close enough to being "single player Hunt: Showdown" that i'm eating it right up.
you can't even call this a roguelite anymore. so little is randomized here! even when you're researching things, you still get the weapons in a fixed order. this is just a single-player extraction shooter with meta-progression and souls-style levelling (where your XP is a tangible currency that you drop on death).
anyway, these devs generally have a very good sense for what makes something feel good - the animations and effects are obvious examples of this, the guns all feel great - but they do miss in a couple places, especially notable where they seem to have deliberately prioritized difficulty over QOL. unfortunately for them i am also the person who complains about tutorialization and information availability in every game, and this game's issues did not escape my gaze. it's entirely possible that you'll learn about core game mechanics from a loading screen tip instead of the tutorial, and the description for every single weapon lies to you by describing what the weapon does when fully upgraded even if you've just picked it up for the first time.
those upgrades for each weapon are unlocked by completing challenges (getting kills & using its special perks) and i really love their execution of this idea. they've broken the upgrades up so each stage is a satisfying increase in a weapon's power, with each tier building on previous upgrades until your plain-jane bolt-action rifle becomes an AOE machine, clearing an entire village in a couple shots. when combined with the research system - unlocks that take a fixed amount of playtime(?) - i think they've struck a nice balance in allowing the player to make forward progress from failed runs without incentivizing them to grind out garbage runs for the sake of meta-progression.
on a different note, it's a breath of fresh air to have a game where gear feels so meaningful. each piece of equipment feels like adding a new legendary to your build in diablo. they've all got exactly one effect and it'll always be meaningful enough to change how you play. this is not a game about gear and you're not gonna be staring at menus optimizing your loadout for an 8% buff to reload speed. all gear comes directly from the research system and all of it is unlocked in a fixed order, so you won't be grinding out runs trying to get the right "drop" either.
if there's one thing that i think seriously holds this game back at the moment it's that the level-ups are pathetic. the cost increases so rapidly and your returns diminish even more rapidly. i know the game is supposed to be hard as nails but spending 1000% more souls witchfire for a level and getting +2 max health in exchange feels like a slap in the face when you've only been playing for a couple hours. as it stands i barely see the point in engaging with this system, since it adds new enemies to the game at a rate that outpaces any gains you're making. this is the kind of thing that seems like it should be pretty important but it's by far the least consequential set of upgrades in the game while also being the hardest to obtain. this is actually pretty similar to the kind of rewards a dark souls game offers for levelling up but the pacing and structure of the two games is so different that it ends up being frustrating, especially in an extraction shooter where making it back in one piece is part of the challenge. you could probably solve this by making each level-up a little chunkier while reducing the payout for killing easy enemies.
last second edit: i totally forgot to mention this because i was only really thinking in terms of broader systems here but man the way that the witch punishes mistakes is fantastic. it creates this tension where your game of cat and mouse feels like it's constantly flipping on its head as you clear a camp with ease, only to reach for a health potion that isn't there and have the air become sour around you as the witch learns about your new vulnerability. i'm really eager to see what they do with this in future updates. it's rare to see games that have that demon's souls mentality of punishing a player that is already struggling and this one does it in ways that are really immediate and memorable, making you better at the game in the process. reach for that non-existent health potion once and you probably won't make that mistake again, but the witch has other ways of learning about you...

Long version:
This game is not unique in having the player create a character, it is not unique in letting them click on students and read their thoughts, it is not unique in asking you to balance said students' happiness and their grades and the school's budget.
What makes Let's School unique is that its elements come together to create a traditional management sim that frequently has the texture of a life sim, working off its systems in place of a script - a game in which you'll hand-craft a curriculum for each class, period by period, and then sit back and watch as your students go cloudgazing at recess, develop crushes and try to sneak video games into the classroom - apologies to Janet Lewis, who has had her GBA personally confiscated by me on four separate occasions. I am simply too powerful, and you are not.
In playing the game it's easy to see that its developers have genuine admiration for a child's earnestness and enthusiasm, as the game is chock-full of little things for the kids and faculty to do that make your school feel lived-in. These are undoubtedly nice features that add flavor to the game, but more importantly they turn the consequences of any managerial decisions into something more real than just lines on a spreadsheet and a stick figure with a frowny face above their head. In theory, this shouldn't be too uncommon for the genre. In practice, though, Let's School ends up way at the top of the pack by leaning wholeheartedly into its theme. It is unmistakably a game about being the headmaster of a school, about crafting organizational charts, arranging field trips, training staff, balancing budgets, and building a facility that (hopefully) ensures your students are cared-for and comfortable enough to be kids instead of little machines that pay tuition and fill out Scantrons. Perhaps talking about things this way makes me sound like a blowhard, but I emphasize the illusion of NPC interiority because this is the game, this is why you buy Let's School over something like Two Point Campus. Its specialty lies in building your attachment to those kids to the point where - when it comes time to start spending that tuition money - you stop thinking about that "Satisfaction" value like a min-maxer and start thinking like a teacher.
You don't have to love Let's School, but the developers' love for their game is obvious, and I can't ask for too much more than that.
Please stop bringing frogs into the classroom.

Walked right up to my favorite city builders and claimed a spot among them like it was nothing.
This game (the real "TF2") pulls off several impressive tricks, but the most striking is the scale. I hate to be the guy who talks about The Graphics right off the bat but I am perpetually in awe that this game will let me zoom out to a level that could believably be an entire province/country(/etc) before zooming all the way down to individual lots that look far less sterile than any prefab from Cities Skylines, all without any visible changes in LOD or any hitches due to loading. Especially impressive is the countryside between the cities, which feels sufficiently vast from a birds-eye view without making your first-person train ride feel like a trip through a diorama. It's an imperfect illusion, but it works from so many different angles that I have to assume any critiques levelled at this particular element of the game are coming from the most steadfast of sticklers.
Being a transport management game, though, you don't actually need any of that to enjoy yourself. The game allows the rail freaks out there to work their magic, of course, but the gameplay is only ever as complex as you want it to be, and there's a lot of quick 'n' easy satisfaction to be found in a city builder where you're not doing the "heavy lifting" of zoning, determining the fire department budget, providing wastewater service, etc. If you don't feel like futzing around with train signals, you can usually keep your company in the black by cleverly placing some very simple routes: place two truck stops, buy some trucks, click both destinations and - as long as you're linking supply and demand - the vehicles will handle the rest. The half-star missing from my current rating is largely due to small quirks like the way the game displays profitability, which can occasionally be misleading if you're not paying close attention. Specifically, it seems to list the total balance for each vehicle/route over a relatively short amount of time, leading to situations in which an especially lengthy train route seems to be losing two million dollars only to complete its route, correctly display that it's actually making five times that amount in profit, and then go back to displaying a negative total moments later. The game gives you everything you need to figure out the real balance of the line, but 1. I'm not always trying to do those calculations myself, and 2. there doesn't seem to be a way to adjust the intervals it's using to calculate this - you just gotta deal with it.
I could speak more about its allure (e.g. I'm a mark for the way the cities slowly evolve as the eras march on) but I think that realistically, your gut reaction to "city builder where you build the infrastructure, not the buildings" will be accurate enough to decide whether you should play this. You don't have to be passionate about vehicles, you don't have to worry about configuring the logic each vehicle runs on, you uh... I just gotta find someone else to play this game so my coworkers won't think I'm strange for spending all my vacation days creating horsie traffic jams.

an extremely good attempt - much better than you'd expect at a glance - at recreating the mind games of fighting games without requiring that you grind your bones into dust against the controller to practice combos. it's a little opaque (would be nice if the game told me how to identify when the next turn happens instead of a steam guide) but is extremely rewarding nonetheless.
i understand why people keep throwing around the word "chess" when discussing this but i think for non-players this makes it sound like a game that lacks immediacy. you might spend a full 30 seconds planning for a "turn" that lasts 4 frames but those 4 frames can still be more rewarding than any single turn in normal chess would ever be, thanks to some chunky, bitcrushed sound effects. this kinda arrangement extends the satisfaction of a well-executed combo as long as possible and it rocks. game's funny too. nothing better than ending a turn, watching some completely innocuous shit happen for a whopping 6 frames, and then getting a message that just says "shit".
uh, play it with friends though, the playerbase is small enough that people don't always respect the "beginners only" lobby

An improvement over previous Payday games in most aspects, but it wouldn't be an Overkill game without some baffling missteps. That the game exists in a "real engine" should presumably receive partial credit for obvious improvements to moving and shooting, but the developers themselves deserve the rest: They have clearly been paying attention to how missions are played and received during Payday 2's ten-year lifespan and used that knowledge to craft 8 heists that are - any way you slice them - more interesting than Payday 2's base game offerings. They're further enhanced by changes to stealth that make it feel like a worthwhile approach in its own right instead of a shortcut you take to level up without playing the game. All of this forms a solid base for future growth, and it does need some future growth: Overkill have been a bit too aggressive when it comes to trimming features from their last game and seem to have thrown some important QOL features out with the bathwater.
Pre-game lobby chat is non-existent, which can be pretty important for coordinating strategies and loadouts. Similarly important for team play are ammo indicators for your teammates - I don't even need exact numbers (Deep Rock has it figured out), but I'd like to drop an ammo bag at the right time without relying on my teammates to ask. These are the most obvious ones, but problems like this start to pop up everywhere as you start looking for information you would have if you fired up Payday 2 right now. I say "right now" because they've made these mistakes before: Payday 2 had serious information issues at launch, especially when it came to knowing how much a skill increases a value and for what duration. Making these numbers visible in Payday 3 is a complete layup when it comes to balancing development effort with player appreciation, given that any long-time PD2 player can probably name 2 or 3 major HUD mods (even if they didn't use them!) dedicated to slathering the screen in even more hideous timers.
It needs work, but it's a decent game. I'll admit that I came into this one fully expecting to love it so it should be little surprise that I do, but I think that the most dated parts of Payday 2 (wonky gameplay systems and some uninspired mission design) have seen the greatest glow-up and I think the differences will be obvious and greatly appreciated by the vast majority of people who are coming from the old games.

genuinely delightful. i think it's possible to compare this unfavorably to JSRF but realistically i think it trims a lot of what doesn't work about that game (too many weak, mostly linear levels; finicky platforming) and keeps most of what does, with large-ish zones (expanding outward with completion) and a compelling sense of style even if your favorite bit of stylistic flair from JSRF isn't represented here. i do think it could benefit from a slight increase to speed, especially on the ground where even boosting feels somewhat limp, but otherwise? i think this rocks. probably could use some tutorialization too. nobody seems to know how to get that one graffiti spot in mataan without googling

Almost certainly the best these Survivors-style games have to offer right now. It's too familiar to produce any converts from the genre's most ardent haters, but if you're convinced that this genre is so close to producing something really, truly good then this entry might restore some hope.
Despite its awful title and repulsive soundfont, it manages to dodge all the big pitfalls that every game in its genre seems to fall victim to, with an art style that preserves readability in its most chaotic moments and a slew of gameplay changes that prevent dominant strategies from emerging. Its huge cast of playable characters is justified in how wildly they differ from one another, and a large pool of available stats means that you can get creative with how you build around characters who can't equip weapons, or who deal damage to enemies when they heal. It's a more creative endeavor than most of its cousins, showing a greater willingness to break with genre convention. Round-based gameplay doesn't feel that different from the 20-30 minute marathon most of these games work with, but it means that the game's pacifist characters aren't sacrificing the ability to grab upgrades mid-run. Its weapon system seems to take inspiration from Teamfight Tactics and other auto-battlers: players receive a small bonus for using weapons from the same category, and multiple copies of the same weapon can be combined into a more powerful version with better stats - meaning that you'll still be evaluating your build after filling that last weapon slot, instead of twiddling your thumbs as you wait for the game to play itself.
If this genre's got anything better at the moment I'd love to hear about it - really - but this is the only game I've found that understands and recreates the core gameplay fantasy of the "original" Vampire Survivors without tripping over its own feet due to overwhelming visuals, meta-progression issues, or strategic stagnation.

Not particularly enamored with this one although I can certainly understand why many are, since it allows for those kinds of conversations that frequently feel impossible in 2023, the kind where you and your friends or coworkers come together to talk for hours about the choices you made at a particular juncture and what happens if you pick option C instead of option B, you know what I mean - conversations that are much rarer when a modern game's sense of mystery can be completely dispelled within 10 hours by front page reddit posts and scores of "articles" reducing each dialogue prompt to Baldur's Gate 3: How To Get THE BEST Companion Cutscenes. The #general chat in my Discord server has people I haven't spoken to in years coming out of the woodwork to talk about the results of character creation, about the companions they've romanced and killed, about all the ways their characters lost an eye, and they all seem pretty content with the breadth of discoveries that this game enables.
For my first 20 hours, I was basically the same - there's a lot of fun to be had in poking around these early areas with the horniest party of all time (despite that fact) and chatting with rats, cats, and dead guys. In these early chapters the game best supports my preferred playstyle: a big circuitous route around the map, looking at everything as I drive past but only stopping to drink deeply from a select few side stories. Push further into the main story, though, and find yourself woefully underleveled because you grew tired of these fights 10 hours ago. It's never so difficult as to completely block you from progressing, but it's easy to feel that your punishment for not seeking out each and every side quest is being forced to initiate every fight from the (admittedly cumbersome) stealth or spend the whole fight herding enemies into a big circle so you can use your Level 3 AOE Spell of choice to meme the encounters until they're finished. I have no experience with D&D or this particular ruleset aside from other video games, but the adherence to such a system and its limits are obvious when you spend forty hours playing this game just to unlock a single cast of a spell that these developers would've given you immediately in their last game. It's a pace that works pretty well for weekly tabletop adventures with a group of IRL friends, but feels a bit too slow and unrewarding when I'm sitting alone, staring at a menu of unappetizing "roll advantage"/"create difficult terrain" spells as a reward for my once-nightly level-up.
What's kept me playing are the settings and companions - the mind flayers are arguably the least interesting part of this whole deal, so while it sucks that the main plot so prominently revolves around them, the side quests are generally well-crafted enough that one or two of them would be a satisfying enough adventure to fill the entire night on their own. I do wish that the companions would Talk Normally for five minutes but they've done well enough in telling some of the companion stories (Gale is a particular standout) that they can create genuinely affecting moments if you look in the right places. Not all of them are told so well, and some of the companions feel deeply artificial as a result, but generally speaking I can understand why a player might recruit any given companion not named Lae'zel to their party. For the most part, I'm also fond of the party chatter - every once in a while you'll get a nice bit of banter that feels like the result of actual role-playing with friends, whether it's a joke or a short flavorful exchange revealing how two companions interact or a story that fleshes out someone's background. It's not as personal as it could be if it were your real friends bantering with you, but it's a fun approximation and it's deployed tastefully.
Ultimately my grade for the experience is a big ol' shrug and the word "Sure?" written exactly like so. I think the lipstick looks fantastic even if it fails to produce miracles for the pig that is 5th edition rules, with its Vancian magic system and glacial level progression and a litany of boring buffs. Compared to the average person I'd be considered a "hater" of Divinity Original Sin 2 but it felt so colorful compared to this! I love killing bosses by shoving them into a pit as much as the next guy, but much of this experience feels like the developers are skillfully wringing every drop of charisma that they can from the source material and hoping that the player doesn't notice that "the chill druid left and now the mean druid is being mean, go fetch the chill druid" feels a little trite. I'll be doing my best to hit the end credits, but if I don't make it, know that I'm probably out there starting a new save on Tyranny instead.

I have been downright ravenous for good, non-VR climbing games since playing the demo for Jusant last month. Now that my appetite's been sated, I can be safely re-introduced to normal human society.
These slow traversal puzzles that require you to master a variety of micro-mechanics are my shit. The courses can be genuinely challenging, and the game skews close enough to reality that seeing an "elite" course remains intimidating well after you've familiarized yourself with the controls. Those controls will be a hurdle, too. Memorizing inputs isn't really the hard part: it's developing a sense of connection between your character's limbs and the commands you're inputting, because small mistakes are punished severely with rapid stamina loss - if you're like me you'll probably fall multiple times before the tutorial is over. Some concepts will come more naturally to IRL climbers, who will intuitively understand positioning your core to get better leverage on different holds, but you don't need to come in with any familiarity.
As it exists right now, its biggest problems are issues with ragdolling and visual clarity - on rare occasion you'll find an excellent handhold in an area that doesn't make any sense, no matter how you rotate the camera. The castle is the worst about this, but thankfully natural formations tend to adhere a little closer to what you're seeing on the screen, minimizing the time you'll spend on scavenger hunts for the right nooks and crannies. It's especially important when the game places so much emphasis on the position of each limb. Sometimes a hold that looks weak at first glance lets you position your core in such a way where your whole body is in a better position afterward (this is a good thing, btw, not a bug!). It doesn't matter if the course is rated "intermediate" when you can't find these spots that differentiate it from an elite course.
It's not the prettiest game, it frequently strays into body horror, and once you learn the mechanics you can achieve some truly ridiculous feats, but I can't really say I mind any of these. As with any good puzzle, small breakthroughs and completions are reward enough on their own, and despite how strictly you must adhere to the climbing line, there are so many ways to fuck up and fall that it still feels like a personal achievement when you make it to the end. Big recommend for anyone who's been on the hunt for a game that tries to simulate free soloing.

My heart sank a little bit when I'm immediately asked to pick between a knight, an archer, and a mage, but I'll admit that I never really envisioned my knight becoming a hyper-mobile ranged character whose damage exclusively comes from throwing tree branches and a grappling hook. Each character has their own set of skills that can be re-tooled for increased damage or utility, depending on how you're feeling. With the limited pool of upgrades, it's not really designed to make things interesting for min-maxers, but if you're the type to see that the grappling hook can turn the knight into a necromancer and immediately start planning a new build, you'll probably get something out of this.
It's systems on top of systems on top of systems and I'm not convinced they'll all work out as the game progresses, because this thing gets grindy fast, but I think I'm just happy to see a Diablo clone that does something interesting with its skills and doesn't have any extra costs for DLCs or cosmetics. Enemy and mission variety are virtually nonexistent (at least, they are at this stage of Early Access) but hey: I paid $10 for this bad boy and I had $25 worth of fun, so I'm marking this one down as a win.

Absolutely in love with this base-building system. Putting something like this together is bold after your last game went with the conventional approach of click-to-place prefab structures, but I respect it. The whole idea of building your own base is now its own puzzle that requires advance planning, and I've spent basically my entire playtime in the game so far engineering modern marvels and then lecturing my friends when they interrupt my Lunch atop a Skyscraper moments by demonstrating their poor understanding of terminology any 5-year-old would know 💅
There aren't any robust physics calculations happening, but the removal of blueprints for custom buildings means that you'll develop an appreciation for even slightly large structures and will take way more psychic damage IRL when some graceless goober manages to knock them down. Any friend who plays these #EarlyAccess #Survival #Crafting games for the base building will get sucked into this like quicksand, developing a terrifying fervor for the proper procedures of placing struts/supporting beams in order to reclaim the materials later.

It's easy to forget what Steam was like ten years ago, even if you were there. Steam was still using the Greenlight program at this point, requiring that indie developers beg the Steam community for votes to improve their chances of being manually approved by Valve for sale on the platform. While the selection would start improving rapidly in the next couple years, I bring this up because I think Payday 1 benefited tremendously from the platform's limited catalog. If you were shopping for something like Payday, there wasn't anything else on Steam that would scratch that itch. It's easy to feel like Payday: The Heist got much more attention in 2011 than it would today, given that it's essentially a bunch of heist movie references stapled onto Left 4 Dead. Hell, one of the most popular levels from the original game is a Left 4 Dead level.
The sequel attempts to become more than that, to be its own game and improve upon the parts of Payday 1 that resonated the most with players. I started a job at a local grocery store the day before Payday 2 released, and I bought it immediately after they handed me a paycheck - and I was happy! The small selection of launch heists felt a little too "safe", but everything else was a massive improvement when it came to creating a personal connection with the game. Customize your own masks, your guns, the skills you want to take (separate from the heister you picked!) and play some heists in actual, real stealth.
This is not the game Payday 2 is today.
Ten years of updates has rendered the game horrifically bloated, each update adding new heists, heisters, masks, gameplay systems, cosmetic systems, progession systems, currencies, balance changes, enemy types, ammo types, melee weapons, weapon mods, grenades, and an arsenal of guns so large that I can't really think of anything outside of H3VR that beats it. The only way you can keep up is by being an early adopter, because the onboarding process for Payday 2 nowadays mostly relies on having a friend that will drag you through 2-5 hours of heisting before you start to understand how all the moving pieces fit together.
Many of the community's running jokes about the game's more unwieldy elements have a basis in reality as well. Yes, it "runs on a racing game engine" in the same way that DotA 2 can trace its lineage to Quake's engine. Yes, it's a "bag-throwing/drill-repair simulator". Overkill Software realized that the most popular heists in Payday 1 asked players to manage some other resource and introduced bags of loot that the cops can reclaim from inattentive players. This loop has been repeated in basically every mission since Payday 2's release, and while I think you could criticize this for being a lazy way to add gameplay to missions that should be radically different, in my experience the players of Payday 2 tend to feel like they haven't really done a mission if they're not managing some kind of tangible loot.
If you can sift through all the nonsense, though, the game has its allure. Payday 2's gameplay - in its current form - is about putting together a "build" with skills, weapons, and perk decks that synergize so you can clear some of the more sadistic content in the game. However, if you're playing on difficulties for people that leave the house, the possibilities open up a lot more and the game's variety really shines. Run a melee build, run a "summoner" build that uses turrets and converted cops to fight for you, sprint around the level at light speed using a shotgun to light everyone on fire. It's all fine, but it really takes off when you're playing this with a friend or three and all of you are engaging with these systems at the same time. Sprinting over to a teammate to revive them with a shout, keeping a lookout while they answer a guard's pager to maintain stealth - while some games are better at actively encouraging teamwork, each mission completed in Payday 2 feels like a bonding exercise through the little ways you're constantly looking out for each other.
So sure, you could play Payday 2 with bots, but even if they improved the lackluster AI you'd find that the game loses a lot of its magic. The game is at its worst when it's not doing anything to encourage collaboration (this is where that "drill repair simulator" joke comes from), but the reason it's still in Steam's Top 25 by concurrent players is because the rest of the game gets it right. Despite all the updates and the bloat, the allure of Payday 2 remains the same since its release: It retains the best parts of Left 4 Dead as a game bundled with a social space, letting you shoot the shit with friends or strangers in a purely cooperative environment, wordlessly providing assistance in the form of a trigger pull as you remove the helmets from an army of cops.
The good news is that - based on presently available information - Overkill's vision for Payday 3 involves trimming the fat and bringing the Payday formula back to a more reasonable place. While I'm happy to see that they're removing concealment stats and perk decks, it feels a little bittersweet. I've spent just under half my life with the Payday games at this point, and it stings a bit to see the sun setting on the game that dominated most of those years. All I want is for Overkill to share my understanding of this game's value, and to continue creating games in which people can form friendships lasting more than a decade. They seem to understand what the community wants, let's hope they stick the landing.

I just can't say that this is any better than the demo I played years ago. Sure, it scratches a particular kind of high-octane violence porn FPS itch that's pretty rare these days, but what does that really count for? While sliding and landing headshots feel great, there's no connective tissue here at all. Even if you're willing to accept that the story is a no-show, the mechanics of combat are tuned in such a way that the end product is little more than an aim trainer.
Stealth options are completely useless, stamina is strictly an annoyance, and anything that isn't a headshot may as well be a light breeze. I just... a game that looks like this should not be putting me to sleep, but I need something, anything to chew on. Humor me! Pretend that there's something more than a slo-mo button and a DOOM soundtrack and a reference to the Backrooms. If you can't do that, I'm just going to play Severed Steel instead.

I genuinely haven't found anything that scratches the same itch this game does. Ultimately it's very similar to a MOBA (no wait where are you going) in that you've got ultimate control over a single, small entity trying to exert individual influence amidst your team's broader strategy - gaining vision, exerting map control, positioning around objectives. In actuality, though, this is so much slower than any MOBA I've played, and it's brilliantly tense as a result. When turning your ship, turning your guns, and reloading each take between 3-30 seconds, you feel the full weight of committing to each action. If you don't, you die to someone who does.
As a result it feels so much better to play than a World of Tanks or a War Thunder, games where you're not really forced to make decisions, where you can just show up to a battle and play chicken with your enemies over and over without really thinking that you've done anything wrong. Sure, the community is still under the impression that there are pay-to-win ships that let you turn your brain off, but the reality is that - at the average person's skill level - you can style on any $30 premium ship by using your brain a little.
And you really get to savor it when you outsmart someone, too. In part, this is due to the pace: If someone positions poorly, you'll get plenty of time to line up a clean shot. Fire torpedoes around an island and watch as an enemy player scrambles desperately to dodge them before losing a massive chunk of their health bar. You'd think all of this would mean that the enemy player is having an awful time, but it's much better than you'd expect. That slow pace often means that very few scenarios feel like certain death - there's a lot of room to wiggle yourself out of any bad situation unless you've REALLY messed up.
But the feedback? The player feedback tho? Incredible. In a game that's mostly pretty quiet, any sound will be attention grabbing, but World of Warships tries to earn that attention anyway by making sure that every salvo leaving your guns sounds like a peal of thunder, that every torpedo dodged ratchets the tension up five- or ten-fold as the alarms grow increasingly shrill, only so you can breathe a sigh of relief as they fade into silence again. Each shot that lands is rewarded with a ribbon and a brief but subtle sound effect, with truly damaging hits often decorating your screen with an entire rainbow as the opponent's ears are left ringing. To say you'll be "immersed" in a game where your camera floats hundreds of meters above the era's largest ships sounds like fiction, but any WoWS player can tell you what it feels like to stare a laser through their monitor as they dodge a torpedo by a hair's breadth - it's absolutely thrilling.