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World of Tanks Xbox 360
I would have gotten more enjoyment out of World of Tanks if the learning curve was a little more gradual. Unfortunately, the game throws you into the fray with about as much wartime knowledge as Maxwell Klinger. This is certain to minimally frustrate even the most seasoned gamer. ~Eric Hollis
There’s something about reviewing a free-to-play game that makes me feel extremely ungrateful. I’d never complain about a free lunch, or a mercy hand job, so I certainly have no room to complain about a free game, right? Wrong. But at least World of Tanks doesn’t feel like either a free-to-play crapfestival or a micro transactional grind, both of which make it an extremely refreshing and pleasant change, especially on the 360.
If you love blowing up tanks with other tanks, you couldn’t ask for a better game. While the content is a little dumbed down from the PC version, you still can choose between multiple vehicles from American, German, and British stables. Upgrading said vehicles can become a chunky grind. Even if you are willing to throw down real cash for a new ride, you still have to play multiple matches with each vehicle to move to the next tier. The higher-level beasts will take most players weeks to obtain, and that’s with a lot of dedication and perseverance. One hundred plus hours of gametime that cost absolutely zero is nothing to scoff at, especially when you aren’t getting something that feels even close to a budget title. Hell, I’ve played tons of sixty-dollar games that, by comparison, should be ashamed they charged at all.
The premise of World of Tanks is simple—it’s a third-person shooter that uses tanks instead of soldiers. Players participate in large 15 on 15 battles that involve either capturing a base or annihilating the enemy team. The seven included maps represent varied terrain. Fortunately this concept works very well. As far as control, besides a few tweak to the aiming, if you’ve ever played Battlefield, you’ve already learned everything about the actual controls you need to know. There’s also a very brief tutorial that explains how to traverse the map. Unfortunately, map use is about all that is explained, which led to my biggest frustrations with this title.
The biggest problem with the game is the sheer lack of critical information. Nothing is ever explained in detail, with the exception of a few scant loading screens. Armed with only minimal quality instruction, I felt extremely over my head during almost every match. Why do tanks disappear off the map at random? Why do my shots immobilize enemy players as often as they do no damage whatsoever? Why can I crush some objects like aluminum cans yet others stop me dead on my treads? I would have gotten more enjoyment out of World of Tanks if the learning curve was a little more gradual. Unfortunately, the game throws you into the fray with about as much wartime knowledge as Maxwell Klinger. This is certain to minimally frustrate even the most seasoned gamer.
My other issue is the rhythm of gameplay. In World of Tanks you never respawn in the match; death is always permanent. With that, hastiness in battle never proved to be an intelligent option. (Trust me, I tried the old bum rush the enemy base play.) This kind of mortality causes the player to think more fully about strategic methods, which is fine, but lasting death also means that even the most minor mistake will force you to stare at another player’s screen while waiting for the next match to start. Thankfully, there is no penalty for quitting a match early, but an early exit hinders the chance to make friends and talk trash at length with other Tankers, two activities that are crucial not only to shooters but to online gaming in general. Some of the matches also felt extremely unbalanced, but this was probably due to the fact that I was absolutely garbagedick at the game. Simply put, I never felt like I figured out how to play well enough to enjoy myself.
Unfortunately I couldn’t get into World of Tanks, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least give it a try. If you really want to get into the vast community that WarGaming has created, my research tells me that the PC version is a lot more substantial and developed than the version I played on 360.