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World of Tanks has been turning a lot of heads as of late for its unique premise, accessibility, and the fact that everyone likes tanks. I got a chance to sit down with the people at Russian-based wargaming.net and got a hands-on experience with the title that took GDC Russia, just to see what all the excitement is about.

The main thing I noticed is its pick-up-and-play aspect. With World of Tanks, you can easily pick your choice of tank and go straight into a battle without having to browse around for a lobby to play in. Matches are also fairly quick, meaning that you don’t have to spend long periods of time in a single battle. If you want to just be able to get in, do a quick round, and get out before you head to work, that is absolutely possible. Even better, if you do happen to get wrecked during a course of a fight, you can opt to go straight back to the garage, and your tank will still be in the battle, during which, you can queue up another one of your tanks for a different round, or just mess with the various customization options available while you wait. Either way, once that battle is over, you’ll get your appropriate awards automatically, without having to sit through the usual stats screen.

Each tank also has its own unique characteristics. Light tanks are extremely mobile, but are also very fragile, while heavy tanks are behemoths but move as slow as molasses. There’s even a sniper class of tanks for those who prefer attacking from even farther away. With so many different tank models at your disposal, all with different characteristics, modable parts, and even some region specific extras, you’ll definitely be able to find one that suits your playstyle.

 

 

My personal guide took me into an actual game, using one of the sniper tanks, the one that had piqued my interest the most, to show me how it worked. Playing one of these tanks meant having to hide yourself away in an appropriate spot, since they’re especially fragile in direct combat. I also took note of two unique systems in place to keep it from being too powerful. While you get a bird’s eye view of the entire map in scope mode, you can’t see all of your enemy tanks at one time. You have to rely on your teammates to help show their position. Once you found a target, you’ll need to either get into an appropriate angle to shoot at them to avoid obstructions, or wait until they move away from their hiding place. The main problem I noticed is that it takes an especially long time between shots to reload, and it takes almost as long just for your accuracy meter to charge enough for a clean hit. Once all the correct variables align with each other, however, you can unleash a massive attack that will leave your target crippled, if not heavily damaged or outright destroyed. It’s a more relaxed playstyle compared to the other tanks, but it’s a handy one to have nonetheless, as long as you don’t mind your teammates stealing your kills often, which I witnessed plenty of while my guide played through the match.

The game is free to play, so if you’re looking for something a bit different, or are just a fan of tank-based warfare, then World of Tanks may be right up your alley.

Tags:
E3   World of Tanks   wargaming.net   MMO   hands-on  

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