Ever dreamed of driving a 50 ton hunk of metal and blasting explosives at your enemies? Have you ever dreamed of charging at them and bashing down anything that gets in your path? Well, I have found a game tailor made just for you, you crazy meat-heads. World of Tanks in an immersive multi-player tank simulator bought to us by Wargaming that takes a stab at the often overlooked aspect of World War II tank battles. We will be seeing World of Planes and World of Boats coming our way soon as well, but for now let me concentrate on this beast of a game.
I love tanks myself, I love the way that they seem so invincible. We watch them on TV and all we see are big explosions and hunks of metal and shrapnel flying around. Being a bloke, one of our favourite things are explosions; it’s in our blood and we love it. I would love to drive a tank for real, years ago I was lucky enough to get a ride in one and it was awesome. I want to buy one, but they are slightly out of my price range and I am not sure I could get one taxed and insured for the road. Wargaming have bought us a simple to play, yet exciting type of MMO. The great news: it’s available in a free-to-play version. However, of course, it has a subscription service too where you can pay to have faster access to all the goodies, like newer, stronger tanks and add-ons etc.
Ok, so the first thing you notice upon loading the game is the main hanger area, this is where you are faced with deciding which tank you wish to use in the battle ahead, what type of ammo you wish to load up and how many crew members you will take along for the ride. This all costs gold that is collected by participating in online battles or, if you take the easy way, by simply buying extra gold.
I quite like the choices here, as if you want to play the game you could pretty much play for free. The only downside of that route is you will find it pretty tough to blow people up that have paid for gold to gain faster and stronger tanks quicker. It can be done, but I recommend you buy extra gold as needed as once you have a tank you like that is done up to the max it can be pretty lethal. From this main screen you can play as a team with any friends that you have joined up with and battle against other teams or just jump straight into a battle and play solo. As none of my friends have this game yet, this is the option I chose to play.
Once you load a game and you sit there ready to fight you are faced with vast open battle areas which vary from the open flat fields of no-man’s land to small, tight, compact town areas with crumbling buildings around you. The controls are simple you can zoom in and out using your mouse wheel and use the left mouse button to fire your weapons and the right button to auto-aim at enemy tanks. You use the keyboard to move around and that’s pretty much it. It’s really simple, yet really addictive. After only playing for five minutes I was soon getting a few kills. This game is pretty much a point and shoot game with the only hard decisions being which tank to upgrade to or what upgrades to purchase for your next battle.
The graphics are pretty nice to. They are nothing spectacular to write home about, but they are enough to give you the idea of what it’s like to be moving around in a tin box on wheels. The only thing that I noticed that loses this game some credits was the fact that not all the scenery is destructible, you can destroy many items by shooting at them or running them over, however, one strange example is if you shoot at the side of a brick wall you would expect in real life that was to be destroyed, in World of Tanks quite often nothing happens. So the idea of strategically creeping up behind a building on an enemy to blow a hole through the wall then the enemy tank is not possible. This is slightly odd as with modern games this is easily possible and I do wonder why Wargaming could not have implemented this and made the game that much more realistic.
The final questions is, do you rush out and either download this game for some free-to-play fun or purchase a boxed retail version that includes a nice and powerful starting tank? My answer would be both, if you love tanks and know all the names of them the game seems to have quite a few (of which I knew virtually none of them to begin with) and I would recommend you buy the retail boxed version for the extra goodies you get. This gives you a good head start against the free to play version.
Overall, I loved this game and it was a nice surprise with so few decent tank games coming out nowadays it was refreshing to find this was actually a very enjoyable game. It’s well worth those pennies and you can’t go wrong. I can’t wait now to see what the other two titles from these guys will be like.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Gameplay - /10
Graphics - /10
Sound - /10
Replay Value - /10