Gaming for Free – World Of Tanks
World of Tanks (WoT) is a game that delivers what it promises. Tanks, tanks and more tanks. It is a free online WW2 based FPS/Tank Simulator that has become very popular and for good reason. WoT is a lot of fun…. I think.
The game is divided into standard team death matches of fifteen tanks per side. The game is designed around a core of five types of tanks: light, medium, heavy, tank destroyer and artillery. The matches are either won by all enemy tanks being destroyed or by capturing the enemy’s base.
Each tank type has its purpose and the five types must work in unison if they’re going to win. The light tanks act as scouts, the medium tanks use their manoeuvrability and firepower to achieve a semi-DPS role and the heavy tanks act as tanks (funnily enough) and can also dish out serious damage.
The tank destroyers utilise their stealth and large guns to act as snipers and the artillery picks out targets with the ability to fire over intervening terrain. The majority of these tanks are divided into three different race groups; Russian, America and British. There are also French tanks. If you’re that way inclined.
The feeling of the tanks is just right. They’re slow, purposeful and shoot explody goodness. The game attempts to achieve a balance between fun and forcing the player into utilising realistic armoured tactics to get your team to victory. Genuine tank tactics will provide positive results.
The use of joint fire support, exploiting weak side and rear armour, manoeuvre warfare, reconnaissance, cover and concealment will take a while to perfect but will provide far more success.
WoT is not a fast-paced game and you’ll spend much of it hiding behind rocks, waiting to pop out, firing off a round and moving to a different piece of cover. It can sometimes be frustrating when you’ve been sitting in a great sniping position for minutes waiting for the perfect shot, only to be one shotted by a tank from a higher tier.
It’s frustrating now but there is nothing more satisfying than being that jerk later on, taking out the lower tier tanks and laughing maniacally to yourself in the process.
There is a match-making system that takes you to battle and for the most part it’s pretty good. Every now and again you will end up in a battle where you can’t do a thing and your only use is to try and slow the enemy tanks down by clogging their tracks with your burning wreckage.
But don’t fret, if you do get pwned within the first minute of a game you can exit that individual battle and enter another battle with a different tank. Unless you only have one tank, in which case you have to sit there and stare at the home screen in your shame.
Advancement is achieved through a tier level, from one to ten. You’ll start WoT playing with a bunch of shitty one-tier tanks, crawling around the map and firing ineffectual rounds at each other. As you gain experience and credits you can upgrade your tank and gain access to higher level tanks.
There are complicated tank upgrade trees divided by the four races which force you to make tough choices in what tanks you want to work towards unlocking. If you’re like me, it’ll take you a while to get the hang of the game as it’s not similar to other shooters you’ve played.
The game is aging but the graphics are holding up quite well, similar to Battlefield 1942 I suppose. You can switch between a first person turret view (useful for targeting) and a third person view (useful for driving). The maps are nice and open so that you can speed around at the intense tank appropriate speeds of 20-60km per hour.
They also include buildings, forests and mountains that need to be utilised as cover if you’re going to survive. The sound and music is nothing special, though the sound of getting hit while in the first person view is appropriately frightening.
My advice for playing WoT is to find the gameplay that suits you best and focus on a particular nation. Be sure to check the internet to check you’re on the right track to be competitive, as getting killed over and over again is no fun.
I myself stumbled across the M3Lee and grinded that useless hunk of metal for weeks, interspersed with rage quits, profanities and prayers to certain dark gods. I eventually got past it and onto a better tank. Was it worth it? Probably not.
WoT is free. There is of course the option to pay for ‘gold’ that unlocks a number of possibilities, from different ammunition, different tanks and a range of other benefits. These benefits are not however over powered and I have been playing the game for months without paying a cent, though not particularly well… maybe those paying players are over-powered. It all makes sense. I’m not useless! It’s the game’s fault!
Over the horizon comes World of Planes and eventually World of Ships. The plan is to combine these theatres of war to make a joint battle-space. One day the tanks, planes and ships will be able to interact with each other while fighting off their own adversaries.
The idea is fantastic and such a large number of player-controlled varied platforms in a joint space is as yet unheard of.
I give World of Tanks 8/10 stars. The game is a lot of fun, as long as you’re winning. I am very much looking forward to World of Planes and the mayhem that shall ensue from 30 aircraft trying to crash into each other.