PC Review: WWII Battle Tanks: T-34 vs. Tiger

Another tank game that follows the patterns of Steel Fury…

WWII Battle Tanks: T-34 vs. Tiger takes place in Belarus during the Summer of 1943, in which the Soviet Union launched “Operation Bagration,” the Belarusian Offensive, against the retreating German Wehrmacht. After Kursk, this was the most significant struggle of the two tank armies and resulted in the complete destruction of the German Army Group Center and the Soviet recapture of all territories within their 1941 borders.

The player can experience the battlefield from within the Russian T-34 and the German “Tiger,” with fully animated 3D interiors and playable Driver, Gunner and Commander positions. The tanks’ dynamics include realistic physics, accurate ballistics and elaborate damage models. Interior models feature historically accurate gun-sight optics.

The vast Belarusian landscape of the early 20th century, with its rolling hills, villages and large forests was carefully recreated from historical reference photos and maps. The rich battlefield environment includes A.I. controlled Russian and German tanks, infantry, armored-personnel-carriers, anti-tank-guns and airplanes.

Stunning special effects, such as explosions, fires and smoke, the ability to completely destroy vehicles and buildings, all combine to create a lifelike combat environment. The action can be viewed from various camera angles in first or third person view.

Playable tanks – the Russian T-34/85 and the German Sd.Kfz. 181 “Tiger” Ausf. E

Control your tank from fully modelled and animated 3D positions – Driver, Gunner and Commander

“Napalm Engine” 3D technology allows for impressive effects, such as dynamic shadows, self shading, bump mapping, specular maps, glow and bloom

Stunning graphics and huge realistic landscapes to explore

Interactive environment with various levels of destruction – buildings, trees and vehicles can be damaged or destroyed by cannon, MG fire or ramming attacks

A.I. controlled vehicles include T-34/85, T-34/76, Tiger, Sk.Kfz.251, M3A1,ZIS-5, Opel Blitz, ZIS-3, Pak. 40, IL-2, FW-190

Multiplayer options include LAN and Internet play for up to 16 players

Two multiplayer modes – Skirmish and TeamPlay

The game is GameSpy Arcade ready for online multiplayer sessions and uses DirectPlay technology for direct IP multiplayer connections via LAN and Internet

“TrackIR” support immerses the player in hands-free first person views for all available crew positions

WWII Battle Tanks: T-34 vs. Tiger was published by Lighthouse Interactive, the same company who published the awful Steel Fury but this game was made by another team from that one, so will it surpass it and be a game thats enjoyable or one thats equally, if not more frustrating?

Well sadly it is frustrating due to the same faults with Steel Fury. The controls are a pain in the backside and took me ages to work out; I suffered the same problem of trying to figure out how to move the damn tank! This version doesn’t have a tutorial like Steel Fury but it doesn’t have text that can’t fill the screen, so it’s maybe the lesser of two evils. It even contains the same cheats like invulnerability and options to make enemies really dumb, right from inside the system settings.

Steel Fury also neglected to include any multiplayer, but T-34 vs. Tiger has it with online upto 16 players and LAN. I personally just couldn’t get into it, but it does add a bit more replay value for your money. At least with multiplayer, you can’t be a filthy cheat. Apart from that and the different campaign, there’s nothing that really separates the two games, they both contain the same dreadful visuals and controls.

T-34 vs. Tiger looks just as bland with poor textures and uninspiring locations. Tank models themselves are not bad to look at, but they are the only thing that is acceptable. Audio is also of a poor quality and there are a number of bugs concerned when it comes to sound from inside the tank, I don’t know why that is…but I would hope that the team fix it with a patch in the near future for those who do decide to pick up this game.

The Verdict

Overall, WWII Battle Tanks: T-34 vs. Tiger is not much different from Steel Fury. Only a few additions like multiplayer and less bugs give it a higher score, but I’d still avoid it unless you are a huge tank fan who is willing to get past all its hurdles.