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Tank! Tank! Tank!: Sketchy deathmatch on the Wii U

No need to hold fire on the exclamation marks here

We're still not sure if that title is an exclamation or an imperative, but having spent half an hour with Tank! Tank! Tank! we're happy to report that it lives up to the excitable title.

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With its daft, garish art style and super streamlined inputs, it's obvious that Namco's blaster is aiming for cheap and cheerful over deep and sophisticated. And that's absolutely fine with us.

The demo we play has two modes. The first features two missions, both of which have a time limit. Driving your tank around a city, you and three other tank-driving chums (either human players or AI bots) have to work together to destroy a hundred giant alien spiders that have taken over. These are crawling all over the place and creeping up the skyscrapers; it takes sharp eyes and good reflexes to track them down and blow them up before the clock runs down.

Tank! Tank! Tank! is based on an arcade game of the same name, so the controls are fairly simple. You move the tank with the analogue sticks, there's a single fire button, and that's about it really. There's an auto-aim and you lock onto enemies, so lining up shots is easy enough. The weapons are powerful too: your standard cannon can take out enemies with one blast, but it does take a while to reload. To increase your fire rate, you need to collect the machine gun pickups that are lying around.

After defeating the spiders, the second mission in the demo has us and three tank allies taking on a giant three-headed dragon monster. Once again machine gun powerups are scattered around - but this time they're joined by special missile launchers, vital for the job of decapitating old scaly necks.

Everybody's Tanking At Me

As well as these two missions there's a free-for-all mode, which we play with two other players (though up to four can join). The other two play on the TV in split-screen using Wii Remotes, while we use the GamePad - Tank! Tank! Tank!'s only real use of the new controller, other than the ability to take a photo of your face for an avatar before the game begins.

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It's standard deathmatch fare, but like the rest of the game, it's winningly done. Sketchy graphics are compensated for with the ability to destroy absolutely everything in sight. By the time the free-for-all is over, all the buildings have demolished and we're playing on an empty, flat wasteland. We're saying: Ace! Ace! Ace!

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