Developer: Home Net Games
Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Release Date: February 21, 2019 (EU & NA)
A long time ago, valiant pilots took to the skies and fought bravely in incredible fighter planes and bombers in a war to end all wars. Experience aerial combat and strategically bombard land and naval targets just like it was done in World War II. It is time for our Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight review.
Originally developed by Home Net Games for Android and iOS, it released on mobile devices back in December 28, 2018. After partnering up with 7Levels, Home Net Games was able to bring Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight over to the Nintendo Switch.
Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight is a third-person aerial shooter/resource management Sim that puts you in the shoes of an upcoming Air Squadron leader. You have a choice to side with either Great Britain, USSR or Germany and joining the RAF, Soviet Air Force or the Luftwaffe respectively.
You will first take to the skies and pilot a fighter plane and a bomber in the tutorial in order to learn the controls. After the flying and aerial combat tutorial, you will then be tasked with managing your own airfield as well as its resources and defences. This includes pilots and aircraft as well as Gold, Silver and Oil.
In order to gain resources, you will have to grasp the yoke with both hands and undertake daring missions. You begin with only 2-3 planes but as you become more daring, you can purchase more planes and flight crew to build up your squadron.
There are around 30 different planes to choose from over the three different Air Forces. Each are locked to their respective Air Force and can’t be exchanged. You can customize your aircraft with an assortment of colours, patterns and logos that are provided in-game.
There are also a number of upgrades to make your planes stronger and more efficient. This includes motor cooldown, machine gun cooldown and turning efficiency. Upgrading your planes is quite important. Even as important as buying new ones, as it will help give you the edge in missions.
While having an airfield full of historic and iconic planes is awesome in its own right, they are no good in battle without daring aviators to pilot them. You can enlist pilots to fly, operate aircraft armaments and bombs.
You can also train your pilots to be more efficient in their crafts and even train them to perform secondary duties as well. If you have a pilot who is primarily a fighter pilot but you need a bomb operator for a particular mission, you can train the pilot for more silver to be a bomb operator as well.
However, you can’t just buy pilots and planes willy nilly without a place to store them. This means that you have to construct hangers and tents in order to accommodate your growing squadron. This also has the added side effect of increasing daily base costs.
There is a way to minimise base costs as well as plane repairs, Gold-Silver transfer, etc. When you complete missions, You will earn Gold, Silver, Fuel and Prestige points. Prestige points allow you to unlock skills to lower the daily base costs, pilot training, building costs, as well as the plane repairs and such I mentioned before.
With the general airfield administration out of the way, it’s time to focus on the actual, nitty gritty missions. There are 4 types of missions: Offensive, Defensive, Naval and Special. Each mission will reward you with resources, one of which will be rewarded more than the others.
Offensive Missions usually require you to bomb specific targets and clear out the enemy squadrons. Defensive missions will have you protect a target area or unit from enemy bombers and fighters.
Naval Battles as you can probably guess, take place over water. Your targets are Naval vessels like Cutters or destroyer in which you have to send to Davy Jones’ Locker. They pack a punch and can shred through fighter jets with ease. A bomber plane is highly recommended for these missions as they can do a lot more damage.
Special missions can be any of the three previous missions but can reward you with more Gold. Gold is a highly valuable commodity and is used to purchase planes and recruit pilots. It is also needed for top level four and five upgrades on planes.
Every now and again, your base will come under attack from the enemy. When this happens, there is every chance you could lose structures on your airfield. When the inevitable happens, always make sure you have enough planes and pilots to defend your beloved airfield.
It can be quite daunting in the beginning when you only have a few planes and no base defences but as you keep playing and training your pilots, you could literally just leisurely cruise along and let your elite squadron take care of things for you.
When going on missions or taking flight to defend the airfield, you will consume fuel. Depending on how many aircraft you want to take with you, you can easily consume more fuel than you will receive as a reward from the mission. Knowing when to go heavy handed or lean and green will make sure you stay on top of your fuel supply.
Resources can get used up very quickly and easily. Sometimes you will need to sacrifice one lot of resource in order to receive more of another. Like Gold for Silver or Silver for fuel, etc. Another useful feature is the Safe Deposit Box. This allows you to share your Gold with the other Squadrons that you have created for the USSR or Germany campaigns.
For those of you that like to go Achievement hunting, there are a number of acheivements for you to try and earn. They can be earned by flying with your squadron any number of times, taking on so many solo missions, blowing up buildins or naval vessels, etc. Completing these will reward you with Gold, which will come in handy when wanting to buy more planes.
Achievements are restricted to each squadron so they won’t be shared between the Luftwaffe and the RAF for example. This means you will still earn Gold for fulfilling achievements in other squadron campaigns. You could also take advantage of earning gold from these achievements and then sending the gold into the Safe Deposit Box To help fund your other squadrons.
So, I suppose the most important thing to talk about now is controls. Your aircraft will naturally fly forward. The left joystick allows your plane to ascend, descend and bank left and right. The right joystick, when pushed forward, will allow your plane to fly faster briefly.
Now it’s time to get trigger happy. As each craft can have a different array of weapons, Each button is assigned to something different. The ZR button is used to fire the machine guns. They have infinite bullets but the gun can overheat and will need to cool down.
The R button fires the cannons on select craft. The L button fires Rockets but only for craftS that carry rockets. Both have a limited supply and once they have run out, the plane will need to return to base to reload.
The ZL button allows players to lock-on to nearby targets. The Auto-aim feature will take care of the reticle but still doesn’t provide 100% accuracy. Sometimes you will need to be closer to the enemy for better results. You can also turn off the auto-aim feature and do it the old fashioned way. You can even earn more prestige points that way.
Aircraft that can drop bombs have a secondary aiming option. The A button switches the camera angle to a top-down view with another reticle that you must line up on the target below in order to hit them. The ZR button is used to drop bombs while in this view. You can return to the standard view again with A.
The Y button allows you to face the camera behind the aircraft you are flying so you can see behind you. In aircraft with rear gunners like some bomber crafts, you can control the heavy machine guns to take out enemy fighters and can also lock onto them as well with ZL.
I will admit, that when it comes to visuals in video games these days, it is truly incredible to see how far they have come. It was only 20 or so years ago that games on mobile devices consisted of pixelated snakes. Now they have really come into their own and Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight is no exception.
While it is still first and foremost a mobile game brought to the Nintendo Switch, the visuals are just as good, if not better in docked mode as they are in handheld mode. They are sharp and detailed and the draw distance is far enough for you to appreciate the vast surroundings.
The attention to detail on each and every aircraft is a sure sign of pure skill, talent and utmost dedication to respectfully represent each craft down to rivets holding them together. The visual effects are very immersive and really gives you a sense of awe when you near miss a collision with an enemy craft or when one explodes right next to you.
The music of the game is not its finest detail. Not that it isn’t any good, it’s just everything else outshines it in a way that you rarely pay attention to it. From the Fanfare upon victory to the rat-a-tat-tat of the machine guns, the audio effects are the real winners.
The sound effects are extremely immersive as you listen to the rumble of your plane as you fly on by. The whistling of a bomb as it falls towards its impending target or when a plane that has been shot down and hurtles towards the ground.
The icing on the cake of course, is the national voice-over language option. This implies to the radio chatter whilst in missions. If you are playing the German campaign, you will hear German radio chatter. If you chose the USSR campaign, the radio chatter will be in Russian and if you choose the Great Britain Campaign, radio chatter will be in English.
The default language is English of course and subtitles will remain in English or in your native language if it is supported, depending on what language your Switch has selected. The audio will still be either of these three languages and makes the experience feel that more authentic.
A couple of gripes that I have with the game is that there is no real story mode per se, Missions are randomly generated but there is no final endgame. You can practically keep going until you ultimately get bored of playing.
The missions can get very repetitive as well. They all consist of blowing merry hell out of your enemy in a myriad of ways. Once you unlock everything you can possibly want, there is no real necessity to keep playing unless you want to. In a way though, it is part of its charm and when that need to just blow stuff up comes, Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight can help you scratch that itch.
The tutorial is helpful enough but it is mandatory on all three campaigns. It can’t be skipped either, which when playing through it once is fine enough but three times is two times too many. A Skip function would have been nice so I didn’t have to relearn what I have already come to master in the first Campaign I played.
The lack of multiplayer is a bit of a shame. Even if only limited to online or local wireless play. I feel it would have been a welcomed extra to have that would allow players to show off the might of their squadron as they raid a friend’s airfield.
Co-op play would also have been a nice touch allowing friends to team up and take to the skies together and give the Gerry’s or the Tommy’s what for (depending on which side you chose of course).
Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight in my opinion, is one of the most immersive shooters I have played in a long time. War itself is not a game and yet it is one of the key inspirations for many video games. I like the odd first-person shooter game here and there and I have enjoyed the likes of aerial shooters like Starfox and Starlink: Battle For Atlas.
None of them however, has made me more thoughtful and more grateful for how hard the developers worked on making this game and it bolsters my respect for those that have served and died for our countries both then and now. To me, Warplanes: WW2 Dogfight is not just a video game, but a homage to the valiant souls and their magnificent flying machines that defended our great countries.
THE VERDICT: 9/10
*Review Key Provided by Outreach PR
Should you wish to check out another of our reviews, you can do so by clicking here.
This post was written by Mike Scorpio