Fire in the hole – War Thunder: Ground Forces
Strap on a helmet and climb on inside as we delve into War Thunder’s new addition to their World War 2 combat game, with the introduction of tank warfare in Ground Forces – currently in Open Beta. Gaijin Entertainment originally designed War Thunder as an aerial combat game using fighter planes that focused on realistic mechanics to deliver an enthralling gameplay experience.
These mechanics have been honoured with the tanks; smart play is encouraged even in the Arcade battle mode and failure to do so will have your tin can blown up pretty damn quick. What is apparent from the first time you roar into the battlefield is that these tanks mean business. There are many to choose from, once unlocked, and range from light tanks with higher mobility to “Tank Destroyers” that move slower but pack the mightiest of punches. Every time you launch a missile at an enemy it’s after some precision aiming to try either kill the crew, destroy or disable the vehicle. Blowing up a tank with one well placed shot is both rewarding and terrifying, as you realise the same can and will happen to you. This ensures a systematic approach to tactics and constant manoeuvring to outflank the opposition and gain environmental vantage points to best sway the tide of battle.
Visually the tanks look great, as do the battlefields. Without being a tank-enthusiast it’s still clear that a lot of work went into the visuals to represent their real life counterparts. The audio is also on par with the authenticity provided in the game. Each tank has unique properties in their speed, armour, munition size, reload time etc. Finding the tank that best suits your gameplay style will take some time and trial and error.
The game also features a research tree players will use to unlock new tanks, or upgrade their favourite crew/vehicle to reload faster, repair quicker or take more damage. This will add depth and customization to each player and have them feel their tank is unique to them. As a free to play game it is now expected that these researches can be “fast-tracked” with real currency. Not ideal in creating a truly “fair” playing field but it is the established and accepted standard for pretty much all free to play games now, and from our experience the entry level tanks can still take on the big guys. Aspiring tank commanders should be lining up to give this game a go.