June 21, 2012

Entertainment Review: World of Tanks

Lance Cpl. Bill Waterstreet
Desert Warrior Staff

Recently, a friend introduced me to a computer game which is tantamount to a childhood dream come true for me. The game is World of Tanks and it has been a while since I have been so impressed by a video game. It runs just as the title would suggest: each player drives a tank in a 15-on-15 battle.

Lately, in the realm of video games, there has been a remarkably strange occurrence. This oddity is the rise of free-to-play games. World of Tanks (WoT) is one such game. It is as it sounds, completely free to play.

As a business model this is baffling. How does a producer make money when their product is free? Simply, the money comes from the ability of players to pay money as they go for specific in-game bonuses that improve their play experience.

Players begin playing and then pay the producer however much money they want, depending on how much they like the game and think it is worth. Despite these add-ons, the game will remain completely free if the player so decides.

This means there is truly no reason not to try World of Tanks because there is nothing to lose.

The game runs remarkably realistic armored combat, forcing players to adapt strategies developed by tankers in the wars of the previous century. WoT allows players to enjoy driving iconic tanks such as the German Tiger, American Sherman or Russian T-34.

Military history enthusiasts can’t help but fall in love with this game upon visiting its website. They offer weekly articles highlighting important events in the history of armor, and more importantly, run charity events where players can pay money to game developers to receive bonuses in-game and have a large portion of the payment go to a charity such as the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

WoT runs off an experience and credit system, granting both for success in battle. These currencies are then used to upgrade current vehicles or buy newer, better ones. The range of tanks runs from those invented just after the First World War to the ones used in the 1960’s by the nations of America, Germany, France and the Soviet Union.

The matchmaking system ensures players are not thrown into games where they have no hope of success… most of the time. There are the occasional matches where the player will feel like a mouse among lions, but this is offset by the rounds where the player is ranked as the fiercest lion in the pride.

On the downside, the experience system in WoT slows down as better tanks are achieved, making progression arduously slow in later vehicles.

The official website touts WoT has over 20 million registered players and holds the Guinness World Record for the most players running on a single server at one time. This is no small feat.

The makers of WoT,, are soon to offer two new free-to-play titles for those who are not as fond of tank combat. World of Warplanes and World of Battleships are in development and are soon to offer realistic experiences in the air and on the seas.

WoT requires a decent computer and a high-speed internet connection to run properly, but nothing more than other contemporary games.

World of Tanks has much to offer the military history buff and has become a hobby for me. I highly recommend it to gamers and military members alike. There’s no reason not to; you can have it tonight for free.

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