World Destruction League: Thunder Tanks Hands-On

If 3DO could manage to spruce up the game's visuals a tad, the PlayStation version of World Destruction League: Thunder Tanks could prove to be quite entertaining.


Created by 3DO - the company behind BattleTanx - World Destruction League: Thunder Tanks for the PlayStation is apparently almost ready to ship. While the latest build seems to have all the game's essential elements in play, it's clear that the game could definitely benefit from some last-minute polish.

WDL: Thunder Tanks' action almost resembles that of an arena-based first-person shooter; small groups of combatants maneuver around battlefields of differing size, collecting power-ups, blasting each other, and attempting to fulfil whatever objectives the events call for. Straight-up deathmatches are possible, but WDL: TT also features such common playmodes as capture the flag, king of the hill, and a gauntlet mode, among others. The arenas feature a host of interactive elements, including destructible buildings and obstacles, AI drones that exist alongside the main combatants, and "hot zones," which damage your tanks as you tread over them.

Each of the game's nine tanks has its own particular primary and special weapons. Primary weapons range from nasty flamethrowers to simple machine guns, while the more powerful special weapons boast some truly destructive effects like the discharging of rounds that immolate entire areas of ground, inflicting massive damage on any enemies in that area.

Visually, the build we played is a bit bare. The game's textures seem in need of sprucing up, and the frame rate feels like it could use a shot in the arm. The camera functions quite competently, and as most of the action takes place in the third-person perspective, this is of paramount importance. The game's draw-in distance seems extensive, allowing you to see threats from quite a distance away.

Overall, WDL: TT seems like it can handle quite a bit of activity onscreen at once, allowing for some truly carnage-laden gameplay. If the visual warts are worked out and some general polish is applied by the time it's released, then 3DO could have a pretty amusing title on its hands. Needless to say, the PlayStation 2 version is what really has us excited.

World Destruction League: Thunder Tanks for the PlayStation is set for release in September. Stay with GameSpot for a full review come the game's release.

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