World of Warships: Legends preview

Wargaming has done it all, starting with a highly successful competitive title known as World of Tanks through to aeroplanes and now we’re taking to the high seas in free-to-play World of Warships: Legends.

The game itself focuses on naval combat, featuring famous World War I and World War II warships led by prominent commanders of the seas. There’s also a tonne of historical accuracy here in ship design, through to the finer details.

From destroyers, cruisers, and battleships, the military boating experience pits two teams in hard-fought sea battles, where players can face either AI opponents or each other. Like with most online games where there’s character/ship choice, each ship type has its own play style and brings benefits to the battlefield. I had most success with the Destroyer as its extremely agile and good at getting away during attacks, but I’ll go through the boat selections now.

Destroyers favor swift action with their agile movement to minimise the impact of opposing playerd guns. They also come loaded with a stealthy sets of torpedos, for dealing the lowest damage but landing some clean hits can take down Battleships in no time.

If you’re after a middle ground option or a jack-of-all-trades if you will, the Cruiser is for you. offering a balance between maneuverability, armor, and firepower, this will be a common choice out at sea particularly if you don’t know which attribute to focus on more so than others.

The final choice is the big boy, Battleship, which has low movement and maneuverability, so getting out of danger becomes difficult. It does however, have high armour so can absorb a lot of hits before exploding. They also carry the biggest firepower, with the most damage dealt with their heavy missiles.

Often choosing the right ship can be trial and error at the start as you’ll begin with lots of deaths until you finally understand your arsenal available at your disposal and what each ship can offer.

Adding to ship customisation are modifications, further improving your ships and giving you an edge on the battlefield. These can include a whole host of upgrades from camoflauge to boosters for more credits per match.

You’ll also need to pick a commander which features some famous names including: William Halsey (United States), Togo Heihachiro (Japan), Bruce Fraser (United Kingdom) and many more. Each commander though is limited to their home country vessels.

Commanders have a starting set of traits and can earn Commander XP. The system works well and uses a skill tree with the first row skill immediately unlocked and then 3 more as your commander reaches rank 2 through to 4. Once your Commander exceeds past rank 4, the skills you’ve chosen continue to improve passively. Your Commander can often be the difference on the water, particularly as its your combination in ship and commander that matters here.

So now we’ve on the water in a 9 vs 9 sea battle. Considering life began for World of Warships on PC, the transition from keyboard and mouse to controller is very responsive for movement, although the user interface can be a little overbearing in places, particularly menus.

Visually the game has islands and vistas to explore and take in whilst in the heart of battle. As missiles land closeby they’ll explode in the water causing a spectacle shower to spray infront of your ship, and when you do eventually sink a battleship, the explosions and fire effects are stunning. Unfortunately there’s no 4K support in the current build, but Wargaming has confirmed this will arrive in the summer via an update for Xbox One X. It also wouldn’t surprise me if this marks a full release window from Game Preview.

With such a vast catalogue of high quality free-to-play games on Xbox now, World of Warships: Legends definitely sits firmly in there with the likes of Fortnite and Dauntless. Graphically the game plays beautifully on Xbox and leap from PC to Xbox is seamless.

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