All Features


  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One


Gratuitous Tank Battles: The Western Front
Score: 78%
Publisher: Positech Games
Developer: Positech Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1; 1* (Online)
Genre: Real-Time Strategy

Back to the Futures Past:

Gratuitous Tank Battles was a fun Tower Defense game that was set in World War I... sort of. It was set in an alternate version of WWI, complete with 'mechs. That was fun, in its own way, but didn't really do justice to the actual war, which was probably a bit annoying to history buffs.

This time around, Gratuitous Tank Battles: The Western Front is attempting to set things right(ish) by providing realistically-modeled historical units from WWII and battles restricted to these units. Or, at least, they start out that way. While the first four missions restrict your unit selection to those available in 1944, I was surprised to find that, after that, all bets are off and you can use 'mechs again. So, perhaps they're not going for historical accuracy after all.

What's New:

GTB: The Western Front features some authentic gear from WWII, including 8 all-new maps following the WWII theme and 17 WWII units - nine American and eight German. For the American side, there's the M18 Hellcat, M8 Greyhound Armored Car, M3 Stuart Light Tank, M36 Jackson Tank Destroyer, T18 Boarhound MG heavy armored car, M4A1 Sherman Tank, M4 Calliope variant Sherman Tank, Pershing Heavy Tank and the Wolverine Heavy Tank Destroyer. German units include the Tiger Tanks (I and II), three Panzer tanks (II, III and IV), the Ostwind, the Puma heavy tank destroyer and the Panther Tank. For more information on the included units, check out the link in the Backstage at Game Vortex blog entry, below.

There's also a completely new (and fairly difficult, in my opinion) Single Player Campaign. Additionally, there are five new unit components to use in creating your own weapons of war. Which, of course, you can combine with the new WWII Tank units, should you desire... as Positech Games points out, "Tiger Tanks with laser guns. Oh yes..."

Playing With Others:

Since this is a fairly unique aspect of Gratuitous Tank Battles, I thought it was worth reiterating... As with the original GTB, the main gameplay is single player. You can play against scripted A.I. or adaptive A.I. and you can choose to attack or defend. There are three difficulty settings, but these only have an effect when you play against the adaptive A.I., since the scripted stuff is, well, scripted.

Is there multiplayer? You betcha! Well, sort of. You see, it's like this... yes, you can play a challenge set by other players, but this challenge is created by recording their gameplay on one side, then when you play the challenge, you take the other side and try to defeat them. So, I guess this could best be described as "asynchronous" multiplayer, in that you're not going to interactively play against someone in realtime. Still, the player challenges provide a lot of replay value above and beyond the stock missions included in the expansion. Just remember that if you want to restrict players to WWI units, make your challenges using the first four maps.

The Verdict:

If you're a history buff looking for an realistic simulation of actual battles from WWII... um, no. Just... no. If, however, you're a more casual fan of WWII weaponry, but you always wondered how bad-a$$ a Tiger Tank would have been if outfitted with lasers... then Gratuitous Tank Battles: The Western Front may just be your cup of tea.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

Related Links:

Microsoft Xbox 360 The Walking Dead: Episode 5 - No Time Left Windows Rift: Storm Legion

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated