The phenomenon that is World of Tanks is an amazing thing to learn about during an appointment. It is a game that came to PC and through dedication from the development team at Wargaming.net, it has become one of the biggest free to play games out there. Focusing on three different eras of tanks, it allows players to enjoy the game without spending a single cent, pence or whatever form of currency you might be using from your point of origin. It is a game that can be picked up and played with little knowledge, but offers an astounding amount of depth for those that invest the time in learning the ins and outs of tank warfare on the battlefield.
Microsoft apparently took notice of this, as they went out and worked with Wargaming.net to bring the World of Tanks franchise to the Xbox 360, where once again, the game became the number one free to play title on the console. The number of players that have spent significant amounts of time with the game on the console are staggering and now, the promise of an Xbox One version of the game is finally coming to fruition.
Xbox One players will have a chance to jump into World of Tanks Xbox One Edition via a beta that will be running from July 11th though July 12th, 2015. Players that initiate the preload download on July 10th will also gain access to a rare tank for their inventory. And that was not the only announcement Wargaming.net dropped on me during my appointment as they also said the game would be in full open release on July 28th, 2015. And if you purchased any upgrades, skins or other items in the Xbox 360 version of World of Tanks, you will find that all of these items will carry over to the Xbox One version of the game.
For our presentation, we then watched World of Tanks Xbox One Edition in motion with someone controlling a tank in the new single player mode of the game. The idea is to think of this as an extended tutorial mode where you and three of your friends can roll out in several player vs. environment battlefields, complete with multiple objectives per scenario. It seems that this was based on feedback that was received by the development team where players wanted more time to feel out the controls before jumping into the 15 vs. 15 multiplayer battlegrounds.
Graphics for World of Tanks Xbox One Edition also makes complete use of the new hardware in the Xbox One as the game now supports large scale volumetric effects that persist throughout a battle, Tanks now have more detail and more breakaway parts when they are damaged and the interface seems to be a little more streamlined and nice to look at as well.
The biggest news from the presentation beyond all the new graphics and a release date is the ability to play cross console between Xbox 360 and Xbox One. So if you have some friends that have not upgraded at this point to an Xbox One, you can still play in multiplayer with them between the two platforms. Another feat that the development team worked out with Microsoft during this cross console effort was the ability to chat cross console as well during the game. The developers said it was a challenge but it was a feature that they felt needed to be there to make sure teams could coordinate properly while in combat.
With all new features, sharper visuals and the ability to play between the Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions of the game, World of Tanks Xbox One Edition looks like it will continue its dominance as the top free to play game on Microsoft consoles when it releases for all players, free of change on July 28th, 2015. I should note that you do have to have a Gold account in good standing to download it for free and to play it online, so do be aware of that little caveat.