World of Tanks is a free-to-play MMO that allows you to compete online against other players in a massive WWII battlefield. Players are able to choose between a variety of tanks from several different countries of origin, including the United States, Russia, Germany, Japan, and now China. The award-winning tank shooter released its 8.3 update today kicking off the Chinese tank lineup (adding 17 new vehicles to the total). Players can now earn light, medium, and heavy tanks through the new Chinese tech tree--with artillery tanks and tank destroyers coming at a later date.
The controls are fairly standard and simple, but your tactics and precision will be the largest factors of whether you survive a match or not. Tanks generally have heavier armor plating on the front and becomes weaker further towards the rear. But there are also plenty of other weaknesses to exploit other than shooting tanks in the backside. Treads can be destroyed, which disables the enemy's movement for a short time. You can also shoot enemies with high explosive rounds to injure their crew members and make reloading, targeting, and moving less efficient. There are even critical zones (like the tank's ammo rack) that can instantly incinerate the armored machine with a single direct hit.
Participating in online matches gives players experience points which can be used to purchase new equipment and higher tiered tanks in your nation's tech tree. Some of the upgrades include consumables like medical kits and repair kits to heal your crew and tank armor. Other upgrades can improve your reload speed, reinforce weak points, and increase your firepower. There are a ton of options to customize your vehicle and play the way you want, whether you stick to a single tank type or prefer to adapt according to the environment.
You'll battle in three team game types: Standard tasks teams with capturing the enemy's flag, Encounter puts one contestable flag in the center of the map, and Assault makes one side defend a stronghold while the other side attacks. Winning or losing greatly depends on how functional your team's teamwork is. A single tank doesn't stand a chance against multiple opponents, so backing up your friends, ganging up on enemies, and coordinating attacks can help you win some battles.
The update's Chinese tanks don't drastically affect the overall gameplay, but only adds more options for the player. However, developer Wargames.net is making a few adjustments to the overall balance of the artillary vehicles. Certain weaknesses for the long-range bombers are becoming more exploitable. So, expect the artillery vehicles to get a boost in mobility, but lose a bit off their total hit-point values.
You can play the World of Tanks update, complete with the new Chinese tanks today. Just login and you will get an automatic update.