World of Tanks Xbox 360 Edition Preview
Prepare for battle!
by Jayden Perry
World of Tanks has been a huge success for developers Wargaming.Net since it’s launch in 2011, making it’s eSports debut in 2012. Since then it has amassed quite the following, and will see an Xbox 360 launch in late 2013. It is currently in the Beta testing phase, which I was able to have a good go of to get a feel for the game. The game is free to play, but has paid components to it also, such as resources and consumables packs.
Upon loading up and updating the Beta client you are taken to your garage, the hub of the game. From here, you can buy and customise tanks (including purchasing items with real currency in the store), tweak your settings and jump right into a battle.
Before we head straight into a match against real players, people new to the game like myself should stop off at the tutorial first to get a grip on the game. I found the tutorial to be rather helpful, it’s simple but will have you handling your tank like a pro in a matter of minutes.
After you’ve had your fun learning the controls and blowing up the AI tanks, it’s time to take the challenge to a whole new level, taking on real people’s vastly customised tanks in a battle scenario!
Tank customisation is quite interesting in World of Tanks. The amount of choices and detail of the tank parts you can choose from is immense, allowing you to change packages, weapons, ammunition, camouflage and even the decals on your own tank. It was quite a fun experience to buy a new tank, mod it, then take it out on the battlefield to test it out, you really can make the tank your own.
Upon selecting the “Battle” button you’ll be matched to a lobby quickly, which is always impressive for a Beta. Your tank appears on the battlefield and, in quite a satisfying manner, soon roars to life. You’re ready to take on the enemy team.
The basic idea in the battle scenario is to win by either destroying all the enemy tanks, or to occupy the enemy base. Depending on your team mates and enemies, your goal can change depending on how you play as a team.
After several matches I found that, aside from the few super skilled players, most people in-game were killable, and killed you in turn. It didn’t feel too unbalanced even with the paid buffs and upgrades, and the simple battle mode was quite enjoyable.
The user interface in the menus and heads up display on the battlefield is quite simple and un-obstructive. In battle you get a speedometer with a schematic of your tank, a bar displaying your ammo and weapons, and a mini-map. The basic scoreboard sits at the top as usual, showing team vs team kills.
The map in-game is surprisingly large, with plenty of routes to explore and tactical assets to use to get a leg up on the enemy team. The use of cover, bushes and smart maneuvering really work to turn the tide of the battle when it comes down to the line. For a Beta, the scale is rather ambitious, but well realised.
The graphics, whilst good, do not entirely match up to some of the games we’ve seen recently, but since World of Tanks is only in Beta it’s not really that big a factor. I can assume that when the game ships we’ll see a higher level of polish and detail than what is presented here, which is still by no means bad-looking.
The control scheme is another plus for this game. People who don’t like using a keyboard, or find some control schemes complex can rest easy, World of Tanks manages to have a nice and simple control layout, whilst still maintaining the core complexities and strategies of the game’s original PC controls.
Seeing as this game has made the jump from PC to consoles, you can expect some of the power and intricacies to be lost, moving from a system more powerful with many more options for customising and optimising. I would say that this still is quite a successful version of the game that will hopefully introduce new people to the rapidly growing eSport title it has become. Hopefully, provided that the Xbox 360 version is successful enough, we could see an Xbox One version in the not too distant future.
With World of Tanks Xbox 360 Edition, Wargaming.Net have managed to port their incredibly successful title over to console quite well, allowing people who may not have played it before to jump in and be involved in it. I really enjoyed my time in the Beta, and after not having too much experience with the PC version, I can say that I’m eagerly waiting to play the full edition when it launches in the near future!
For more on World of Tanks Xbox 360 Edition check out their homepage, with all Beta updates, here!
©2013 Jayden Perry