World of Tanks Review
by Sean Shore
Brought to you by wargaming.net, World of Tanks is a 3rd person shooter where players are thrown against each other in World War 2 style tank battles. World of tanks brings with it great graphics, customisation and simplicity in gameplay. While WoT boasts historical accuracy with its 150 tanks being taken from the 1930 —œ 1950s era, but yet they have managed to add that extra bit of “awesome” to make it that much better.
Once logged into the game the player is given two/three battle ready tanks one from each nation, a Soviet MS-1 from Russia, a Leichttraktor from Nazi Germany and a T1 Cunningham from USA, with France, UK and Japan being added at a later date. These tanks are pretty poor and struggle to put up a fight, but allow the player to learn the ins and outs of the game and to gain some experience. There also isn’t a tutorial to play before hand so players are thrown right into the action, via a big red button.
All matches involve up to 30 players with 15 players on each side, the most common game mode is deathmatch where players are automatically assigned a team before each round. Along with deathmatch, there is also Capture the Flag and clan deathmatch. Usually though newer players will find themselves joining the standard deathmatch. Newbie players may find this extremely frustrating when they first start due to the effort that world of tanks makes to keep its realism, this means that teamplay is essential with the use of terrain is vital to staying alive.
World of tanks have made sure that they have reached the middle ground between making a tank easy to control while adding in-depth customisation. Tanks are control with the keyboard using WASD keys while the turret is controlled by the mouse, there is also movement with the crosshairs where depending on the action of the player, they shrink or expand. So when stationary the crosshairs shrink, therefore making it more practical and accurate to fire. There are a number of maps that a randomly chosen, these are large enough to allow player to make your way around and ambushes to be setup etc but small enough that it isn’t feasible to get from end to end. The match ends once all tanks on one side are wiped out or a team manages to capture the others base. Once the players’ tank is destroyed, that player must watch from other tanks PoV until the round ends due to there being no respawns, but a player can start a new match.
Once a round has ended, the player is rewarded with experience points and credits, the amount depending on the outcome of the match. Credits are the currency in-game and can be used to purchase new tanks, upgrades or extra crew members. Each nation has its own tech tree where items must be researched before they can be bought and installed on a tank, therefore it is good practise to stick to one nation rather than spread your points to access the larger and more powerful tanks quicker. The player is given a choice over which parts can be upgraded these include, turret, engine and tracks, each one affecting the performance of that tank.
Along with tanks and parts that need purchasing the player must recruit crew members, which come under five categories, commander, loader, driver, gunner and radio operator, with each one for a specific job. With each match the crew gain experience and become more effective, each crew member has its own specific assignment with the loader responsible for the cool down time between shots, the driver speed, turning angles and acceleration, the radio operator for maintaining contact with allied tanks, the gunner responsible for aiming and firing and the commander being able to spot enemy vehicles. Along with crew there are also different ammo types with each one giving different damage and reloads times, and as its realistic players must restock ammo after each round.
While this game can be extremely enjoyable it also has its faults, this can be seen in matches where artillery can destroy your tanks from afar and stay hidden from you. Also due to the popularity of the game it is hard to join a game with friends due to each lobby being filled up quickly. New players are also the losers in this game due to the first tanks being so easy to destroy; deaths can quickly become a common occurrence without gaining many kills, although the game does help by putting people with the same tier tanks in a match. Also while it was good to see three major nations, it would have been good to see some from the British or Italians.
World of Tanks represents a huge leap in free-to-play gaming with it incorporating some many other aspects of MMO genres; while it is a action-based MMO, it has many characteristics of RPG, through need to upgrade and research developments. Shooter, where the player can choose to either have a third person view or have a sniper view and see right down the barrel and finally strategy, where teamwork and battle plans are needed to survive.
This game has topped my games to play this year with amazing graphics and intense gameplay all stuffed into a small client; this has to be added to yours too.