E3 2012: Tank! Tank! Tank! (Hands-on)

by: Matt -
The line-up of WiiU games is certain to swell in the coming months, so I want to make sure everyone hears me out on this. Tank! Tank! Tank! (working title) might be one of the best 3rd party games that launches with the WiiU later this year. Tank! Tank! Tank! is a relatively unknown arcade title that can be occasionally found in arcades, but it's placement is few and far between. The basic gameplay across four linked cabinets is to use tanks to take down massive numbers of enemies, similar in gameplay to the Earth Defense Force games, everything in the environment is destructible, power ups fly from enemies, and there are massive bosses that players will have to cooperate with in order to take down.

The first thing players will do before getting in to the thick of it, is take their picture using the WiiU gamepad. This picture will hover over the player's tank to denote their location on screen. It's unfortunate that only one WiiU gamepad can be used in this situation, since it increases the wait time to get in to the game, especially when other people are customizing their pictures. Up to four players can participate in a round, with one player using the WiiU gamepad and three others using Wii Remotes. I only used a WiiU gamepad while playing, and the controls were solid, making use of both analog sticks and the trigger buttons almost exclusively.

The WiiU gamepad displays the entirety of the action, while players using the Wii Remotes will use split screen play. From the word go the action is fast paced, with enemies spawning in and crawling all around the screen, it's easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of gameplay. Power-ups drop frequently to help players clear out the field, the demo showed off a simple machine gun, a massive missle rack, and a powerful super bomb to aid players against a massive dragon-like boss with multiple heads that showed up once all the normal enemies were cleared out. The game works on a timer, so it's definitely a race against time to take down the boss, which I was able to accomplish with other players helping out. There will also be competitive multi-player, making tank on tank violence a definite possiblity for those who just can't get along. 

Even though it's still a few months out, Tank! Tank! Tank! was a lot of fun, it worked well with the WiiU gamepad, and it's nice to see developers taking a chance with the new platform. Tank! Tank! Tank! will be released when the WiiU comes out later this year.


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