Categories: tank games
Belarusian online tank game that features the duels between two teams of tanks, tank destroyers and self-propelled guns. Although it is tank game, it isnít simulation, rather an action shooter that gives the players chance to control the historical tanks from as early as World War I up to late 1960s and 1970s. The basic mode of the game is "random battle", which means that match-making engine takes random users from queue and sets them up in two teams on random map. All the vehicles available in the game are split into tiers from 1 to 10, where tier 1 are early tanks (f.e. Renault FT 17, Leichttraktor), while tier 10 are heavy tanks from mid 20th century. In random battles the vehicles are chosen from 3 tiers, f.e. 1 to 3, 3 to 5, 2 to 4, etc. which gives some chances to even the poorer designs. Self-propelled guns have different role during the battles - their users have option of top-down view on the battlefield, so they can attack targets, spotted by the tanks, while being far from the frontline.
Maps are various - from open spaced vast fields to narrow streets of the cities, but most of them are rather similar to each other and make very little difference to battles. The tanks are historical constructions, which gives a chance to see how different they were, what were their strong and weak points. At least that is how it was at the beginning of World of Tanks - with time the commercial side of the project killed the spirit of the historical game and more and more of not historically accurate projects were available, usually as premium tanks. Why is that a problem? Soviet and German technology trees are full of tanks that were widely used before, during and after World War 2, but at the same time there are a lot of prototypes, designs that never made it to tests phase or in some cases even ideas for the tank that were never considered to be used. It would be fine, but tank that was used in battles has proved his weak and strong points, while those projects, which only were f.e. in form of blueprints, never entered the production, never saw any action, so we have the idealistic image of them - not how they were, but how they could have been if they were ever made. The best example is a Japanese super tank O-I, that was only rumoured to have reached the prototype stage, in World of Tanks is very well protected and well armed. At the same time Japanese did not have materials to build good tanks during World War 2, so all the parameters of O-I in World of Tanks are made up and have no comfirmation in any historical data.
Another problem is the mentioned match-making engine that puts together the tanks from different tiers to set up team and the tiers themselves - some of the tanks were put too low or too high on the technology trees, f.e. M4 Sherman is put in tier 5 together with T-34 and Panzer IV, which is fine, they were close. But in the same tier we have KV-1 (much heavier and far better when it comes to armor and weapon), Churchill tank (very heavy, good armor), AT 2 British tank destroyer (only planned, never built) that is almost immune to shells from other tier 5 tanks, or AMX ELC Bis (French light tank prototype from 1955). So, to put it in another words in random battle you can end up in tank from early 1930s facing enemy in tank prototype from 1950s (or even later), which is frustrating, especially when enemy is using premium tank that is "spiced up" version of historical tank.
Overall it is interesting tank game, definitely not simulation, there is no tactics involved, not much options you have during the battle - some of them are called "seal clubbing" (like Mittengard) since there is no space to manouver, just who will shoot first or have better armor will win. Some of the maps were rather good, but as most of the game elements with time they were "improved" (which means spoiled), made "more special" (which means not available for free players). What started as interesting tank game with elements of historical battles has now turned into money-making scheme, where premium tanks (that you have to pay for) are far superior to those available for free. That would be understandable if at the same time the regular or historical tanks would not be "slightly changed" (which means spoiled) or "made more competitive" (which means spoiled). Example? Hotchkiss H35 was one of the best tanks in lower tiers due to great armor (historically accurate), but at the same time slow and rather poorly armed (again historically accurate) - due to one of the updates H35 was tweaked a little bit to make it more fair for other tanks (so not historically accurate anymore) and from that point the armor is less efficient. At the same time Pz.Kpfw. 38H 735 (f) premium tank was available, which is the German version of this tank (after invasion of France Germans have acquired a lot of those tanks) and in that version the armor is much better (again historically not accurate since Germans never changed the armor).
Strong points: plenty of historical tanks, options to slightly modify the tanks, sometimes the battle are quite entertaining, but it is up to the players you will end up with.
Weak points: plenty of made up tanks, premium options give huge advantage, too much pressure on players to spend money (like removing maps), changes made during updates usually are for worse, match-making that can put you in battle in which you canít even scratch most of the enemies.