War Thunder, Gaijin Entertainment’s historical free-to-play air combat title, has been kicking up a storm. Its open beta launched in November of 2012, and since then the game, which allows players to get in the cockpit of World War 2-era planes and wreak havoc, has grabbed the attention of seven million users.
The war sim, from the makers of IL2-Sturmovik: Birds of Prey, gives would-be pilots the chance to fly over 350 planes from the United States, United Kingdom, USSR, Japan, and Germany. It’s been available on PC and Mac for a little while, and European PS4 users have been able to fight their friends in sky battles since November of last year. Now, War Thunder is reaching North American airspace for the first time, with a release date set for June 3.
“Our idea was to present PS4 players in North America with the latest version of the game,” said Gaijin Entertainment in a post on Playstation.Blog. “Today we’re proud to announce that War Thunder is coming out on June 3rd.” The North American release will include all the “exciting features found in the latest 1.41 version of the game.” As well as the huge variety of planes available, this also includes 150 multiplayer missions, squadron battles, and single player campaigns.
Not only that, but the release will also come complete with the Ground Forces expansion pack, which launched in open beta this March. This means those gamers with a fear of flying — or a preference to take down planes with massive anti-aircraft guns instead of in dogfights — can keep their feet firmly on the ground and focus instead on tank battles.
Gaijin Entertainment has also reiterated that the game will continue to be free-to-play. Currently, War Thunder is kept in the air with voluntary in-game purchases, and there is no need to spend any cash to enjoy the title. That’s going to stay the same for the PS4 version, right down the multiplayer account itself: War Thunder will not need PlayStation Plus for multiplayer access.
The smart money’s on War Thunder to be a success. It’s proved popular in Europe, where the cross-platform actioner was one of the PS4 launch titles. Given the success of other free-to-play games on the console, such as Warframe and Blacklight: Retribution, there’s likely to be plenty of love for Gaijin Entertainment’s title.
If you’re an Xbox One owner and would like to play War Thunder, unfortunately you’re going to have to keep waiting. Microsoft will not allow cross-play between the Xbox One and PC, and until that changes, War Thunder is unlikely to be making its way on to the console.
War Thunder is currently available on PC and Mac, and will release on PS4 on June 3.