Big news for gamers who don't like to board a ship until after its shakedown cruise: World of Warships officially launched this week after extensive beta testing. We visited St. Petersburg, Russia earlier this year for an extended advance look at the game which looks like the latest hit from Wargaming, the multiplayer online gaming titan that changed the industry with World of Tanks.
Tanks became a phenomenon in Europe before it gained attention here in the United States, but Warships is getting a simultaneous worldwide launch. Wargaming is giving inexperienced players a chance to find their footing: there are extensive tutorials in PvE mode that let beginners play against the computer before taking on other humans. There are also introductory levels where you play exclusively against others at your current skill level.
Historical accuracy is a key selling point for Wargaming. Every destroyer, cruiser, battleship and aircraft carrier in the game faithfully recreates real WWII ships. There are 80 ships available at launch, including full tech trees for the U.S. and Japanese navies and select ships from the UK, USSR and Germany. Like all of Wargaming's title, Warships aims to find the sweet spot between strategy and shooter games.
World of Warships requires a PC with enough processing power to play modern online games. It's free-to-play, so you can find out if it's a fit for you before you spend any money for upgrades.