The title says it all really. World of Tanks is now on the Xbox 360. The MMO action game, which allows you to join other players around the world in rolling around in tanks and blowing each other up, is now a part of your console set up and it’s free.
Wargaming.net, the developer of this series, are beginning to branch out a lot with their franchises. The already successful World of Tanks on PC is being accompanied by sister titles involving Warplanes and Warships. But if you’re new to this, let me give you a run down of the game.
World of Tanks is a MMO that gives you multiple arenas to roll tanks around and engage in team deathmatch and/or objective games. You can choose from a multiple of different tanks from a multitude of different countries around the World War II era. You can select from British, German, Soviet, American or Japanese tanks (to name a few) and also different classes of these from light mobile scout tanks to big heavy marauding beauties.
The PC version of this has been around for four years and has had over 75 million subscribers (although that term is slightly redundant as it’s free) and Wargaming.net aim to make the Xbox 360 version just as successful by aiming for the 48 million Xbox Live users. Can they do this though, realistically in a FPS heavy online environment?
To start, World of Tanks is very, very good graphically and in its content. The historical accuracy of these tanks is wonderful and it really gives an air of confidence in the game that it can deliver. The game actually transposes to the console with relative ease. The control system is very easy and quick to master and the online play is smooth and fluid. Anyone who has played Battlefield 1943 will instantly be able to pick up and enjoy this game.
It does look absolutely wonderful on a big screen and with a decent sound system you will hear and feel every jolt that a firing tank has to offer. It is incredibly immersive and as that was one of their primary objectives in making this game, they have definitely succeeded.
The game is still completely and utterly free. There are different add-ons and customisations that you can pay money for but you would get these anyway with enough level grinding. World of Tanks 360 is a “free AAA game” in the words of Wargaming.net and you can’t refute that it is AAA. But there are some reservations in my eyes.
Firstly: the maps. The maps in World of Tanks 360 are great and very well detailed. The Mediterranean war torn villages, the snowy icy areas and such typical WW2 areas are all extremely well presented. Whilst you don’t expect there to be many at a launch, you will find yourself losing the challenging terrain aspect of this game pretty quickly as you grow very accustomed to the areas. This presents a secondary problem that they are, for a console game, too big.
This becomes a problem because of the audience you are aiming for. One of the benefits of PC online play is that people will play a bit more tactically. They will learn a map, develop strategies and utilise cover in creating a big open tank battle from a distance. Console gamers don’t care as much and mostly will run headlong into melee battling, which quite obviously does not exist here. The result, especially in the games I’ve played, is that I die very quickly in the initial rush, or spend ages looking for someone to kill because everyone died very quickly in the initial rush. It unfortunately becomes repetitive a bit too soon. There is very little team or strategic nuance in the console gamer (not to be insulting but there really isn’t outside of extremely hardcore FPS clans or dedicated players) and whilst the game accommodates them, it doesn’t really suit their kind of style. This is no fault of Wargaming.net at all, that’s just an honest appraisal of the market and the niche of the genre against the FPS gaming arena.
World of Tanks, though is certainly a big step forward in console MMO terms and whilst it may seem a backward move to release a new game on an older console, the Xbox live market will be there for a long, long time before the now current-gen becomes available en masse. I don’t honestly think it will pry enough people away from their already very accessible and paid for FPS multiplayer gaming, but it is a nice diversion for gamers and should survive.
World of Tanks 360 is a very enjoyable and encouraging MMO, completely free (bar the Xbox Live subscription cost) and accessible to all. But it does lack some longevity and might be a bit too demanding of tactics to keep a sufficiently large console fan base.
[tab title=”Good Points”]- Free. Enough said.
– Visually well presented.
– Enough options and customisations to keep you happy.[/tab]
[tab title=”Bad Points”]- Maps a bit too big for Console gaming
– Might have a short life span for some players
– Possibly a bit too niche.[/tab]
[tab title=”Why a 7?”]It’s a free AAA game that is visually good with plenty of options and is enjoyable to play for a while, but big repetitive maps and gung-ho players might put you off too quickly.[/tab]