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World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition

Score: 83%
ESRB: Teen
Media: Download/1
Players: Up to 30
Genre: Simulation/ Online/ Shooter

Graphics & Sound:

World of Tanks has blitzkrieged from the PC to the Xbox, with the introduction of World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition. While a high-end PC could have better graphics, World of Tanks looks pretty good on the Xbox 360, and the sound is pretty good as well. There are some differences worth pointing out, however, between the experience of playing on your average gaming PC and in your average console setup.

Typically, consoles are connected to larger screens and, as a result, played from a further distance than the two to three-foot distance between a player and their computer monitor. The biggest issue, here, is when trying to aim at a tank that is off in the distance. When playing on a computer screen, you can see the detail a bit better and, if necessary, you can easily (and instinctively) lean in just a bit and cut your distance from the screen in half, allowing you to carefully aim at your target. On a television, from across the room, fine detail such as this can be difficult to dial-in. Further, the computer mouse is better suited for such fine detail than an analog stick.

As for sound, the 360 version sounds just like the PC version, which means you can expect high-quality, loud cannon reports and the realistic-sounding metallic grind of tank tracks as you move around. The crunch of trees and buildings when you destroy them by driving into and over them also sounds good, but can be an unwelcome sound when you're attempting to hide close to the aforementioned objects without destroying them. Music is confined to the menus and loading screens. If you want music while you're at war, you'd best bring along tunes of your own.


The idea behind World of Tanks is quite simple: you control an authentic WWII tank on authentic battlefields, in battles with up to thirty tanks. There are some simple communication commands that allow you to point out targets, call for help, request assistance in taking out a target, or warning your team to protect their base, among other things.

For those unfamiliar with World of Tanks, there are two things that I should point out. First, there is no such thing as "respawning" in this game. You start a match and you try to destroy enemy tanks while avoiding getting your tank destroyed. This keeps going until all tanks from one team are destroyed or one team occupies their enemy's base long enough to take control of it or the timer runs out. If, during the match, you get "blowed up," you're done. You can hang around and spectate, or you can return to your garage and start another game, but you're out-of-play on that one. When the game completes, you'll get whatever rewards you earned during the match, but until the round ends, that tank is unavailable to you, so if you do start another game, it will have to be in another tank.

The second thing worth mentioning is that World of Tanks is made by history buffs for history buffs. You don't have to be a history buff to play, but there is a wealth of historic information and historical authenticity that will be lost on you if you're not into that sort of thing. As an example, when you purchase a camouflage for your tank, you will only have patterns that were actually used on that tank and, when selected, you will be treated to information about that camouflage, such as what it is called, possibly a secondary name it went by and when and under what conditions it was used. That's the kind of thing that's probably of great interest to some people - and not at all to others.

As with most Free to Play games, there are some things that you can buy with real money, ranging from Premium tanks to customizations, such as camo and emblems, to a Premium subscription, which increases the rate at which XP and silver are earned. Customization items such as camouflage can be bought temporarily (um, rented?) with Silver, the normal in-game currency, but can only be permanently bought using Gold, the currency obtained by spending real money. Certain aspects, such as Premium Subscriptions, make World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition feel a bit Free-to-Play, Pay-to-Win, but your mileage may vary. If you have no intention of putting any money into it, you may feel a bit outclassed and outmatched, but bringing a group of friends into the game with you could turn the tide in your favor and, as the game is Free-to-Play, is not an overly ridiculous idea.

If you do spend money, I would suggest buying some extra garage slots, some customization for your tanks (if you're into that), some premium ammo for really hard targets and a Premium Subscription for whatever stint of time you know you'll be devoting to the game. You don't want to waste money on lots of days that you're not even playing the game, but longer subscriptions are sold at a discounted price. If you're only going to be able to play for a day or so, subscriptions as short as a single day are available, but a 365-day subscription gets you the cheapest per-day rate.


At first, I found the controls to be difficult to maneuver - especially in reverse. There are, however, settings for tailoring the controls a bit, which can help. After dialing things in as much as I could, there is still the occasional stutter when trying to switch directions (forward/backward) while turning. The bottom line is not to expect fluid sportscar-esque handling on a tank. If you're looking for that, the best option is Light tanks, which are good for scouting, but don't expect amazing agility - just (hopefully) quite a bit more dexterity than the heavier hitters out there.

There is also the above-mentioned issue with targeting distant enemies. The reticle will indicate the likelihood of damaging your target by changing colors, but when aiming at great distances, it can be difficult to control your turret with enough precision to line up a good shot. I have had times when my turret would skip back and forth past the target several times before lining up a shot. There is an Auto Aim feature that can assist your aim, but it's spotty at best. It appears that it merely locks your aim onto a given target, once you've lined up a shot, meaning it still requires you to successfully dial-in the shot manually. The advantage is that once you have good aim on your target, you can move around while staying locked on to that same spot. Which helps. Until your target moves from that spot, anyway.

Game Mechanics:

There are different control configurations to chose from, although none of them truly make up for the reduction of control that you would have playing the PC version. That being said, most of the controls have you using the left analog stick to move your tank around and your right analog stick to aim your turret. Depending on your desired configuration, firing is typically done using the right trigger or right bumper button. Communications is triggered by pushing a button (typically the left bumper button), then using the left analog stick to choose from eight different message options. While holding the button down and holding the stick in the direction that indicates the desired message (using the on-screen overlay of messages), you release the button when your desired message is highlighted. If you are aiming at a friend, your message options are things such as "defend the base" or "help me" and are directed only to that friend unit. If you are aiming at an enemy, your message options include things such as requesting an attack on that enemy and the message is sent to all team members. If this sounds awkward, well, it can be, which is bad, given that social interaction makes the game better. I advise using headsets, in order to better coordinate with your team.

If you're a history buff and a fan of armored warfare, are not easily frustrated, and you prefer consoles to PC, you may really enjoy World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition. If, on the other hand, you find yourself easily frustrated, this game may get on your last nerve. Then again, since it's Free-to-Play, there's no reason not to give it a shot, if you think you might be the slightest bit interested.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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