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E3 2013: World of Tanks hands-on

E3 2013

The Wargaming.net stand has always intrigued me at E3. Having played in organised Battlefield 1942 campaigns many years ago, I’ve always wanted to try the huge online battles of World of Tanks, if only I could on a console. Well now I can.

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An Xbox 360 exclusive, World of Tanks will be free-to-play, with payments required for unique (but not better) vehicles. It seems like great value and was enjoyable to play.

“Dip of the Wargaming toe in console waters”In a 7-on-7 match (the full game will have larger matches) at the Wargaming.net booth, I first had to select one of the five tanks available before being dropped into a base defence mode. The controls are immediately recognisable to anyone who’s played a first-person shooter: the left stick moves the tank, right stick rotates the turret, left trigger zoom and right trigger fires.

Driving your Sherman around feels suitably sluggish, in a good way. Not being able to quickly retreat or turn your gun to face an enemy makes you both more cautious and more brazen. Because the heavier tanks are unable to quickly respond to your movements, rushing through and outflanking them can be a successful tactic.

Visually it’s not a particularly impressive game, but I’m not sure it needs to be. Terrain can be flattened and the draw distance is suffcient. Just don’t expect it to blow away anything else you’ll see come out of E3.

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World of Tanks is a welcome addition to the Xbox library and an encouraging dip of the Wargaming toe in console waters. With next-gen consoles featuring cloud capabilities and dedicated servers, there’s certainly a lot of potential beyond this vanguard.

The author of this fine article

is the Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in November 2000. Get in touch on Twitter @PhilipMorton.

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