Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Tanks for the memory

Here we are again...Another great game drought. My game playing friends and I have been through these so many times. Battlefield 4 has lost it's shine - remarkably quickly compared to how long we played Battlefield 2 or even Bad Company 2 - and nobody seems to be coming up with novel squad based first person shooters. Developers seem to be paralysed - creatively - and relying too much on tried and tested formats.

By sheer value of the fact I keep returning to this tank - and haven't sold it - the
M36 Jackson is my favourite AFV in World of Tanks. To me it really encompasses
everything I like best in the game, it's mid-tier (VI) so makes a reasonable amount of
silver, it has a gun (90mm) that punches above it's weight, it's reasonable mobile
and, importantly, for a tank destroyer it has a revolving turret. I also liked the Hellcat,
which is similar but sacrifices armour for mobility, but ended up selling the Hellcat.

Luckily, while we were occupied with BF4 our old favourite, World of Tanks, got some much needed tuning and improvements. We had a few games over the past week and absence certainly does seem to make the heart grow fonder as we were impressed with some of the new graphical additions.

It's not all good news, WoT is still basically the same game with the same maps (there are a few new ones but not many) and also while we were away it seems the game developers decided to nerf some of my favourite higher tier tank destroyers (camo seems to be less effective).

Still, World of Tanks is an easy to live with game in the same sort of way that Counter Strike is. People find it's accessibility and simplicity comfortable and everyone seems to have a favourite map that they don't mind playing over and over again. Furthermore, as a teammate of mine pointed out, it's the sort of game you can play while having a few drinks!

Second favourite tank in WoT is the good old StuG. Again this is capable of punching
above it's weight due to an excellent 75mm gun. I do find, though, that I feel un-
comfortable playing a German tank so I pretend it's a Finnish StuG (which helps
my conscience a little bit)!

I actually agree with this, it's a nice social game that isn't so demanding on your concentration as some of the 'twitcher' games - like BF4 or CoD - but, there again, maybe that's why my WoT track record is so patchy! Anyway, the BIG lads are back playing World of Tanks. It's hard to see at the moment what the alternative might be.

Relatively recently the game developers introduced the Soviet SU-85i. As
you can see, if you compare this with the StuG, this is modified version of
captured German Panzer IIIs (the same chassis as the StuG III), but the Red
Army added their own 85mm gun. So, it's sort of a guilt free StuG!
In comparison it's swings and roundabout - the StuG has
the better gun, but the SU-85i is a Premium tank so tends
to be a consistently good earner. I find the StuGs is less
mobile than the SU-85i but has the better armour. So, as
with the M36 Jackson versus the M18 Hellcat, which you
prefer comes down to whether you prefer armour or mobility.

[I do have games I am looking forward to but they are all in the development phase. Sony's multiplayer zombie survival game 'H1Z1' looks promising as does the similar crowd funded 'Survive the Nights'. My military squad tactical FPS hopes are on 'Ground Branch', but the development of this game seem to be mired and I cannot see it emerging in a playable format until late 2015 or possibly even 2016!]