You know what war MMOs need? More war, obviously. And that’s exactly what War Thunder’s up to right now with the open beta for its World War mode starting today and running through the conclusion of its first season on June 10th.
“The new game mode gives players the opportunity to re-enact famous battles of World War II, to follow in history’s footsteps or change its course completely,” Gaijin explains. “In game, these battles are organized in Operations, which are based on real world events and combat campaigns, such as the Battle of El Alamein or Battle of Vitebsk. Commanders of either side can move air- and ground armies on a strategic map, and when those armies meet, their clash is resolved by a battle session between players. Results of said battles can have significant effects on the outcome of the Operation, as the defeated side retreats and loses vehicles or even full regiments. An Operation can take up to two hours to complete, depending on the decisiveness of its battles.”
Worth noting is that only guild leaders can actually launch new Operations, but once it’s underway, even non-guildies can leap into the fray. There are a few rules about not breaking the laws of history too; for example, you can’t “ride a Japanese tank to battle at Vitebsk,” but there’s always a basic vehicle accessible for everything.