Whether fighting on the frontlines in a heavily armored MBT or causing havoc from the back in a tactical artillery vehicle or finding someplace in-between one can always find their place of enjoyment in Armored Warfare. Set in the modern world, players find themselves either playing the role of a mercenary making his way into the world in Armored Warfare’s notable PVE environment or making the difference in immersive PVP settings. When ready to go even the most casual players can dive right in with a simple WASD movement controls and a point-and-shoot mechanics; unique maps, tanks, and tactics however it also keeps even the most hardcore gamers engaged in the action.
Similar to its biggest competitor and predecessor World of Tanks, each player starts out with a personal “garage” and two starter tanks. From here the player can look at possible upgrades and retrofits for their selected vehicle, look at the two currently available dealer trees, customize their “base”, look at their dossier, choose to create or join a battalion, or hop right into their first battle as a PVP or PVE tanker. The most original idea being the “base”; simply put it is a players own customizable buff-station. By using the 100 free “raw-materials” given to the player on a daily basis he or she could choose to purchase buildings which would increase the rate crewman earn experience, cut premium costs, or even cut the repair cost for a tank!
As for the dealer trees, Armored Warfare took an inventive spin on typical progression trees by allowing players to change their mind at the end of a tree instead of forcing a player who realized a certain role isn’t their style abandon their work and completely restart their progression on another tree. How does this work? Simple, currently the trees are set up in a tier system of 1 through 9 (similar to other progression trees the lower numbers are generally needed to be unlocked before the higher) for each vehicle type other then artillery. However the big twist comes into effect between tiers 8 and 9. After becoming renowned (completely maxing out the experience needed to advance to the next tier) with a vehicle, instead of simply continuing down the progression, the player can redeem one “tier 9 unlock” which allows the player to research and purchase any tier 9 from the same dealer without specifically having to complete the vehicles tree.
Sadly Armored Warfare is close to identical to its competitors when it comes to vehicle customization. In the actual garage tab the player is able to change a selected vehicles ammo type, consumables (such as repair kits to fix damaged modules), retrofits (such as intercom systems to boost crew skills), and some aesthetic options such as decals and paints. The distinctive portion comes in the way the crew members work. Unlike other games in the same genre, Armored Warfare not only has a set crew for a specific tank that provides set bonuses but it also has a commander with unique attributes that can transfer from tank to tank. These commanders are both given to the player at his or her first launch of the game and can be unlocked through dealer progression trees. Another slight difference is when you select the upgrade tab for a specific tank. Although it resembles World of Tanks in its module progression it has a slightly different experience bar. Instead of simply getting to 100% completion and being able to move onto the next tank, Armored Warfare also has tank exclusive unlocks that can be researched after reaching 50% of the total progression on a chosen tank (such as the commanders that were mentioned earlier)
Last but not least are the dossier and battalion tab. In comparison to similar games Armored Warfare has the same basic dossier (statistics page) layout with a slightly different format which allows the viewing of certain stats in graphic form. As far as the battalion is concerned from the looks of it – it is just a standard clan layout but because I have not experimented with it I cannot say with 100% certainty.
When inside the game, be it PVP or PVE, Armored Warfare isn’t much different from any other game. The main objectives consist of either destroying all enemy vehicles or capturing and securing a specified point. Nevertheless it still does have its differences. When playing an artillery class a player’s attention is increasingly brought to counter battery as a large indicator on the players minimap occurs to opposing artillery upon firing as well as a set sound alert. If you are in any other form of tank and you are fired at by an opposing artillery a large text indicator will appear to warn the player of an incoming artillery shell. Also artillery get two special shell types: smoke shells and illumination flairs. The smoke shells can be placed between a spotter and a specified target to cover the advance or retreat of an ally. Likewise, an illumination flare can be shot to bring vision of any target within a certain radius underneath it to the entire allied team.
Another big part that sets Armored Warfare apart is its ability system for both scout and tank destroyer type vehicles as well as specific MBTs. When playing a scout vehicle (whether it is a recon or a fire support type) by default your “E” key will trigger one of a few specific abilities. These range from marking a target (force lighting them even if they go out of view as well as guaranteeing max pen rolls) to decreasing terrain resistance for a short period of time. Some of the fire support type scout vehicles even get rockets which are medium pen high damage guided missiles. The tank destroyers’ ability is very beneficial as well; upon activation a TD can fire three shots from the same position and only lose a small percentage of their camo rating. Lastly certain MBT’s come with the ability to launch smoke shells a small distance in front of their turret which would act in the same way as artillery’s smoke shells upon landing. Along with this some MBT’s unlock a active protection system which, while active, can shoot down incoming heat and missile rounds (artillery not included).
Armored Warfare is a fun and easily immersive MMO tank shooter with competitive graphics and some unique gameplay mechanics and whether you are new to the genre or an experienced tanker you are likely to enjoy its style.