world of tanks

Giv­ing tanks for the mem­o­ries with World Of Tanks’ sin­gle-player, alt his­tory War Sto­ries cam­paign

XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - START - Dom Re­seigh-Lin­coln Pub­lisher Wargam­ing / De­vel­oper Wargam­ing Minsk / for­mat Xbox One X / re­lease date Out now

War is hell, I’m told, but if the ap­prox­i­ma­tion of con­flict in World Of

Tanks is any­thing to go by, it’s also ridicu­lously good fun as well. Here in the game’s new-ish sin­gle-player cam­paign, I’m get­ting a taste of what it’s like to take the in­fa­mous M4 Sher­man tank into the caul­dron of the Eastern Front. It lacks the cin­e­matic pol­ish of

Call Of Duty WW2 or Bat­tle­field 1’ s ar­mored tales for sure, but you can’t knock de­vel­oper Wargam­ing’s eye for sheer authen­tic­ity.

Rolling across Ro­ma­nian hill­sides, the mean-look­ing can­non on our mo­bile ar­mor roars with ev­ery blast, a shell det­o­nat­ing on a dis­tant en­emy tank while the crew within our bat­tered hull reloads with a sat­is­fy­ing yet pur­pose­fully pro­tracted set of clunks and bangs. Fields of wheat sway as winds whip across the ru­ral land­scape, an awe-in­spir­ing panorama that al­most gets me blown to smithereens as a pha­lanx of en­emy ar­mor lob can­non fire at me.

Story time

I’m rolling my way through the first of War Sto­ries’ solo/co-op cam­paigns, the 1944-set Brothers In Ar­mor, as I pre­pare to lock horns with the fire­power of the Axis in the oftover­looked Bat­tle of Ro­ma­nia. It’s a brief skir­mish, a tu­to­rial of sorts to get me fa­mil­iar with the minu­tia of

World Of Tanks’ ve­hic­u­lar com­bat, but the real fun starts when War Sto­ries breaks away from the facts…

A war game de­void of fac­tual ac­cu­racy? Al­ter­na­tive his­tory? I’ve never seen the like! Okay, we’ve all seen the alt his­tory take a fair few times, but not in the way Wargam­ing ap­proaches the far meatier ‘Flash­point Ber­lin’ mis­sion that fol­lows. Pushed into the Cold War, I’m dropped into the in­fa­mous Ber­lin Block­ade. In real life, the Sovi­ets at­tempted to block the rest of the Al­lies from reach­ing key sec­tions of the fallen Ger­man cap­i­tal, lead­ing to the ‘Ber­lin Air­lift’ where 200,000 flights helped re­sup­ply the stran­gled cit­i­zens within. How­ever, in this time­line that air­lift fails, so it’s up to me and some other Bri­tish steel to ac­com­pany a sup­ply con­voy into Soviet ter­ri­tory. It’s cer­tainly not as tough as the PvP meat and pota­toes of the core World Of Tanks ex­pe­ri­ence, but then it isn’t try­ing to be. It’s both a taster ses­sion for the shell-ex­chang­ing, build­ing-de­mol­ish­ing death­matches found on its on­line servers and a van­guard for the game’s evolv­ing fu­ture. And it’s so much fun. The alt-his­tory an­gle works re­ally well, and with five dif­fer­ent cam­paigns al­ready added to its li­brary, WOT has fi­nally given its rigid on­line shooter tem­plate a much-needed sense of di­ver­sity. It works best in co-op, us­ing one tank to draw en­emy fire while you sneak around to flank them. Shoot­ing out tracks is end­lessly sat­is­fy­ing, es­pe­cially when fac­ing a heavy tank beast, wait­ing as my crosshairs be­gin to shrink, those pre­cious sec­onds bring­ing me closer to a killing blow— while open­ing my­self up to the same.

War Sto­ries cer­tainly isn’t that cin­e­matic by de­sign—it’s re­ally just some VO, some comic book-style in­tros and some new en­vi­ron­ments— but it’s how I tell that story that feels so much grander. Killing other tanks and claim­ing strate­gic points is stan­dard WOT fare, but it feels that bit more spe­cial when you’re care­fully hunt­ing through the ru­ined streets of Ber­lin and Lon­don, wait­ing for the in­evitable am­bush in a his­tory that’s been twisted in a new di­rec­tion.

“It works best in co-op, us­ing one tank to draw en­emy fire while you sneak around to flank them”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.