My latest interest: Armored Warfare. I was at first rather skeptical about these kinds of games but a spur of the moment led me to downloading the launcher at http://aw.my.com and trying it out for myself.
Armored Warfare is multiplayer online shooter game developed by Obsidian Entertainment (of SW:KOTOR, Fallout: New Vegas and Neverwinter Knights 2 fame) and published by My.com, a subsidiary of Mail.ru. AW was pushed forward as a direct competitor to the massively successful World of Tanks, but concentrates on modern-day vehicles (up from the Korean War to now) instead of WWII-era tanks.
Armored Warfare places the player as a member of a Private Military Corporation in the near future, where national armies have either been severely reduced or shuttered, and wars are waged by contractors working for the highest bidder. There is therefore no allegiance to a specific country, only to a nameless mercenary group.
AW is fully free-to-play, although premium elements are present therein. There are currently two game modes: PvP (Player vs Player), which pitches 15 human players against 15 others, and PvE (Player vs Environment), which places the player in a squad of five versus a host of AI-governed tanks. PvP is the choice game mode for collecting money (credits), which allows the player to buy components and vehicles, while PvE offers (depending on the outcome of the match) more rewards in terms of reputation, which unlocks vehicle licenses and thus allows the player to acquire them with the aforementioned money.
Vehicles are divided into several classes: Main Battle Tanks, Tank Destroyers or Light Tanks, Armored Fighting Vehicles and Self-Propelled Guns (pet name: "arty"). They are further divided into "tech lines", which groups them by both technological ascendance/descendance and by vendor; there are two weapon dealers, Sophie Wölfli and Marat Shishkin, who offer specialized tanks and brute force units, respectively.
What you see above is a PvP match on the EU server with me using a Tier 6, British Challenger I tank. My loadout consists primarily of APFSDS (essential for penetrating enemy targets) rounds and a few HESH shells (which I could use to slowly chip away at a target's life or set gas tanks on fire). My commander is a Level 5 Freja Hojbjerg, whose perks include reduced aim time and, more importantly, quicker reload to better spam-fire at the enemy. My tank crew is still level 2 as I type these words. I have ERA and applique armor on, but not much else. I only had one Internal Reinforcement Mk.2 retrofit and no smoke grenades, since I only unlocked the tank a couple days ago.
As you can see, I had trouble from the outset as an AFV (which is gifted with better vision than an MBT and can therefore spot them better, especially from afar) was lighting me up on the frontline with HE shells (you don't need to penetrate to wreak havoc; HE deals splash damage every time it hits a target) and my front gas tank was even lit on fire (a notorious weak spot for the C1). I nevertheless punished the offender who was causing me grief and even bagged another Challenger from the rear, before getting myself killed by recklessly exposing myself to get a better view. The remaining players nevertheless won the game.
I am fully aware there is an even bigger game in the neighborhood called World of Tanks (which, without the shadow of a doubt, influenced Armored Warfare - and even outright led to the creation of the latter product), but unfortunately, I am not much into World War II. I have a rookie account in World of Warships, but that's about it. Even War Thunder failed to properly hook me in, despite its remarkable attempt at realism (as opposed to WoT's stubborn decision to err on the side of arcade). So for now, I'm staying with Armored Warfare and getting the funds to buy myself a Tier 9 tank after unlocking the associated token.
But more importantly, regardless of all these "is x better than y or the other way around" debates, *I'm having fun*. And that's what matters to me at the end of the day.
Unfortunately, I had to record this with GeForce Experience, as Windows 10's Game DVR feature would not turn on (Windows key+Alt+R) during the match and I was forced to use Shadowplay, which I find a bit heavier on resources. My reduced framerate certainly tells me that, and I find the audio rather wonky, so I'm not sure I'll make more videos; this one here is once again for a friend of mine so there is no pressure or obligation on my part to go any further. I'm no commenter myself anyway, so ultimately for me...what's the point?
Join the fun and register here: http://aw.my.com/
CPU: Intel i5-2500 (non-K) quad-core, 3.3Ghz
RAM: 8GB DDR3 1600MHz
GPU: MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4GB
Storage (Windows): Samsung 850 Pro 128GB SSD
Storage (Game files): Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB HDD
Screen: Asus 23.8" screen, 1920x1080p
OS: Windows 10 Professional, 64-bit Edition