War Thunder PS4 review – Flying without wi… – wait, no, falling

Remember the days before you discovered videogames? When running around the house with toy planes was the best way to spend a Saturday afternoon? Well, War Thunder – with its fleet of Spitfires, Yaks, Kingcobras and the rest – is guaranteed to rekindle memories of boyhood dogfights. Just don’t be shocked when it slaps those Spitfires from your hand and shouts: “Eyes open, Boy! This is WAR!”

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War Thunder PS4 review

Swooping in from Russian studio Gaijin, War Thunder is a massively multiplayer online flight combat sim that combines the fun of a good aerial slobberknocker with the deep customisation (yay!) and heavy menus (um…) of an MMO. And by deep, I’m talking fathoms.

Flying is a blast from the outset, but the research and modification system  – you can earn research points that unlock new mods and planes, then buy them with the Silver Lion currency – that fits around it is dense and devoid of any real guidance.  Getting your head around how the different XP systems work takes more than a few trips to your friendly neighbourhood forum – but once you’ve nailed it, the whole game opens up.

war thunder

War Thunder is one of several free-to-play games on PS4.

Anyone who’s played a Gaijin combat sim such as Birds Of Steel will feel at home with the feel of each plane. The ‘two reticule’ control system (one for aiming and one for controlling the bird) is a new addition, but just like the research menus the harsh nature of aerial warfare soon becomes second nature.

With plans for naval and ground vehicle combat, War Thunder has the potential to become one of PS4’s darkest horses. It’s punishing, sure – but guiding a precious bird to victory causes your chest to swell with imaginary medals every time.

Our Score

Score: 7