I have, at times, written
at some length
about World War II Online and my addiction to it
. Three articles in the span of just a few months, to be exact. Now, FiringSquad is proud to present a World War II Online free trial. The game is a modest download - some 200MB - and the free trial period is more than enough to get a taste of the action.
Visit www.wwiionline.com and click on the FiringSquad free trial offer- be sure you use the promo code, ‘firingsquad’.
It is somewhat difficult to get into - the concepts in World War II Online are foreign to standard online shooters and MMOs alike - but it's clearly worth it. Imagine if the battles in Battlefield 1942 had a point. Each of these battles would be fought over towns that could be captured and then used to stage the next attack or a new line of defense. Certain towns are in actuality huge cities like Brussels, Antwerp or Luxembourg, and contain many army bases from which to spawn from. Others contain strategic assets like airfields or naval docks.
Imagine if, rather than relying on hitpoints, the tanks and vehicles used physics and location-based damage. So that it didn't matter how many times a 37mm gun hit your Sherman, unless it hit the tracks - or if you had to work to flank the mighty StuG III G. Consider the historical strengths and weaknesses of the various units, and what you can exploit about your foe. A Focke Wulf 190 fighter dives excellently, is fast in level flight and has an amazing roll rate, but is terrible at turning. Meanwhile, the Spitfire Mk IXc has the best climb in the game, is almost as fast as the 190, has an excellent turn, but its roll is poor and its controls get sluggish in a dive and can eventually lock up!
Now take all this and put it in a pitched battle for a town. Each side is likely to use up its armor quickly in the initial stages, so they'll both try to resupply from rear towns by driving the tanks from far back. Opposing players know this and can position themselves on resupply roads to try and stop or at least slow down the resupply effort. The resupplier, trying to get to the battle as fast as possible, will doubtless take the road and by necessity be less aware of his surroundings, while the supply cutter and position himself anywhere and strike with surprise. Attackers, who often face a large number of anti-tank guns at the defending town and thus need more tanks, are smart to resupply before the battle starts. This, however, leaves them with a tank-heavy assault force and once those tanks are gone, it's an even longer resupply route.
Aircraft will almost certainly be present overhead, strafing and bombing ground targets or fighting each other. When you're on the ground, being strafed, it never feels like you have air superiority and you keep wondering where they're all coming from. When you're in the air, you're always worried about the enemy being higher and faster than you, and you hope not to die because you don't want to fly from a far rear airfield because aircraft are relatively rare.
More than any other game I've played, World War II Online has a sense of something at stake. That tank you're taking out, it means something - it is one of a limited number at your army base and won't be replaced for 4.5 hours unless you or someone else resupplies that tank from a rear town. If you lose your tank in combat, odds are you won't get another during the same battle, unless you want to go resupply. It's off to infantry or driving trucks for you!