Review

World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition

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World of Tanks: Xbox 360 edition is a port of the highly popular massively multiplayer online tank battle game featuring early to mid-20th century era fighting vehicles.

What You Need to Know

World of Tanks is a straightforward shooter but instead of running around on foot, players are battling it out in various fighting vehicles. The game is free-to-play for Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers (with a trial for free subscribers) and features an in-game currency (gold and silver coins) that can be purchased with real-life cash to unlock a fast-track option in the game.

Starting from ‘Tier 1,’ you slowly earn XP and coins to enable you to upgrade your tank/s and unlock additional units. Every vehicle possesses unique combat and manoeuvrability characteristics and are graded by ‘Tiers,’ separating the most powerful Tier 10 tanks from the world’s first (and softest) Tier 1 tanks.

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What’s New?

World of Tanks is a no-nonsense online tank shooter. Unlike other online battle simulators that include playable tanks (such as Battlefield), the vehicles in World of Tanks can be customised, upgraded and modified, and are all designed to fulfil a specific role within the battle group. Every battle in World of Tanks is frantic and tense, with the thrill of the engagement intensified by the fact that you only have one life (so you had better ‘tread’ lightly).

There are presently over a hundred authentic mid-20th century tanks, from British, American and German armoured vehicles, available in the game. Every vehicle falls into one of five ‘vehicle type’ categories (each requiring different battle tactics to maximise XP and increase your side’s chances of victory) as well as Tiers (which essentially level the playing field and avoid unfair match-ups).

What’s the Same?

In terms of free massively multiplayer online games available on Xbox LIVE, World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition pretty much corners the market at the moment and it could be considered by some as somewhat unfair to compare this free-to-play game with the big-budget blockbuster titles that feature a similar type of experience.

Having said that, however, rather than this comparison exposing any flaws in World of Tanks, it actually emphasises all the gaming value that World of Tanks has to offer given its free-to-play status.

The general battle tactics and multiple support roles within the game reminded me a lot of the Battlefield series. The rapid deployment and tactical engagements match the energy levels of a fully populated Battlefield clash and much like Battlefield, although you only have one life in World of Tanks, the temptation to throw yourself headfirst into the fray is still irresistibly there.

You’ll Enjoy World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition If You Liked…

… the Call of Duty series: Although there’s much less emphasis on vehicles and many more lives to encourage wave-after-wave-after-wave of confrontation, the head-to-head battles and tactical flanking manoeuvres are all there in World of Tanks.

… Battlefield online: Again, acknowledging that getting used to only have one life in World of Tanks takes time, the frantic pace of relentless and merciless head-to-head combat is prevalent in both games. Battlefield’s tank battles offer a very similar taste of what World of Tanks provides and if you enjoy driving a fighting vehicle in the Battlefield games, you’ll adapt very nicely to World of Tanks.

… Chromehounds: This old Xbox game had a lot of similarities in gameplay to World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition.



What I Liked

- 5.) Starting from Tier 1 and having to grind your way through to unlock Tier 2 and upwards is a rewarding experience. The great thing is, the Tiers are not just there to ensure that you play the game regularly to get further into it to unlock more tanks, but it’s used as a simple matchmaking feature to ensure you are never classed with much more superior tanks when in battle.

- 4.) The game is no-nonsense. You choose a tank, enter battle, and fight until your tank explodes. Then you either sit and watch the rest of the battle unfold or you return to the garage and pick another tank and go back into it with another battle. Quick and easy. Playing to your tank’s role or going Rambo is also entirely up to you.

- 3.) The myriad of over one hundred tanks and vehicles available is simply mind-blowing. The garage interface provides an opportunity to customise, upgrade and unlock vehicles on a massive scale. There is no limit to the choice of vehicles that you have at your disposal and the longevity of the game is guaranteed with even more vehicles and nations being delivered in the future.

- 2.) The nature of the one-life-per-round battles brings a stronger sense of self-preservation and a greater emphasis on tactical engagements. Even without being able to communicate with all of my team-mates, there’s an inherent willingness to work cohesively in battle. If you’re being drawn out into a head-to-head with a superior tank, you can bet that a team-mate is busy outflanking them to draw their attention away from you.

- 1.) The game is free! Totally, unequivocally, absolutely free and yet its production value is still very respectable and its enjoyment value is on full throttle.

Favourite Moment

There was a ‘Fast and Furious’ weekend where light tanks were rewarded double XP, so I decided to focus on my light tanks and scouting role.

Throwing my ‘YOLO’ philosophy into the enemy’s faces, I set my tank on full-speed-ahead straight across the open field and into the enemy’s base, spotting every enemy tank en route to their flag, where I subsequently spent the next minute circling their flag at a rapid pace, proving to be too difficult to shoot and distracting the entire enemy force long enough for my heavier buddies to close in and destroy them in the confusing mayhem that I had caused.

Hero of the day. Semper Fi.

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What I Didn’t Like

- 3.) Not being able to see your XP rewards from a battle once you’ve returned to the Garage. I understand it is not possible to award your XP until the battle ends but it would have been very useful to have a log of what your results were so you don’t have this uncertainty over how well you performed in the battle in terms of XP earned.

- 2.) Unless you have enough time to read all the instructions and watch all the videos, floundering about in the Garage can be an intimidating experience. Not being entirely sure of how you upgrade, what you should upgrade and how you unlock more vehicles can leave you scratching your head for a long time.

- 1.) I don’t understand why the game downloads as 80MB on Xbox LIVE marketplace but then takes another 2.7GB downloading updates to get you started. It would be great for planning purposes if you knew the full size of the game before organising to meet online after you and your chums have all downloaded the 80MB game.

Least Favourite Moment

This game is free, so I can’t really complain. The only thing I would have liked to see changed was the total size of the game download. Planning a ‘quick-online session’ with this new free-to-play game can be very challenging when 80MB turns into 2.7GB!


World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition – Launch Trailer


What’s Extra?

There are weekly challenge modes that encourage certain tactics or vehicle types for bonus XP, and the ‘Premium’ features available for sale change over time, offering those with wallets to increase their collection of tanks by purchasing limited-edition Premium vehicles.

The Bottom Line

There are currently no other free-to-play games on Xbox LIVE that reproduce your battle thirst and combat stresses quite as effectively as World of Tanks does. It’s a true masterpiece of online combat and totally worth the download. Tanks? … you’re welcome!


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