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Thunder! Flash!

If you haven't yet heard of War Thunder then... well, you probably have now, what with that headline and with this feature. What I mean to say is that you may well be hearing a lot more about it soon, too. Developers Gaijin Entertainment, the creators of Wings of Prey, say that over half a million players have participated in the closed beta for their World War 2 MMO and fans have been pushing for them to get the game onto Steam. So be it, said Gaijin, we'll give it a shot.

Previously known as World of Planes, War Thunder was forced to change its name after a conflict with Wargaming's World of Warplanes. While that MMO is exclusively concerned with combat in the air, War Thunder wants to bring many flavours of combat to your games-playing palate. Here's a picture of one of those saltier flavours.

At the moment, the game's naval and ground forces are controlled by the AI, but the plan is to give players control of ships and tanks very soon. Here's a picture of one of those tanks having a sneaky cigarette between battles.

At the moment, says the Greenlight pitch, the game already features some 200 aircraft to choose from and dozens of maps to fly them over. Although PvP is a major component of the game, PvE modes are also included, with dynamic campaigns and solo missions. Also, as well as apparently offering you a massive overdose of pure WAR, the whole thing looks very, very pretty indeed and almost too good to be true. There's no use just starting at screenshots, I shall just have to give it a go. Here's another picture of some planes.

I'll try and have as thunderous a time as I can over the next few days and (providing I survive) will report back to PCGN headquarters with my findings. In the meantime, here's a fan-made video of some in-game action, featuring the talents of the famous wartime voiceover artist Winston Churchill.

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