first_imgIf the beta weekend that just passed for World of Tanks is any indicator, when this game officially launches for the Xbox 360 it is going to be a huge success.During their E3 presentation, the guys from Wargaming.net announced the ability to sign up for early access to their PC hit on the Xbox 360. World of Tanks has a decent PC following, and a successful launch on Microsoft’s game consoles would be a pretty big deal if they could successfully port the game. This Fourth of July weekend was the first of their beta weekends, where they invited a small group of players to try out a very basic version of the game for a few days. For a few hours each day the beta was open to this small group, and by the end of the weekend it was clear that this game is going to be a lot of fun on the console.The beta’s launch day was not the best experience. It seemed like every single match was plagued with lag and rubber banding, and you could hear the frustration from players all across Xbox Live. When you could play the game, it was a lot of fun. Everyone starts off with two basic tanks, and more than enough funds to branch out from there. You could upgrade your existing vehicles or just go find yourself something bigger and badder in the Tech Tree. Most of the menu features were marked “coming soon” so all you could really do was buy basic configuration upgrades or all new vehicles.By the end of the first day there were a few dozen players who had branched out into the larger vehicles, which meant they couldn’t be placed in matches with the starting tanks. The obvious bottleneck here was in matchmaking. You had to wait much longer to play with the larger tanks.Day two of the beta was much better. There were more players with larger tanks and the game generally felt smoother. There were still some complaints with lag, but none that I personally experienced. It was clear that the game and the underlying servers had been tweaked and tuned to deliver a better experience. This continued into day three, where I didn’t hear anyone complain of lag or rubber banding at all. In fact, the gameplay looked and felt exactly like the PC version of the game, complete with matchmaking on nearly every size tier happening in less than a minute.The third day was also when I first experienced the second gameplay type in matchmaking, which was a take and hold mission instead of capture the base. This mode involved teams of two or three against one another, and required a lot more in the way of planning and communication between teams in order to take the objective or wipe out the other team. This wasn’t a new gameplay type for existing World of Tanks players, but it was clear that this game type was happening with less frequency than the larger scale battle matches.By the end of the weekend I had managed to spend most of my money on upgrades and tanks, but found myself still going back to the original vehicle that was provided at the launch of the game. The smaller tanks meant far fewer one hit kills, and the greater concentration of users on the lower tiers meant I was playing with a larger group of users instead of the same 30-40 people in the larger tank tiers. This won’t be a problem when the game has been officially launched, but it was worth noting for the sake of the beta weekend.Overall, World of Tanks for consoles is more impressive than I had originally imagined. Just based on this beta, the excitement from E3 is well placed. Ports from one platform to another are often complicated, and World of Tanks is one of those games that PC players would swear couldn’t possibly be as good anywhere but their beloved machines, but in the span of this beta weekend I became a fan.When this game is released to the Xbox 360, it’s hard to imagine it being anything but great.last_img

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