I’m a bit late to the Tank Crew game compared to the earliest of adopters but now that I have it I’ve started to explore what 1CGS has built for the title so far and I’m having a lot of fun. I also am starting to see where 1CGS wants to take the title and some of the challenges that are still ahead.
Checking out the T-34-76 UVZ
The first thing I’ve done in the last week is spend a little time driving around the T-34-76 UVZ.
This is a 1943 version of the T-34 that came from the Dzerzhinsky Ural Railroad Car Factory also known as UVZ. Different factories built different turrets depending on the technology available to them and so this UVZ is unique from some of the other versions. Typical of a early 1943 build tank, the T-34-76 UVZ is a very appropriate weapon for the Kursk tank battles.
Driving this tank around in the QMB I’ve engaged some ground targets and had a few tank battle exchanges. This is a relatively agile tank although like most it really bogs down if you try and turn it at high speed. At low speed there’s no issue and the T-34 turns rapidly. It certainly feels less sluggish than the KV-1S.
Another part of the T-34-76 UVZ that we now have is some interesting internal damage effects. Though some have rightly criticized that the exterior damage effects don’t seem to fully convey what’s happened to the tank, the interior is starting to really get interesting for Tank Crew.
Below you’ll see the damage to the front of my tank. Its pock marked from several hits though its never really clear where the hits all came from. On the interior there’s far less guesswork. In the following shots you can see that my gunner is slumped over (clearly taking a nap despite the serious situation) and that there’s fire in the cabin followed by the fire extinguisher knocking the fire down. It’s a very cool level of immersion and one that 1CGS has indicated they will be bringing to aircraft in the future.
Playing a mission
There are currently two missions available for the Tiger and for the KV-1S and I’m hoping to be able to succeed in both of them. For now my tank driving skills and tactics are sub-par and I didn’t make it past the first ambush in the Tiger mission. Still it was fun and it gives me a good sense of the future for Tank Crew.
This first mission gives you a mission with a couple of key objectives. The first being the need to secure a farm before pressing on towards the train tracks and clearing a vital crossing of enemy presence before a train carrying supplies comes through.
A fly through of the general area helps you get acquainted with the scenario before you set out and then you’re off to your mission objectives. Time is of the essence but things quickly go pear shaped as the armored push is ambushed well before the target area. It was fun, it was unexpected, and I was in the wrong place to deal with it – though I did take down some of the enemy before being overwhelmed and taken down myself.
While my mission wasn’t a success, what was a success was the fun I was having. I was enjoying driving the tank. Getting into a tense situation. Doing badly at it but understanding where the developers of 1CGS kind of see this going.
We must wait for the future
Playing the mission described above is a taste of what’s ahead. The mission overview at the start, the objectives and shifting situations, the friendly and enemy units on the move, and so forth are all what will ultimately form what I assume will be classic Tank Crew gameplay.
Amazingly, this mission felt fully realized despite being done using the Stalingrad map. It looks good enough to be convincing despite not being built specifically for this. The Prokhorovka map adds far more detail and I’m looking forward to my first missions on that map.
This is a very serious tank sim but one that is climbing out of its infancy right now. There’s still a whole layer built around commanding both your own tank and other tanks nearby that just doesn’t exist for us right now. 1CGS is busy building that functionality right now. This is probably not the only thing that will massively affect Tank Crew game play by the time it’s done.
That this all works as well as it does in a flight sim engine is impressive to me as well. And that combined arms aspect is something that I’m still very excited about for Tank Crew and for fans of IL-2’s combat flight sim.
So, I’m having lots of fun driving tanks around and blasting things with them in Tank Crew but I would caution anyone from judging it too deeply until we get closer to some sort of release. What we have right now is a pretty good slice of tank driving sim with the rest of the “game” still to come.