War Thunder is a free-to-play flight simulator, available on both the Playstation 4 and PC. As with more or less every free-to-play game, War Thunder offers in-game purchases, commonly known as microtransactions. These transactions allows players to purchase new ships, missions, currency and other useful items. The PS4 versions is pretty much identical to the PC version, other than the quick adjustments the developers have made to accommodate the home console setup. As with any F2P game, trying it is pretty much risk free, so, lets see how it performed.

The PS4 has already shown how much of a dynamic platform it is, playing host to a variety of retail and download-only titles, along with an impressive FOUR free-to-play titles. You may have heard people saying that microtransactions ruin titles, and I would generally tend to agree with them in the case of retail games. However, in the case of War Thunder (and F2P titleS), they make perfect sense, and are a great model for the game to adopt.

You can head on to the Playstation 4 now and try War Thunder; completely free of charge. If you feel compelled to play on and experience more of the game, you will be able to purchase separate components and packs depending on your desires. If you like a particular plane, you will be able to head onto the store and buy a pack featuring that plane, rather than buying all of them at once (akin to buying a retail game with a suite of content from the get-go). This affords the player flexibility over their purchases, and, of course, the ability to play the base game free of charge. It works very well for War Thunder, and was a great decision by the developers.

The game is set during World War II and was developed by Gaijin Entertainment. One thing I will say is, while the game is very stable and looks outstanding, a very quick job has been done porting the PC version over to the PS4. The interface has been pretty much exactly transferred across platforms, without a layout adjustment to suit a controller (rather than a mouse and keyboard). This makes the interface feel a little clunky, and is confusing to navigate.

Other than this however, the game plays astonishingly well. The game is stable and rarely shows any signs of glitching or sloppy coding. The graphics are wonderful; each of the planes are afforded an impressive attention to detail. The same can be said about the vivid environments and effects (eg. when a plane explodes). The graphics offered by War Thunder come close to some of the best on Playstation 4 at the moment, which is no mean feat.

The microtransactions in the game are very well balanced. The game compensates by making sure skill plays a large part in the performance of your plane. The expensive planes you will be able to purchase with real cash will be no use to you if you cannot fly them properly. The microtransactions can also be more or less ignored. The game does not obnoxiously prompt you to buy upgrades, head to the store or flash advertisements in your face; it is a very optional affair.

You are limited in both ammo count and the number of planes you can bring into a match with you, so, make wise choices before beginning the game. These measures are likely to make War Thunder feel more realistic, and it does help to a certain extent. Unfortunately, the mission objectives in the game’s modes are repetitive and lacking in nature. There is not very much variance in your tasks from map to map, however, this cannot really be helped… there are no other objectives that can really be offered. Thankfully, once you begin the match, you will be able to do whatever you wish; you are not constricted to a certain play style. This helps make the game a little less repetitive. There are also many uniquely designed maps in the game, each of which are designed beautifully.

The control system can be inaccurate at times (as the game was designed with a mouse in mind), however, simulation mode helps fix this. While it may be a little more difficult, it will help you build your skills and play with more accuracy. Overall however, the team did a great job with the games controls; it is the best option of a bad selection. There aren’t too many good solutions available for remapping controls in a game of this nature.

The publishers of War Thunder kindly sent us access to their biggest DLC pack for the game. I will say this; if you are skilled at the game and are playing with only the basic offerings, you will get a lot more fun out of the game with a better plane and some other new features. If you are a fan of flight sims, you should certainly consider investing in one of War Thunder’s paid offerings.

Overall, War Thunder is a stable, solid title on the PS4. It offers a genre which is not often seen on consoles, and does so with outstanding graphics and a very high level of polish. As an added bonus, it is free-to-play, so there is no risk in trying it! Head over to the Playstation Store on your PS4 to try the game now!