Wargaming continues to upgrade their flagship game: World of Tanks. This past week at E3 we got to see the new version for the XBox 360. This version of the game was built from the ground up. They wanted it to be a solid console game which captured the spirit of the PC battles that have been fought for several years now.
The largest challenge for the team was to make sure the controls were intuitive and smooth. Switching gameplay from a mouse and keyboard to a console controller was a big shift and the development team needed to make sure it worked naturally. World of Tanks XBox uses traditional shooter controls with the left trigger for zoom and the right trigger as fire power. The controls on top are for movement and view.
The battle format pits 15 vs. 15 in open maps with various terrain features. There will be 2 to 3 maps at launch with sixty tanks to choose from. The nations at launch will be the U.S., Germany, and the U.K. Once the game is in the hands of the players there are a lot of plans. The team pointed out that World of Tanks PC has had over twenty five updates and there are big plans to support the console version as well. They also noted that full voice chat will be fully integrated into the game for quick and easy communication. There is also a very similar tank progression tree added to the game which PC players will be used to seeing. The tanks at the top of the tree are the most destructive. As you progress more forces of destruction will become available to you.
We asked if there are plans to scale the game up for the XBox One with all the hype surrounding the next gen consoles. Wargaming is just trying to get the game out the door right now and working on the full support for current players. They are certainly keeping an open mind on the XBox One, but right now the 360 still reaches the largest audience. Also they explained that your PC World of Tanks account will be separate from your XBox account. They are looking at ideas and incentives for both, but they will remain separate at this time.
One of the main background systems in the game is a very strong matchmaking infrastructure. Wargaming takes this very seriously and wants to make sure players can get into matches quickly against opponents of similar experience. There are some very skilled players out there and the game will make sure you're put to the test against your peers. Meanwhile someone who picks up the game for the first time will enjoy a fun experience without getting destroyed immediately. This is something the team keeps a heavy focus on to make sure players have the best experience. Just at with PC the system is live and done through the Tiers.
World of Tanks on the Xbox brings the combat to your TV and couch from your computer. The Demo we saw moved smoothly and was being played in real time. The controls were easy to manage and the targeting was solid. There is a great technique to fighting it out in a tank that is very different from other types of shooters. The movement matches the sheer power and bulk of these vehicles. Also seeing the game played on such a wide screen brings greater perspective and depth to the maps. You can simply fire from your tank straight from “the hip” or you can zoom and fire in a sniper style mode.
The beta for World of Tanks on XBox 360 actually began last weekend and players are encouraged to sign up and test their skills. So check out the beta (www.worldoftanks.com/xbox) and give feedback to the team on how they can make the game better. Wargaming has so much coming in the near future, it is great that they are still working on their first game and bringing it to new audiences.
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