On the 22nd of August I received a Beta code from the Xbox 360 World of Tanks team. I had been waiting to play this game since they announced the Beta a couple of months ago. I’ve heard many good things about World of Tanks from the PC community so I couldn’t wait to actually get into one of the many intense tank battles I had seen. World of Tanks promised to bring the same game to consoles that we have seen on PC over the last few years. Some people thought they couldn’t do it, some people thought the game would be dumbed down and some just thought it wouldn’t work. Will World of Tanks shine on Xbox, or will it be left stranded in a minefield?
So, I put in my Beta code, loaded up the game and the first thing I saw was the “Garage” screen. It has all these options and you’re not really sure how they work. This can be quite confusing for any first time player. Well, I’m here to help! In the top right of your screen you will see three icons. These icons are “Gold coins” which can be purchased through the store to buy camouflages, premium and other different items. Next to the Gold coins are “Silver coins” which are used to purchase tanks, consumables and even camouflage (only for a limited amount of time). The final thing which you see are the “Bronze stars” which is seen as free XP. I will mention more about the free XP later on in the post. On the bottom of your screen will be all of the vehicles you have purchased throughout the game (which you can upgrade using XP). You start off with two Tier 1 Tanks and 4 additional vehicle slots with an option to purchase even more through the in-game store.
The in-game store is not currently available on the Beta but I’m sure it will be used to purchase new tanks, camo, consumables ETC. This is a good way to get an advantage in the field if you don’t feel like grinding out the XP needed to unlock the next tank. If you don’t have the money to do that, you can easily play through the game like any other person would and earn your prize that way. There isn’t really a pay-to-win feature in World of Tanks, and that’s why I think this game is absolutely brilliant. A lot of these free-to-play titles have a pay-to-win theme to them, but not World of Tanks. This game is for everybody and it is so much fun.
One of the most important (and confusing) options in World of Tanks is the Tech Tree. This is where you go to unlock different tanks. In the Xbox 360 Beta you can choose between America and Germany. Each country provides a number of tanks for you to choose from. As you enter the Tech Tree, you will be a little confused by the amount of things you see on the screen. You will see a lot of tanks, a lot of symbols and a jumble of things.
First off, I will tell you how the XP works in this game. After playing a match, you will see that you have earned silver stars (XP) for that tank. In the Tech Tree, your tank will have silver stars and this is what allows you to research the next tank in the next tier. Once researched, you can buy the tank with the silver coins you earn during matches. The free XP can also be helpful, for example: you have 900 XP on your Tier One tank but you need a 1000 XP to unlock the tank in the next Tier along. If you have enough free XP, you can put that towards the XP you have already earned on your Tier One tank. This was very confusing to me at first, so I thought I would explain the best way possible. I hope this helps!
Now for the Tier system. You will see one Tank on the left hand side – this is your first tank. This is a Tier one tank. You go into battle with that tank, earning XP for the next Tier. Altogether, there are 8 tiers (in the Beta) with 5 different categories, which include:
- Light Tank – More nimble than the average tank and very good for scouting.
- Medium Tank – Great for supporting other tanks on the field. Also good for scouting.
- Heavy Tank – Does this even need an explanation. Great for turning the battle in your favour.
- Tank Destroyer – Does what it says on the tin. Sit back and lay into the enemy with this vehicle.
- Artillery – Not so good at close quarters but can deal a lot of damage from distance.
I suggest that you start off with the German Tech tree as their tanks are a lot stronger than the American ones. The only weakness I can see thus far with the German tanks is the speed. They are a lot slower than the American tanks but the power they posses compensates for the loss of speed. I find that using a German Tank Destroyer favours me in many ways. I seem to be the type of player who gets straight into the fight; I don’t hold back. The thing I like to see when I’m in a game is the amount of support I get from my allies. I will be rolling into the battle with a Tank Destroyer and I will see 4 – 8 team mates on each side of me, protecting me and that is what a game should be about. It should be about teamwork, not just about one person. The Tank Destroyers (except some of the American vehicles) don’t have a turret and this can be very, very troublesome in any battle. You have to re-position the Tank to aim at a target, whereas with another tank, you could stay stationary and just re-position the turret. This is why you should go into battle but always make sure you’re just behind the other units on the field. A Tank Destroyer can be flanked very easily if you’re not aware of your surroundings, so make sure you have team mates who can protect you.
If you want to take a more full on approach and you like to get at the enemy face on, you should choose the light, medium or heavy tanks. These are great for going head to head with the enemy (if you have support that is). There is a big risk that you could get taken out by an enemy Destroyer, or even artillery but before that happens, you can always roll in with the big boys and take out some of the enemy opposition. When in a head-to-head battle with an enemy tank, make sure you face your enemy. If you take damage in the front, it won’t be that effective. If the enemy manages to get round the side/back of your tank, you will be in a lot of trouble! These are the weak spots on any tank, so always make sure you are facing your enemy.
Are you a person who doesn’t enjoy getting their hands dirty in the gruesome nightmare known as war? Are you the type of person who would rather not be on the frontline getting blown to pieces? Well, there is something for you! Artillery is the way to go for you. While not being useful in head-to-head combat, the artillery is the best thing for long range. Being able to find a spot and shoot artillery shells across the map without being spotted is something that nothing else can do on the battlefield. Using Artillery can be fun, but can also be seen as a cheap way to get a kill in World of Tanks. With a birds-eye view of the battlefield, nothing can really go wrong with Artillery unless you’re the last unit left alive and 12 battle tanks are powering towards you. If that doesn’t happen, you’re technically unstoppable!
So World of Tanks has finally arrived on Xbox 360 (the beta anyway) and people seem to be having fun with this game. The gameplay is excellent and fast paced. I wouldn’t expect anything else for the team behind World of Tanks. If you didn’t manage to get a code, don’t worry because the full, free version of the game will be arriving later in the year. I would suggest that you pick up this game when it is eventually released as it is so much fun and you will love just playing about with the many tanks from World War 2 that this game has to offer. The maps on the Beta are really good maps and I expect to see a lot more when the game is eventually released. World of Tanks promises to offer so much more when it is released. At the moment we don’t have a “Crew” system like PC but this is expected, considering it’s only a beta. So for now, you will have to play alone or search for a game at the same time as your friends and hope you get put into the same lobby.
So overall, World of Tanks is a fantastic game and I can’t wait until it is publicly released. Until then, keep rolling into the battlefield and I hope to see you out there!