here and there and the occasional ugly texture and what have you, but for the most part, World of Warships Legendsis looking rock solid.
Though my time with the World of Warships Legends Beta was short, it was sweet. I can’t wait until the next one to see if my seafaring skills hold up.
World of Warships Legends beta was played on PS4 using a code provided by Wargaming.