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E3 2014: Hands-on with World of Warships and World of Tanks Blitz

Andrew Ross

If is known for one thing, it's for being big. Nowhere is that more evident than E3, where displays for games like World of Tanks, World of Warplanes, and World of Warships typically dominate the show floor. Naturally this year's big reveal is the new Warships title. Although it's the third World of vehicles battler, gamers who haven't played the previous two won't be at a disadvantage.

That said, it's the hands-on with World of Tanks iOS version that really got my attention.

World of Warships

First, the big kid. World of Warships is sort of like the other Wargaming titles. You go into a game with a vehicle against other players to complete objectives and/or kill your enemies. If you die, you're out. Your time in that match has come to an end, but you can still queue up for another game with another vehicle while your current match finishes and get credit for it.

The game's basic UI should seem familiar to veterans, and your Wargaming wallet will carry over from other titles. Other than that, though, it's a new game. The boats of course handle much differently than the tanks and the planes, and there are some neat little additions. For example, if you're playing with a ship that carries planes, they serve as scouts. You can send them on a recon route that you can plot, and you can control the planes a bit while your ship moves via auto-run (so make sure you don't switch perspectives in an icy ocean).

Ships are customizable to an extent, but one of the big draws is that they're are very well researched and made to resemble the real thing. There are decals and camo and clan emblem functionality, but Wargaming has clearly gone to a lot of trouble to recreate World War II authenticity in World of Warships.

World of Tanks for consoles

For now, WoWS is PC-only, with World of Tanks serving as Wargaming's experimental child. The Xbox 360 release is still doing well, company reps told me, and it will be getting physical editions in stores soon, complete with exclusive items. It's also got some differences based on the way it's played. For example, Wargaming noticed that Xbox players were a bit more social than PC gamers, so instead of just three-player platoons, console gamers can make platoons of four to seven people (which will also place them in a different queue).

World of Tanks Blitz

If mobile (device) warfare is your thing, June 26th is the current global release date for the iOS version of World of Tanks. Blitz is currently soft-launched in five European countries, and while games are set to last about seven minutes, Wargaming says that the current average is closer to four minutes.

I was kind of skeptical about how a game like this would handle without a keyboard or a console peripheral, but the touch screen UI felt almost like a touch-controller. I think I prefer something more tactile, but I got the hang of things rather quickly, which is something I normally have a problem with in mobile games. Blitz is linked to your PC account (though not your Xbox account, sorry console folk!). Due to Apple's policies, your wallet isn't shared.

Still, between big new battle ships and mobile-ready tanks, Wargaming fans have a lot to look forward to this year!

Massively's on the ground in Los Angeles during the week of June 10-12, bringing you all the best news from E3 2014. We're covering everything from WildStar and Landmark to Skyforge and H1Z1, so stay tuned!

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