World of Tanks Xbox 360 Edition review

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World of Tanks on the Xbox 360 is a port of the popular free-to-play MMO on the PC, but this port seems to lack the luster that made it famous. The game is very straight forward.

After a quick training you hop in a tank and try your best to blow up every enemy tank on the map. You have a choice between three World War ll faction. The US, Britain, and Germany. Each faction is populated with plenty of light, medium, and heavy tanks to fit your preferred tank play style.

World of Tanks does a good job giving the look and feel of each tank style as well. The light tanks run fast but have lighter armor, so you’ll blow up faster against bigger opponents. Medium tanks are about mid, of course, in speed and armor, while heavy tanks moves slow but can take a beating.

All tanks can be upgraded with different weapons, armor upgrades, and even the ammo you use, plus the game breaks the tanks down into different parts. Gun, Engine, Suspension, and Turret all make up your tank, with each part affecting it in different ways, whether taking damage or being upgraded. Even the terrain in the maps are taken into account, moving you slower while trudging through the swamp or barreling over trees. All of this makes World of Tanks seem like a deep game at first glance, but the game still needs a lot of polishing and tune ups before it can become great.

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The interface is confusing if you are new to the game (which most 360 owners are), making it just a little difficult to tell if you’re upgrading the right part. You have about four different types of currencies or points to upgrade parts, but the game doesn’t give you a tutorial on how you earn them or even when you will need them, which is actually important. A short video describing the whole system would have helped me make leaps and bound in the game, but after a while I discovered the “Help” button.

Being a free-to-play game, you can get tanks with real world cash or grind for a while to get better tanks, but when you have to play the same four maps, in the same game mode, you find yourself getting bored before you unlock the good tanks. I never felt like I was out-powered by someone that seemed to have purchased a better tank, and looking at the tanks you could purchase, it didn’t seem like it was “pay to win” either.

There is only one game mode, your standard death match, with a capture base element added. There is plenty of strategy in this mode, making it easy to see how it got popular on the PC, but again with only four maps, matches get stale after a while. The first game I played I simply bypassed the whole fleet of enemy tanks and captured their base with my light tank. Thinking that was the simplest way to win, I was proven wrong quickly. Getting my tank tracks blown up immobilized me, and my barrel taking damage makes it harder to aim, and it just added to the strategic depth the game had to offer. Still, minus the light tanks, the game just felt slow, but it’s a tank game so that’s a forgivable flaw.

Some of the omissions that were left out of this port may have made the game a little more interesting, but not enough to dramatically change your experience. Crew creation seems to have made it to the cutting room floor as well as the other game modes such as Assault, and many of the factions seem to have disappeared as well.

Because it’s a free-to-play MMO, I can’t say that this version of the game is its final form. Updates and add-ons can be expected if the popularity from the PC carries over, but with game feeling like a huge two steps forwards and two steps back on the 360, I just don’t see that happening. All in all the game isn’t bad, but it isn’t great. It’s a change of pace from you quick shooters with some deep strategy as well. For the price, free, it’s definitely worth a play.

Grade: C+

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