Written by  :  Kasey Chang (4617)
Written on  :  Jul 09, 2007
Rating  :  1.43 Stars1.43 Stars1.43 Stars1.43 Stars1.43 Stars

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Barely worth my time if free, not worth $10

The Good

It has decent graphics, it's simple, it's fast, it has rather satisfying explosions

The Bad

Too simple, everything dies the same, you can damaged by machine guns, too many enemies, arcade-like "resupplies", immortal teammates

The Bottom Line

WWII Tank Commander is a budget title that tried to ride a wave of WW2 movies and anniversaries. It offers some interesting a semi-realistic actions, but in actuality it's a purely arcade game that offers nothing realistic.

WWII Tank Commander casts you as one of the tank commanders with Patton's 4th Division charging across Europe. The controls are best described as the "tank portion" of Call of Duty. You know, as the Russians? When you're called upon to substitute as a tank commander? This game is basically it, the whole game, blasting other tanks.

You move your viewpoint with the mouse, and you drive the tank with the common WASD. The catch is, of course, in a tank your viewpoint may NOT be where the tank is moving to. So you also have an "align" key, which aligns body with the turret. As turret does not turn instantaneously, there's a little "lag" between moving the view and the main gun pointing. But otherwise movement is not bad, with a bit of up/down springy motion when the tank starts and stops and after firing each round.

Terrain is not bad, with decent looking hills and valleys and such.

Enemies are ridiculous. While infantry actually move and shoot, and tanks rotate turrets to engage you, most of them just sit still like a pillbox, begging for your rounds. AT guns don't even bother turning toward you. They aim off to one side, but they hit you nonetheless.

There are many additional problems. First of all, your teammates are immortal. They can take infinite number of hits, esp. the tank that leads you, if any. Thus, hide behind them is a very good place to be. If they die, that's because the script called for them to die.

Second, you have to go into graphics and max out the draw distance. If you don't, you can't see the enemies, but they can hit you... from BEYOND your view distance. ARGH!

Third, no ballistics. Basically point, and shoot. There seems to be a semblance of armor modelling, namely, pound at the FRONT of the enemy, and you will take 3-4 hits to kill it. Pound at the side, and you can kill it in one or two hits. However, it's almost impossible to ID the enemy from a distance, esp. with fog turned on.

Fourth, INFANTRY and MACHINE GUN can damage tanks. This is simply unreasonable. It seems that every German soldier is armed with a Panzerfaust, except they never seem to fire it, yet you are hit nonetheless! What's wrose, machine gun fire, from soldiers can actually chip away at your tank! Shoot enough and you can actually go boom! (And you can do this to enemy tanks, if you ran out of main gun ammo)

Now the really arcade-y experience... The enemy tanks, when they die, sometimes leave behind a red cross or 3-rounds of shells that you can pick up as life / reloads. The problem is... When they blow up, they turn into a wrecked version, in flames (turret suddenly rotated back to normal!) then they just disappear in a puff of smoke, sometimes leaving the powerup. That just breaks your immersion factor. Everything else is so realistic... why suddenly use the powerup?

Then of course, is the "historical" aspects. Most tankers don't get to blow up more than a handful. You blow up a dozen or more in a single mission. What's more, M-4 Sherman's 76mm cannon is one of the weaker ones in WWII, can't even beat a Panzer IV up front, yet, in this game you'll be killing everything in sight, Panzer IVs, Panthers, even Tigers. The firing rate on these cannons are also ridiculously fast. You can almost crank out a shot every 2 seconds. Hah!

Sound gets REALLY monotonous after a while... clang of treads, boom of cannons... and so on.

All in all, this is okay for a quick diversion. The whole thing is an exercise in arcade game design, trying to cash in on 50th anniversay of WW2, and the result is cheap, and barely worth playing.