If like me, you have heard of this title and wondered if it was actually any good, or thought about reenacting those dramatic tank battles as seen in the Bard Pitt movie Fury, then wonder no more. OK so the only way you can really experience it is to play the game in all honesty.
First of all, you get to jump right on in with an offline tutorial that soon has you exploring the battlefields, whilst blasting the living you-know-what out of A.I controlled opponents. To be fair, you can figure out most of the congtrols for yourself as they are pretty much the same as driving any armoured vehicle in Call of Duty etc etc. L2 accelerates, R1 to back up or reverse, R3 gives you a zoom mode for aiming and R2 to fire shells or machine guns, depending on your Tanks load.
You can control tanks from the past as well as the present, from the UK, United States and Germany to name but three nations, the rest you can discover for yourself. There is no sory line to play through, it's just jump in and get into the action. And the action is far from slow and lumbering as you might have expected, it's smooth, fast and well, deadly.
Whilst you are playing, whether you survive the battle or not, you will earn 'silver', research upgrades and the like to upgrade your current tank, and weapons and armour. You pay for research packages as you proceed, and indeed you can earn them even in training mode, very useful indeed. The upgrade menu rsembles a Diablo 3 style skill tree and is easy to navigate and understand.
So is all sweetness and light? Well I did call this section Game Balance and that's where you may well encounter the games one and only glaring flaw. Game balance is fine in training mode but on the actual servers there comes, more often than not, the foe that can blast your tank out of the battle with one well aimed shot. So is it worth just levelling up in training mode? Yes and no. Sure you can upgrade like nobodies business but back on the battlefield you will find yourself against a unit or two that have levelled up more, gained better armour and weaponry, so this is where team work comes into play.
Yes it's all about teamwork and perhaps more importantly communication. Yell for help if you need it, and try and catch up to try and defend anyone in trouble. Destiny can be praised for it's cooperative aspects in multiplayer and this game echoes that. I say here that most of the time, I have been lucky to encounter players willing to aid you when the chips are down and support you in a firefight. The action does not come thick and fast, like say in a Halo multiplayer but then that's Tank warfare for you. It is a highly risky affair and needs some tactical thought before going hell for leather. But a well oiled unit functions like a well oiled machine and there is where this game shines but remember there is NO 'I' in team, lone wolfs will not survive long and will not prosper.
The maps although not vast are big enough and more importantly, pretty much if you can see an area you can get too it. There is no 'free roam' mode however but once you have been in the game a few times, you'll soon figure out which areas are accesible and which ones are not. Common sense should prevail too, a smaller hill is going to be a lot easier to negotiate than a potential mountain.
Something in your way? A tree? Flatten it, same with undergrowth and the like. Buildings can be shot and blown up, so if it's in the way, level it. Everything acts in a realistic way when encountering several tons of metal. If it doesn't or cannot get out of the way, then ...well you get the picture.
Is it fun?
It's not as fast paced as some games but bare in mind that battles are time limited and can get intense as the seconds go by. Yes it is fun, and tension can mount as you vye to complete an objective and win a battle.
Sound and visuals.
Music is stirring, and suits the mood and drama of the game very well. Nothing upbeat and hip hop or heavy metal (no pun intended) but the kind of music that would not be out of place in an epic world war 2 movie (like Fury). Graphics are extremely well presented, textures are nicely rendered, and the games audio fully delivers in spades. With a decent sound system you are going to feel right in the middle of an intense scrap indeed.
Mission types vary from straight battles to capture the base type shenanigans
Play is intuitive and although not as adrenaline charged as some games is satisfying.
Great visuals and sound capture the atmosphere indeed.
No noticeable lag or pop up during gameplay
Game balance can be a problem. Remember what I said about the one shot kills? Bare that in mind.
Some tanks are not suitable for some battles, and if you have made the wrong choice you will learn the hard way. Not fast enough and your squad leaves you choking on their collective exhaust fumes, not maneuvrable enough and you can be a sitting duck for a well aimed shot.
Learning curve may be too steep for newbies, but stick with it, there is a fun game here. Patience Padawan, patience.
A tactical game that requires some learning, but the tutorial can and does help greatly but it doesn't exactly hold your hand in online battle. Unranked battles are perhaps a little too unblanced whilst ranked battles can seem a little harsh on punishing mistakes. It's a good game, and again I wish I could click on a 'recommended' button, so I am going for must buy. Heck must buy? At least try it. It's free to try and if you like it, it's free to play although the usual in game purchases are there if you want to indulge.
Right strap in and i'll see you on the battlefront.