Gamescom 2018: World of Tanks VR is Good, Clean Arcade Fun

August 24, 2018

World of Tanks has gone through many forms – 8 years on PC, various console versions, and now through a partnership with PlayVR known as ‘Neurogaming’, Wargaming is producing a new arcade-style tank battler in VR. Known simply as World of Tanks VR, the game has simple, intuitive mechanics in short deathmatch rounds, which I was able to try on a HTC Vive on the floor at Gamescom.

The game is not what you’d imagine when you think of a VR tank battler – you’re not stuck inside the cockpit handling controls, but instead popping out of the top of the turret with two joysticks in your hands, almost like you’re a giant sized toy (even though the tanks themselves are realistically modelled). Turning your head turns the tank’s turret and the direction you’re heading, while buttons on on the Vive controllers let you zoom in, fire and check the map and score. All of this takes place on a relatively small and contained map, with a few hills and buildings to hide behind, but otherwise ultimately making sure it isn’t too long before you run into another player.

Speaking with Konstantin Netyliov, Product Manager on World of Tanks VR, he revealed his passion for VR started several years ago.

“I tried one of those early rollercoasters. I felt sick like everybody, and this is not such a good concept, let’s say. But, for a moment, I felt like I believed I was there. And since this moment I’ve realised there is definitely a huge prospective for this technology to grow and I want to be one of the people who actually does it.”

Recently, Wargaming held a tournament with World of Tanks VR in Russia as a proof of concept whether it could work in esports.

“Within one month we had more than 10,000 participants. Which is a huge number for VR esports now. We realised the potential, because people love to compete and this game provides highly competitive gameplay. There is definitely a future for esports with World of Tanks VR. If you’re talking in general for VR esports, there is even more capabilities because there are technologies with full body motion tracking and you can do real esports. People get sweaty… It’s the way dives you in, you totally feel it with every cell of your body.”

World of Tanks VR is listed as ‘Coming Soon’ to PlayVR on its website.