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E3 2013: World of Tanks Preview

During the Microsoft press conference on day zero of E3, Wargaming announced that its wildly popular World of Tanks game would be making its way exclusively to the Xbox 360 this summer and, on top of that, would be entirely free-to-play. It’s a pretty big deal.

In development for nearly 18 months, World of Tanks Xbox 360 Edition isn’t just a simple port. Sure, it’s as pure of a World of Tanks experience as you’ll find on the PC, but they’ve spent a significant amount of time adapting World of Tanks from a two-foot experience into the ten-foot experience, making it work better at the distance that most gamers sit from their TV.

Perhaps the most important part of this was adapting the well-balanced mouse and keyboard controls into something that will play well with an Xbox 360 controller. It’s often a difficult task, but in this case, works perfectly. I loaded into a match and instantly started taking down other enemy tanks without trouble, much to the surprise of everyone in the room. It’s simplified in a way that screams refined rather than limited.

While I played in a match that was only seven on seven, Xbox 360 Edition supports matches as large as 15 on 15, which signals the start of all-out vehicle warfare at some point. That’s exactly what it feels like too; it’s epic and nothing short of that.

Moving to an aerial view and launching artillery down on enemies will never get old, especially because it’s still an extremely viable method of attacking, especially when you’re down a tank or two and need to be reserved with your play.

If you do happen to go down, there’s no need to set down that controller as you can hop right into the next game. There’s no waiting around for the match to end so that you can return to a lobby. You can just hop right into the next match if there’s one available. It’s all about you getting into tanks and shooting as much stuff as you can.

World of Tanks Xbox 360 Edition continues Wargaming’s long tradition of games as a service, even after they recently went through and removed pay-to-win from their games. It’s something that will be continually updated and changed as time progresses, evolving into something that will be unrecognizable from the original starting point.

Unfortunately, due to restrictions that are put in place by Microsoft, any members that already have a premium account on the PC will need a separate one for the Xbox 360 version as it won’t carry over. That’s not an attempt at more money grabs, but simply because they aren’t allowed to tie them into together.

When World of Tanks Xbox 360 Edition launches this summer, both the Germany and United States tech trees will be available, with the possibility of more coming in the future.

Despite only having a short taste of what makes World of Tanks so great, my time with the game reinforced one ideal: Wargaming knows what they’re doing. This is evident by the fact that they’re growing at an exponential rate that places them at 1600 people now with studios all across the world. World of Tanks Xbox 360 Edition might be the same game on a different platform, but it’s done well and shows that Wargaming knows just what their fans are looking for.

They were also showing off World of Warplanes and revealed World of Warships at E3, but, at this time, there are no plans to bring those to Xbox 360 or mix them all together. It makes sense too, that’s just not what the games are about.

World of Tanks Xbox 360 Edition will be released as a free-to-play title this summer for Xbox 360.

Words by Alex Rubens.

Edited On 20 Jun, 2013

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ASC's avatar
ASC 4 years ago
I want to say it will be a bit of a non-event as this game has been around for years and the 360 version will be handicapped compared to PC, but I can't. Why? Minecraft.

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