Tank: The M1A1 Abrams Battle Tank Simulation
Cool game for its day
This game puts you in control of an M1A1 Abrams Tank. It's a fun strategy game that operates a little like a first person shooter, but has the complication of needing to switch to different viewpoints to perform different tasks.
The graphics in this game are pretty archaic by today's standards. It's a few steps above basic polygons. Driving to the battles can sometimes be tedious. It's interesting that you have to do recon to locate your targets, but it can take some time to drive to their location.
It has multiplayer capabilities, but that feature never seemed especially user friendly.
The Bottom Line
M1A1 Tank is a tank simulation that recognizes that it more than one person to operate a tank. The crew includes a driver and a gunner and someone up top using the anti-aircraft machine gun.
The game has a first person point of view, and shows you the viewpoint of the position you're operating. For example, if you're driving, you have access to steering and speed controls, but can't fire a weapon. You have to make decisions about when to take control and when to allow the computer to follow your pre-programmed plan.
To drive the tank or operate the main cannon, you can either take manual control or put them on Auto (computer control). There's also a machine gun up top that can only be operated by manual control. This gun has to be manned to fend off attacks from the air.
In the more complex scenarios, you control several units and also coordinate air recon, artillery, and air attacks. You need to set up a battle plan, and then switch your viewpoint from tank to tank to keep everyone on track and out of trouble.
The battles are exciting, and it's a lot of fun to pick off the aircraft using the machine gun up top. For it's day, this was a pretty cool game. It tries to be as realistic as it can and forces you to think on your feet.
by Jim Erwin (2) on November 13th, 2005