Gamescom 2018: World of Warships Legends Brings the Franchise to Consoles

August 25, 2018

It’s been a few years now since Wargaming brought World of Tanks to consoles, and they’ve had time to take it through several revisions, most recently with the Mercenaries upgrade. That experience has now been shared with the World of Warships team who announced this year they would also be bringing their franchise to consoles in the form of World of Warships Legends shown off for the first time at Gamescom 2018. I was able to get a sneak peek at some gameplay from the title, running on an Xbox One X dev kit, being played by the game’s Creative Director, Danny Volkov.

“It’s worth taking a step back to when the original was just released.” says Danny, “Since the very first day we had a lot of requests from the community that they want Warships to be available on their platform of choice. As the game progressed, we kept hearing more and more feedback like that, and we have finally made the decision to start developing this title.”

“When one title comes from PC to console, it’s often done in a lazy manner. Some things like seeing cursors in console games, which make zero sense. We’re going in a different direction. We want every piece of the UI to be native to the console experience. For people who are familiar with the Forzas and FIFAs of this world, they’ll feel at home with this game on the couch in front of the TV.”

“We’re not just changing how the game looks, but we’re changing the systems under the hood. With regards to the progression system, we’re making it linear rather than a tree so it’s more familiar to console players. We have an intention to simplify it to make it more accessible to consoles, but also retain its depth.”

World of Warships Legends is running on a heavily overhauled proprietary in-house engine, with the aim of getting the most out of the PS4 and Xbox One technology. And, looking at the alpha footage, it already looks pretty stunning. Ships are not only realistically detailed, but water effects and explosions are realistic, and the environments themselves are pretty attractive. The demo I saw had a beautiful coastline with a town along it, but other screenshots reveal some more dramatic islands and structures to sail between. While the team do have real-world battles and locations in mind, they also want to create a gameplay experience that’s fun to play in first, which is being weighed up now as the game continues development.

As mentioned, it’s currently in a closed Alpha, which is unusual for a console game.

“We belive that for a true Wargaming game this is a big requirement,” says Danny, “To invite our community and our players and as soon as we can, we will invite them on board to make them a part of the development team. We want to listen to their feedback, their data – the real data, not just predictions, and how we can improve the game from that.”

“It’s still a game of Warships, but it’s very different. World of Warships on PC looks like an action game but in reality it’s more like chess at sea. Playing, understanding plays an important role on whether you’re succeeding. Your reflexes don’t matter that much, you can be a very bad player in terms of aiming, but if you understand the strategy and can outsmart your opponent you can win.”

“We wanted to make this streamlined, very accessible but still authentic World of Warships experience that keeps the depth and strategy of the original.”

As for one of the more unique parts of the World of Warships experience on PC, aircraft carriers, which combine elements of regular Warships gameplay with an RTS, Danny says they will see an appearance in the game, but in a modified form.

“We’re changing the paradigm on how we control aircraft carriers. So we’re bringing a tiny World of Warplanes inside World of Warships legends. You won’t be able to control exact planes, but you will be able to control squadrons.”

The commanders system is also being reworked to become ‘heroes’ in World of Warships Legends. Every commander will be unique with their own skills, portrait and bio, adding a collection element to the game, especially if you can find a commander that has synergy with the type of warships you like to play with.

World of Warships Legends is still in alpha, but is due for a release sometime in 2019. If you want to get involved, head over to the official Wargaming website and forums, to keep up to date on development.