Obsidian's Armored Warfare takes a spin at the tank genre



11:00 AM on 03.25.2014

A free-to-play MMO with modern tanks

Obsidian is probably the last company you'd expect to make anything like Armored Warfare, a free-to-play MMO tank shooter. It's certainly different than anything the company has brought us in the past, that's for sure.

I got to play around with Armored Warfare during GDC last week, and those who want a good tank experience that's bordering between simulation and an arcade-like feel will dig what Obsidian is doing here.

Armored Warfare (PC)
Developer: Obsidian
Publisher: My.com
Release: 2014 (Closed beta)

Armored Warfare is promoting itself as a "modern military tank shooter." By that they mean they're differentiating from the World War II era of tanks used in World of Tanks by offering tanks created from the 1950s, up to ones that are being prototyped right now. Tanks are accurately modeled, and there will be a variety of them on offer that players can upgrade and customize. 

They control more or less in a simulation-like way so it's not as fast-paced as say Battlefield 4's tanks. The arcade feel comes about in a few ways from tanks having larger ammo reserves, to being able to use consumables such as a fire extinguisher to quickly put out a fire in your tank. You do have a limited ammo supply with your lives, so you can't just go around shooting everything you see carelessly.

Combat takes place through third-person, and you're able to jump into first-person view, which puts you into a scoped, zoomed-in mode. It's good for long-distance shooting, but it's not suitable for driving and shooting at the same time.

I got to play through one match in the PvE setting, which saw me with three other players working together to destroy the enemy AI occupying a city. While you need to work with other players, you'll also be competing against them for points and the like. As for the match, it was fun, but a little too slow for my tastes in a shooter.

I'm curious on what the PvP will be like, which offers 15-versus-15 multiplayer. It wasn't on demo during the preview session, but I feel that would have been more of my jam. I did really enjoy ramming into houses and other objects that were on the map. There's a lot of destructible elements to the environments, mostly for the sake of just having enjoyable things to run over or blow up. Plus the visuals look better than you'd expect for a F2P title like this, which adds to the fun of things blowing up.

Armored Warfare has the potentially of being really fun. So long as the free-to-play mechanics aren't a total bullshit "pay-to-win" scenario, of course.

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