Virtual Corner: World of Tanks

world of tanks
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World of Tanks is a free-to-play massively multiplayer online (MMO) game developed by Belarusian-Cypriot company Wargaming. As the name suggests, this game concerns tanks, particularly tanks from early to mid-20th century, and places two teams of players and their mechanical beasts against each other in an explosive battle for victory.

The game has won the prestigious Golden Joystick Award for Multiplayer Game of the Year, and is one of the largest MMOs on the market, ranking fourth highest among online game revenues, surpassing World of Warcraft’s micro transaction revenue in 2013. World of Tanks is available on PC, where its roots run deepest, and has spread to other platforms, such as: Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

So what makes this game fun? From a macroscopic perspective, it is rather simple, involving either the destruction of all enemy vehicles or the capture of a base to attain victory. All game modes are some variant of this, and take place across a variety of settings, from a scorching desert to inhospitable tundra, and through destroyed cities and wide fields. Unlike many other games, World of Tanks does not have a story or single player mode and focuses on the gameplay. This occasionally creates a rather tense and competitive atmosphere, which entices many people.

However, it is also quite complicated, as the current game features over 200 vehicles (both real and prototype tanks), taken from the history of many nations, including the USA, Germany, the Soviet Union, China, Japan, France and Great Britain, each with their own characteristics, like armor layouts and weapon choice, and play styles. A player gets to choose from five distinct types of tanks: light tanks (fast and nimble scouts), medium tanks (jack-of-all-trades), heavy tanks (frontline brawlers), tank destroyers (snipers and support), and artillery/self-propelled guns (long range death-from-above). Every tank has a role to play and a contribution to make, and the huge variety of choice and approach gives the player freedom, which allows for new and enjoyable gameplay.

World of Tanks is quite realistic, as it draws upon real-life tanks mechanics and capabilities. However it does not emphasize a realistic simulator experience and instead focuses on arcade-like gameplay with an emphasis on cooperative tactical decision-making. In addition to being an MMO, it incorporates elements from a multitude of game genres, including real-time strategy, first-person shooters and role-playing games. The matchmaker ensures that no two encounters will be the same, creating dynamic and ever-changing battle situations, which keep you wanting more.

Overall, I would say it is a solid game, extremely fun to play and addictive. It does what it intended to do very well, with meticulous detail given to the dynamics of combat and each individual tank’s looks and handling. It is especially fun to play with friends, by platooning up into small groups of well-coordinated machines of war to wreak havoc on the enemy team. After a battle, it is usually quite satisfying to earn credits and experience to further upgrade and customize your tank, becoming stronger as each battle goes by, and finally acquiring a tier X, the culmination of all your efforts, which results in a very powerful beast of metal and firepower. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go blow up some tanks!