Tank! Tank! Tank! Review

There are games that focus on telling a carefully crafted and emotionally impactful story, taking us across the world making friends and defeating those who risk harming the ones we love. Tank! Tank! Tank! isn’t one of those games. Tank! Tank! Tank! (hereby shortened to TTT because it’s a nightmare to type) is a game that says “Screw story, lets take a tank and blow up some giant robots.” It’s a great idea, and does something really well that I’d love to see in future Wii U games, but in the end it suffers from the problem that often plagues games at a new console’s launch, namely cutting huge corners in terms of amount of content playable.

Firstly, it’s the system’s best game at the moment for offering crazy and over the top enormous creatures to fight. Your enemies are all machines and robots, but they will range from mythical creatures like a dragon to giant spiders or a kraken. TTT also allows you to do something in multiplayer that I wish more games did, which is take a photo of your face (and select an amusing set of features to add) which will float about you during matches, making it easier to identify who’s who.

Unfortunately this is where things start to go downhill a little for the game. The single player is infuriatingly repetitive and the multiplayer is in many ways flawed.

The basic gameplay element of controlling your tank doesn’t work nearly as well as you’d hope. The tanks are very clunky to control, feeling in many ways like trying to navigate in the first few Resident Evil games, but at a higher speed giving you less time to turn correctly. There is also an auto aim on your tanks which, put simply, makes hitting your enemies too easy. There’s no challenge to be had in blasting down a wave of robots if the computer will do all the actual work for you.

The main game is disappointingly simple and repetitive. You have an infinite supply of weak machine gun fire, but there are pick ups allowing you to either use rapid-fire weapons or slow but devastating attacks. The mission layout seems to boil down to either shooting a hundred or so identical small enemies or attacking one enemy around a hundred times the size. There are very few different enemies to battle and you’ll very quickly be repeating fights you’ve already faced.

The repetitive facing of enemies very quickly gets worse due to a very annoying attempt to extend the game’s length. To progress through the levels you need to earn medals, the problem being that you can only get one medal for each stage and you need many more medals to advance than there are levels open. The way to continue collecting medals is to use a different tank to repeat a level (disappointingly the tanks all control almost identically) and get an additional medal. Most of your time trying to complete the single player will be repetitive grinding for medals, which gets old pretty quick.

The multiplayer is good for some quick fun with friends, but does have several flaws. TTT allows you to play multiplayer using the Gamepad as a second screen, meaning for 2-player multiplayer the screen doesn’t have to be split. The multiplayer appears to be unchanged since getting my hands on it at the MCM Expo in October (you can read our preview coverage here). It’s good for a quick laugh, but it’s ultimately a fairly shallow experience that will quickly grow boring once you’ve played the same map as the same tank a few times. The mode in which you battle a giant ape is the most interesting part of the multiplayer, but there’s only the one map to play on unfortunately and not a lot of room for you to improve on the challenges of that first match.

All in all Tank! Tank! Tank! is a game of missed potential. The pieces of a great game are all here, and if you can overlook the repetitive nature of its single player and the game’s other issues then it’s enjoyable. The problem is that it just feels rushed to market for launch day at the expense of having a game full of content. However, it is priced as a budget release in the UK and so might be worth picking up, but the game is certainly not for everyone.

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