With glowing praise of its refreshing concepts, the majority will overlook this if the game isn’t a looker. Fortunately WoT holds its own in the visual stakes – it might not be the most handsome chap in the class but it has a certain charisma which brings it through. The menu systems are neat and well presented, and the battle fields themselves stay true to countryside settings and shrapnel befallen settlements. Flora and fauna pop in a pleasing manner and the amount of incidental detail gives the maps a certain appeal and also allow for some good choke points and sneaky back ways.
The tanks themselves also show a nice level of detail. Newly purchased items show up whenever they are equipped, and there is an element of differentiation between yourself and your allies. The UI also manages to succinctly capture enough information without ever overloading you with facts and figures. A small screen shows what damage you have taken and where, and the map icon allows you to get a rough feel for where your enemies lay. Aesthetically the game is pleasing, and blowing the tracks off a foe is convincing and satisfying.
At times WoT can fall into a cycle of mundane yellows, browns , yellows, and greys, but this is due in part to the setting in which the action takes place. One of my only complaints is that while the visuals are nice, they are not spectacular, and yet the highest setting seems to be something of a system hog. Playing in First-Person mode can dramatically reduce your frames-per-second, and in all performance can be a little bit of an issue.
For the most part, WoT is a very polished and refined affair. There is a balance to the various tank types, and there are very few bugs to speak off. With that said, the only problem in terms of polish comes from the aforementioned problems with performance, and the lack of any in-game tutorials. There are some in-depth mechanics to this game, and while a lot of it can be haphazardly learned, a video showing the various menus, and systems wouldn’t go a miss. This all feeds into the mammoth learning curve of the game, and with a little attention this could be remedied.
An element which is rather underdeveloped in WoT is its community. While there are clans, team battles, and chat channels, there isn’t much in the way of banter when playing a random map. The game needs some sort of main chat hub, whether this be a free-roaming map which players can engage with one another and show of their steely bits. Of course you can become friendly with others, and the tools are there, but it is neither encouraged nor discouraged. A rather average element of a rather special game.
Where the ponderous combat, the complex RPG development, and the multitude of strategic options come into their own is in pure longevity. Here is a game that will have you playing for hours, from simply earning that first new tank, to unlocking every tech tree and maximising the skill of your squad. While the core of the game is arena-style battles, the progression systems really give you something to gun for, alike to an MMORPG in many respects.
It all in essence comes down to whether you fancy yourself battling in tanks, but even the most ardent hater of track-based warfare has to admit that the amount of thought and refinement gone into this title is staggering. It surpasses the average online shooter in every way possible, and if you can connect with its brand of gameplay expect to spend many a long night, developing dark eyes, and waking up later than expected.
To compliment the praise given above, WoT is a free-to-play game, and in general lives up to its pricing model. Being a free download, players can enjoy the game for an unlimited time, and in many regards the ensemble is costless. Of course the game does offer ways in which you can part with your cash, mainly being the “premium” option, and paying for “gold” currency. The aforementioned give you access to more techs, and other such exclusive items, but the gold currency can be earned from converting experience, and covers a lot of cosmetic items. Of course there is an element of paying for an advantage, but it never feels completely unfair nor does it feel that you are being forced to pay.
Looking at WoT objectively and as whole, the game surpasses any expectations I had, from its unique feel to its innovative RPG elements. As a piece of almost free software, it is peerless and easily a market leader, and as such I can overlook one or two costly omissions.
World of Tanks is a very good online shooting game. The concept is refreshing, the approach is unique, and in many ways the title is groundbreaking in regards to its hybrid systems. While it may be a little too boring for some and for others tank warfare may not fully appeal, but to anyone else with half an interest, I can whole heartedly recommend this title. It’s not yet something I’d recommend to anyone looking for a full-on MMORPG experience, but as a massive competitive shooter, it’s fantastic. Above average in everything, and outstanding in most areas: check it out.