My Maus beats your IS-7. A World of Tanks review.

 

World of tanks logo
World War 2 was known for a lot of things. One of them, was tanks. I would lie if I said World of Tanks is not about tanks. But the important part is, it’s all about tanks. Perhaps it is not the first to go on the band-wagon of games about tanks, and it is not the first MMO concerning itself with the topic, but it is the first, I feel, to do it properly.

You start off in… baby tanks.As far as beginnings go, thus far there are three factions (US, Axis and Soviet Union) with a fourth incoming soon (French) and when you start off an account you get the most basic tanks for each faction. The M1 Cunningham for the Americans, the MS-1 for the Soviets and the Leichtraktor (also known as Loltraktor) for the Axis. They are the tanks that essentially let you discover the game through online games. How to use the controls, fire, switch between ammo types, how does research work, and how you advance through different tank tiers. Your first battles will be against other “Low Tier” tanks so you do not have to fear a battle against the Tiger Tanks or any other WW2 legend. At least, not yet.

World of Tanks

Your Garage. Below are the “Slots” for your tanks, on the left the crew of your current tank (and their experience) and on the right all the stats for your tank.

The matches are all team matches. When you want to play a game you pick a tank from your garage then press the big red button “Start Game”. Within moments you are in your first game! It might all be very confusing at first but in the end dirty simple. You can win the game (or lose it) in two ways. Either team is entirely destroyed, or the enemy base is capped. The Enemy base is clearly marked with a flag and white circle which indicates how big it is, and where it is. In order to cap a base you or your teammates have to sit in the circle until the green bar fills up. The enemy, if they damage any of the capping tanks then all the “Cap” the damaged tank pulled off gets zeroed. It should be noted, that the teams are not divided according to Nations. It is more than likely you will see US, Soviet and Axis tanks on the same team.

After the battle, comes the Battle Report. If you stayed in the game, after your tank was destroyed or survived till the end you will see the overall game statistics as well as your own “Record” on how many tanks you damaged, destroyed or detected first. You will be told how many credits/xp you earned and how much did the tank repairs cost you. Once you arrive back in your garage you will be able to see also how much did ammo replacement cost you (at first, there will be no cost). Credits are spent on a number of things (except ammo and repairs). As you gain experience you will be able to research new modules for your tank, such as a better Radio, Tracks, Engine, Gun or Turret, eventually allowing you to research higher “tier” tanks. In order to buy these upgrades or a new tank you need credits. Yes, this does make the game feel grindy, being an MMO. But on the other hand, whichever tank you play you can have a lot of fun. I always got the same amount of satisfaction whether I destroyed my fellow “Traktors” or when I destroyed much more powerful tanks with my Tiger I.
World of Tanks

Here you can see my “achievements” for the just-won game. The reason why I got Double Experience is because every first won battle of the day (per tank) grants double xp!

Decisions, decisions… Aside from having a choice between three faction, you also have the choice between different tank lines. Aside from tanks there are also Tank Destroyers and Self-Propelled-Guns (Artillery). There is also usually a tank line for Medium Tanks and Heavy Tanks (so you can have a high level Medium or a High Level Heavy tank). It should be noted however that there are plenty of tanks that never existed during WW2, or existed only in drafts or came only to the prototype stage. So for example, one of the final Axis tanks is the Maus, for the Soviets there is the IS-7, and so on. It is a very long road before you get there however, and some would say, that is not a bad thing! The higher the tier of the tank the more expensive its repairs and ammo. That is why a lot of players always keep a lower tier tank handy to get back some of the lost credits with your “Super-Tank”.

You have the option of buying gold. Gold is essentially the in-game currency for all premium content. This includes special Premium Tanks. These cannot be modified, but you also do not have to be bothered with research. Furthermore their costs in repairs and ammo are way lower when compared to other tanks. They are essentially “Money Earners”. You can also buy Premium ammo to preety much any of your tanks with much better penetration and damage. There are also special consumables which you can buy with gold, but which have to be renewed each time they are used. Lastly, gold allows you to buy fully trained crew members for your tank, change “Tank Experience” into “Free Experience” (a shared experience pool) or buy yourself “Premium” for a limited time, increasing your “money” and experience gain… you also get a nifty garage to keep your tanks in.
World of Tanks

Whichever tank you drive, when you get a drop on the enemy tank like I did here you will not stop smiling to yourself, even if the battle would be lost!

Although World of Tanks feels like an arcade game there is much more to it. There are a lot of semi-realistic aspects to any tanks battle. The use of bushes to hide your tank, how you angle your tank to deflect enemy shots, where do enemy tanks have weak spots. There is a lot more to this game than just driving around and firing off randomly at anything you see. At first you might only get a bare understanding of what this all means but as you steadily progress through the tanks you will learn more of the different “rules” within the game.

So overall, is this worth your time? I would say, that if you enjoy WW2 and tanks this is most definitely a game for you. This is of course not some sort of “fully realistic” WW2 tank battle simulator, but it is highly enjoyable, and since the matches will at most last for 15 minutes it is a mildly fun game to play when you have a bit of free time, or a whole day. Of course, the game is constantly being upgraded, developed and tweaked for bugs. One of the most common problems (apparently) these days is the Artillery which annoys the lolcat out of everybody and random team allocation for matches (which some say is unfair or goes “bonkers” once in a while). Since the game is free, and even without Premium Gold you can have a very relaxing time it is definitely worth your time. The Launcher updates itself each time you turn it on, so the only thing you have to do is go on the main site and download the client, while you register!

Alex “WriterX” Bielski

Rating:9/10
Pros:A whole lot of fun!
A mix of light-realism with Arcade
Wide choice of tanks and classes
Even more tanks to come!
FREE!
Cons:Grindy, unfortunately
Still in need of some tweaking
Game producer's website:Wargaming.net
Official website:World of Tanks
Game available at:

About The Author

Aleksander "WriterX" Bielski
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Student of Psychology, he was identified as a Nut-Job even before he started the course. Having done some small work as a Modder for a number of titles, and worked as a Game Designer part-time, Alex now writes in third person. As Co-Owner and Editor of AlterGamer.com he aims high, while being armed only with a sling. In the future, he hopes to become a fully qualified Newspaper Editor, and purchase Google.

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