Wargaming.net's World of Tanks was a surprise success. Not only was it a massively-multiplayer free-to-play game based around what is, let's face it, a fairly niche interest, but it was actually, really, genuinely good, too. Just ask Jaz; he'll happily talk your ear off about it.
As the developer hopes to replicate the PC original's success with its impending launch on Xbox 360, it's also gearing up for the launch of Tanks' spiritual successor, World of Warplanes. Unsurprisingly, the new title takes to the skies rather than rumbling around on the ground, and sees players wrestling with the controls of a variety of different airplanes from the era between the 1930s and the 1950s.
Like World of Tanks, World of Warplanes features large-scale battles -- 15 vs 15 in this case -- and has a strong focus on teamwork and cooperation rather than the "every man for himself" approach that some multiplayer titles take. The game features a full tutorial system to get you up to speed before you take to the skies, and also features real-time tactical feedback to help you improve your game as you play. Naturally, this being a free-to-play game, those willing to pay up will be able to take advantage of a wider range of options, including crews and crew skills, consumable items and different ammunition types.
World of Warplanes has been in development for some time, but it's just launched into open beta, meaning that anyone can jump in and try it for themselves -- unless you're in Europe, for some reason, since the open beta doesn't launch in that territory until July 4.
It's not yet implemented, but at a later stage in the open beta, Wargaming.net will implement their Unified Premium Account system, which means that those of you who already play World of Tanks and have a premium account will be able to take advantage of its various benefits -- primarily increased in-game currency and experience gain.
To find out more about World of Warplanes and jump into the open beta, check out the official website.