World of Tanks. © Wargaming

World of Tanks was developed by Wargaming and it is a massively multiplayer online game, having fighting vehicles at its cornerstone. It bears many similarities with MMOs , but instead of leveling up characters like in Heroes of the Storm or Dota 2, players upgrade their tanks. The interactions between players are equally complex and the game focuses mostly on the player versus player gameplay, rather than a single player campaign.

The game was released in 2010 and has always been free to play, although players have the option of purchasing stuff with real cash. World of Tanks relies on micro-transactions and those who are willing to spend money on upgrading their tanks, will have a better chance at prevailing. The nice diversity of vehicles and the sheer competitiveness of the game, made it popular worldwide and it was quickly adopted as an eSport at the WCG 2012.

World of Tanks multiplayer. © Wargaming
World of Tanks multiplayer. © Wargaming

Key facts about World of Tanks

  • World of Tanks is played mostly on PCs, but has a version for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation.
  • Players get to choose between six different types of battle and significantly more vehicles, while being able to re-create real-life events.
  • World of Tanks was also expanded to mobile platforms and it can be played on smartphones and tablets under the name World of Tanks Blitz.
  • In addition to the basic battlegrounds and maps made available when the game was initially released, Wargaming added several more tanks and battlefields.
  • World of Tanks has inspired the creation of a collectible card name titled World of Tanks: Generals and the World of Tanks Rush board game.

The World of Tanks games

When playing World of Tanks you can choose one of the six main battles, with each of them posing different challenges to players. Random battles and team training battles are the most popular among beginners, as they require less interaction with fellow players. Those who don’t have a team and would rather compete against random players will find this to most to be more convenient, since the game automatically matches them with others.

Tank-company battles as well as team battles require more coordination and they are the World of Tanks games preferred by experienced players. When they successfully complete missions, they are awarded various rewards, ranging from new vehicles and credits to more experienced crews. These game modes require players to stay in touch and those who use Voice Over IP services have a higher success rate.

Another popular World of Tanks game for those who had the chance to play this massively multiplayer online game are the special battles. They allow a greater degree of flexibility and players pursue different objectives while competing on maps inspired by real events. The game is also highly customizable, for those who want to experience the thrills of a more personalized adventure.

World of Tanks Northern Lights. © Wargaming
World of Tanks Northern Lights. © Wargaming

What is World of Tanks?

World of Tanks was built on the popular concepts of massive multiplayer online games, but changed the focus from heroes to armored vehicles. Just as much attention was paid to details and the tanks featuring in the game are accurate replicas of the real counterparts. Some of the new models introduced over the last couple of years take a steep departure from the originals, as the developers wanted to test the waters and promote modern warfare.

Gameplay of World of Tanks

Playing World of Tanks is not overly complicated, because players assume control of a single tank and then tried to inflict maximum damage without getting destroyed. He or she enjoys complete control over the vehicle and decides how to move it across the battlefield, when to fire and when to communicate with teammates. Any complex World of Tanks strategy is based on the tactical decisions and the instructions given by each team member to his brothers in arms.

The game mechanics range from simple ones revolving around the movement of the vehicle and firing shells in the direction of opposing tanks, to shell ricochets, camouflage and module damage. The World of Tanks gameplay was simplified for the mobile version, with fewer players competing in the virtual arenas of World of Tanks Blitz. The same goes for the console versions, as the absence of multiple buttons limit the number of special moves and the use of sophisticated abilities.

World of Tanks Allied Vehicles. © Wargaming
World of Tanks Allied Vehicles. © Wargaming

Plot of World of Tanks

World of Tanks doesn’t have a single player campaign, therefore players don’t follow a storyline and there is no plot per se. On the other hand, the incredible diversity of World of Tanks maps and the fact that many of them are inspired by real-life events give the game authenticity. Many of the players are history buffs who strive to re-create the major tank battles of the 20th century, using the actual tanks that were involved in those fights

Development of World of Tanks

Work on World of Tanks started in 2009, although the rumors surfaced in the final months of 2008, with the release date being scheduled for early 2010. Only six vehicles were initially available and players were supposed to fight their wars on a single map. The World of Tanks universe was greatly expanded in late 2010, in the wake of a highly successful beta testing campaign. Dozens of new vehicles were introduced and an additional three maps were added and the game reached its pinnacle in 2011.

Activity kept growing on both Western and Russian servers, with the psychological threshold of 1 million registered users being surpassed in 2012. Well after the development stage of World of Tanks ended, new maps were added while significant changes were made to existing ones. Wargaming has responded well to the demands of players by adding new textures for tanks and is paying attention to what the community is demanding. At the time of writing, it is estimated that World of Tanks has more than 80 million registered users scattered across the three servers.

World of Tanks Centurion. © Wargaming
World of Tanks Centurion. © Wargaming

Where can I download World of Tanks?

World of Tanks is now a worldwide phenomenon and one of the most popular massively multiplayer online game, yet it remains absolutely free. While players can spend real currency if they choose so, on better tanks and upgrades, downloading the game won’t set them back financially. World of Tanks can be downloaded for free from the Wargaming website and players will enjoy immediate and unrestricted access to all its content.

What are others saying about World of Tanks?

World of Tanks developers were probably surprised by the success of the game, as the MMO gained traction right away. With a Metacritic score of 80/100, it had no problem in building a cult following and it is the proud holder of a Guinness World Record for the most players online at the same time, topping League of Legends and Dota 2. The game was well received on both sides of the Atlantic, with a healthy customer base in Russia and South Korea.

Critical reception was overwhelmingly positive after the developers launched extra content and kept the game free. World of Tanks reviews follow the same trend as Wargaming's revenue whose profits surged to more than $6 million in 2012 alone. Micro-transaction revenue encouraged the company to invest more money in releasing new tanks, better upgrades and branded merchandise.

World of Tanks tournaments

World of Tanks doesn’t have a single player campaign, but it keeps players hooked to its Clan Wars. A clan consists of up to 100 members and they wage war across these vast battlefields, trying to control numerous promises. The World of Tanks clans need to have at least 50 members to be eligible for tournament and there are several of them scheduled each day for every region.

World of Tanks tournaments represent the end-game material for this MMO, bringing together the most skilled and experienced players. In order to keep these events highly competitive, players need to have at least one Tier 10 level tank, which requires some commitment on their part. Depending on the internal rules of each clan, the requirements for recruiting new members differ, but at the highest level these organizations take an elitist approach.

The popularity of World of Tanks led to its inclusion in the World Cyber Games back in 2012 and other international competitions after the WCG was dissolved. The performance and the rating obtained by players in Clan Wars are usually the defining criteria determining which players get an invitation for major events. World of Tanks tournaments are extremely popular and profitable, with the best teams winning tens of thousands of dollars.

My rating of World of Tanks

World of Tanks developers extracted an astonishing amount from a concept that many regarded to be doomed to fail. I was initially unimpressed by the poor diversity of vehicles and the simplicity of the sole map, but Wargaming managed to prove me wrong. I don’t mind admitting a mistake and I take my hat off for what these guys achieved with World of Tanks, a game that deserves a fair rating of 9.5/10.

Overall Score