World War II Online Review

World War II Online (WWIIO) is an ambitious game which attempts to recreate the global conflict at the individual soldier/weapon level. Players can join the air forces and armies (and soon, navies) of the major World War II combatants as they fight to achieve victory in a persistent online war.

Play begins when the player connects to PlayNet and selects a server to join the game. Each server represents a separate gameworld, each with its own recreation of World War II. In the near future the war in each gameworld will be persistent, with the outcome of individual battles affecting the tide of the war. For now, however, conflict is limited to the Western Front in 1940, with battles taking place in Belgium and Northern France.

Once connected to a server, the player selects a country to fight for and a theater of conflict to enter. Each theater has numerous missions available to players, which usually involve an assault on or defense of a strategic objective. A player then selects a vehicle (or enters as a foot soldier), and is taken to the battle. Players can also elect to 'multicrew' a vehicle, for example one player can drive a tank while the other handles gun duty.

Players spawn into bases or cities when entering the gameworld, and the action begins from there. WWIIO models the world in 1/2 scale so it can take a little time before you find a firefight. Luckily, foot soldiers can hitch rides on tanks and trucks to avoid long marches to the front lines.

Missions continue until you are killed in action or the enemy force has been eliminated. Capturing bases or objectives will prevent the enemy from spawning at that location, but until the persistent servers are online, doing so does not affect the overall course of the war. Once a mission is completed, the player can either try to make his/her way to the next battle or exit and respawn into another mission directly.

WWIIO is still a work in progress and will be adding new features in the near future. These include tracking a player's kills and rank, a strategic element for high ranking players (they'll be able to create missions and direct the war effort), opening new theaters of conflict, and adding new weapons. [Editor's Note: Some of these features have been added to the game since this review was written]