We have another full release scaled down to mobile today. If you’ve already played World of Tanks, you’ll feel at home with this game. If you’re new and you really want to stick around, it’s going to take time. The learning curve is steep and you are going to have to invest time (and some money) to get anywhere. With that out of the way, let’s take an in-depth look.
Considering it’s a mobile game, the graphics are great. Wargaming is well known for the amazing amount of detail they put in their games. The tanks are designed based on the real-life counterparts, down to the nuts and bolts. Keeping in mind that it is a mobile game, some details on the models are replaced with floaters to save on the poly count, but they’re still there.
The fact that this game is playable on older devices suggests that it was a conscious design choice to not take it too far in the graphics department. It will work on older devices, but there will be FPS drops and your phone is going to get hot. The drops can and will be the end of you if it happens in the middle of a fight because you won’t be able to aim properly. When it comes to the overheating, if you take breaks between matches it’s not going to be much of a problem.
What about those who have the latest and greatest phones? I told you, Wargaming is known for their attention to detail. You have the option to download the HD texture pack in-game if you feel like your phone can handle it. It definitely makes a difference, but the difference in performance will also be noticeable.
Another cool thing is the fact that you can rotate around your garage to get a better look at your tank. This way you can really appreciate the work put in them.
The gameplay keeps most of the elements of the PC version. Meaning you are going to be switching between different types of ammo, repairing your tank and keeping your eyes open at all times. The matches are 7v7 and you can win in two ways, you either destroy the enemy team or capture the point on the map. Both are equally hard because you’re either hunting 7 tanks or chilling in the middle of the map so that everyone can hit you.
In case you went with the all-out war option, combat is quite distinctly separated in close, medium and long range.
When in close range it’s chaos because you’re trying to get to the back of the enemies tank, where the armor is weakest while protecting your own behind. Medium tanks can stand their ground against such attacks because they’re still mobile enough to not let you get in position, have enough armor to take a few hits and have a canon that will punish you for any mistake you make. Heavy tanks, on the other hand, are doomed in such situations.
Medium range fighting consists of moving from cover to cover to keep a tactical advantage while taking shots on open targets. Not as chaotic as close-range engagements, but still full of action because the enemy is never out of sight and never out of range.
Long range is the most relaxed and simple, stay as far back and pick off targets as you see fit. Go back to cover while your crew loads the next shell. Rinse and repeat. Not really exciting, but hey, maybe you just like ruining other peoples day.
If you decide you want to tackle the problem head-on and go for the capture point. You are going to need the rest of the team to go for it too. Capture points are usually very open, going alone is a suicide mission, as such, it should be avoided. If your entire team happens to have the same idea, you will have to cover each other and pick off targets together. If it all goes well, you will destroy a couple of enemy tanks and win by capturing the point.
A small issue I have with the game is the amount of micro-transactions. Opening the in-game store is overwhelming and someone who spends money on the game is definitely going to have an advantage. The main problem is that the things you can buy, aren’t just cosmetic. Besides the premium currency, you can also buy the basic currency. With so many tanks and so many upgrades to them, ammo and items, you can’t say free and paying users are equal.
Generally, the gameplay is well balanced. Even if you spend a lot of money on the game, you will be matched with people who have similar gear, so skill is still important. The amount of cover and the terrain allows for different types of gameplay. Maps aren’t too big and the matches have a time limit making sure the matches stay mobile friendly. So, not a bad package.
It’s possible to customize the controls to your playstyle, but nothing too drastic. My first problem with them is that it feels too cramped. You have to move, aim and shoot while keeping an eye out on the ammo you’re using, tank status and minimap… Well, you get the idea what my problem is. Unless you’re playing on a tablet, the screen is too small to do all of that and you are going to make mistakes due to it. Maybe it just takes more time to get used to it and I should git gud, who knows.
The other thing that bugs me is that all of the tanks I played with felt like ice-skating hippos. Instead of feeling like I’m in command of a 20-ton beast that owns everything and everyone on the battlefield, I have to beg it to go where I want it and hope that it will do what I wanted. I would blame this on the virtual sticks and the attention to detail.
Yes, attention to detail can be a bad thing. In the real world, a tank turns by having one of the tracks move slower than the other. Trying to replicate this gives you a very sensitive stick that has very small angles controlling how fast you turn. That can work on a physical stick where it’s easier to control it, but with how easy it is for your finger to slip or move even the smallest bit on the screen, you’ll end up bashing your tank into terrain and buildings a lot when you try to turn.
When the tank does what you want it to it, is an incredible experience. Hearing the engine as you slowly move past cover to engage targets. Landing the final hit on a tank and seeing it blow up. Having your tracks damaged while outside of cover and looking into the barrel of the enemy tank. The action, the panic, the small bit of luck in every shot, it makes every victory feel great and every loss a chance to get better.
In conclusion, it’s not perfect. The controls and micro-transactions are something that needs work. If you’re okay with spending some money from time to time on the game and can take it as seriously as the PC version, you will absolutely enjoy it. If you’re up for something more casual, this game might not be the best choice. So, I’d give it a very solid 7/10.