This game is best described as a real-time strategy tactical battalion level combat simulation. It is the latest game from developer Graviteam, a software company based out of the Ukraine, and was released to the public May 1st, 2017. They are known for developing a variety of war-games with a goal to be as realistic as possible. Some of their titles include, Steel Fury: Kharkov 1942, Achtung Panzer: Kharkov 1943, Graviteam Tactics: Operation Star, and many more.
When I was asked to check it out, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I have never played any simulators or real-time strategy type games before. So, if you ever look up the term ‘noob’ in the dictionary, you may see my name in there somewhere. At least, when it comes to these types of games. However, my approach with games has always been the same. I’m optimistic and I always try to go in with an open mind. But in my attempt to learn a new type of game, I ended up learning something new about myself: These are definitely not my type of games.
Now that I have said that, let me try to explain.
My background on games growing up has been primarily been found on handhelds systems and consoles. Action adventure, RPGs, survival horror, puzzle games, I like to think that I can play just about anything. But what I’ve learned that with a tank simulator like Tank Warfare Tunisia 1943, it requires a lot of patience. I cannot stress the word ‘patience’ enough. I have found that my patience was exhausted almost immediately when trying to complete the tutorial. It’s long and, honestly, a bit boring.
When you start the tutorial and click on “how to make a quick battle”, it runs on autopilot and attempts to explain how to play it by using words in small fonts. When it wants to shift your focus on specific items it uses colored highlights followed by more words in small fonts. This goes on for quite a while. I was always told that the best way to learn something is to dive right in and figure it out. I know that I learn well with a hands-on approach so I attempted to just jump right in and figure out what to do. That’s where things got worse for me.
In the same way it used small fonts and highlights in the tutorial, it does the same in Quick Battles. Now, mind you, there is no voices, no dialogue. Not much in terms of background music either. It’s you, your keyboard, mouse, and an endless desert. You are landed in the middle of the Tunisian desert and you’re off to figure out what you are supposed to do next.
Good luck. I tried following what directions it gave but found myself just getting completely lost.
Jumping right in was definitely a bad choice. So, I went back to the tutorial and tested out “Basic Training”. This put you back in the middle of the desert. However, I found that it attempted to break down how to control your tank and utilize it in your environment. This seemed more inviting and was much better than learning ‘how to make a quick battle’.
When all was said and done, I found that I must have spent at least 20 minutes on basic training alone. In that time, I learned how to command the tank to reach specific locations in various ways i.e. covertly, defensively, etc.
That’s when it dawned on me. This was it. This was the game. Commanding your army and positioning them in areas that will be advantageous to ensure a victory against the enemy.
When you command your tank to reach a specific location, your tank will move at what speeds that kind of vehicle is capable of in 1943…and it’s slow. It’s really slow. I realized that I just sat there and watched my tank move in an endless desert for 20 minutes. I haven’t even learned how to fire yet.
There’s another tutorial after Basic Training called “Attack”. But after what I have already experienced with the tutorial so far, at this point, I was starting to lose interest. But I didn’t want to give up completely. I ended up finding myself on YouTube for a bit and watched a variety of videos, playthroughs, and overviews of this game. The amount of content was impressive, to say the least.
What I have found in my study is that a lot of gamers agree that the best way to learn these games is to invest some serious time playing them. Games like this require a certain level of commitment to be successful. Going beyond the game and reading about it and watching online videos can help. But in the end, it’s all about testing out the waters and figuring it out on your own.
However, for someone like me, as interesting of an experience this was, I found that this game is not for me. The learning curve is high. I don’t have the time or the patience to understand and appreciate all that this game has to offer. I do understand that there is definitely an audience for games like this and I have nothing but respect and admiration anyone who finds joy in playing them.
So, if real-time strategy tank simulators are your type of game then this is definitely worth checking out.
Note: GameOctane Editor Ryan Welch received a code for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
Check us out at Opencritic!
+Real-time weather effects
+Realistic soldier behavior
+Detailed vehicle modeling
+Detailed weapon modeling
-Gameplay is very slow
-Tutorials are confusing and not very engaging
-Controls are not straight forward and can be confusing
-User Interface is over saturated and overwhelming