It’s not that often that you see a tank simulation for any platform, and so when one does show up, we fans of the genre get a little excited. After all, being one of the few people I know who defeated M-1 Abrams Battletank on the Sega Genesis is a badge of honor I still maintain (mentally) to this day. But, it’s a genre that’s only enjoyable to fans, it’s not something a casual gamer can get into, and frankly, tank games are probably too slow for most of the gaming public as it is. With all this in mind, I was a bit surprised to see Strategy First’s Iron Warriors – T-72 Tank Command cross my desk, and was even more surprised that it was actually good. Although it is a good game, if you’re not a fan of tank sims, you can stop reading now. But if you enjoy rolling around in a massive steel death machine (and sometimes “deathtrap”), Iron Warriors might just be your cup of tea.
Now, let’s not harbor any delusions here – Iron Warriors doesn’t bring anything new to the tank genre, and frankly – there’s not much room for innovation in the genre anyhow. It’s a standard tank sim with standard mission design – drive your battletank from Point A to Point B, and smash other armored units along the way. It often feels like a modernized version of the previously-mentioned Sega title, M1 Abrams. Exciting? Not really, but enjoyable… if creeping across the landscape, jumping between command positions (gunner, commander, driver, etc.) , choosing ammo types and blasting enemy armor is your bag.
One big advantage Iron Warriors has over most of the other tank sims of the past (and the few current ones) is a wealth of content. There’s dozens of missions played through several campaigns, and even LAN play for those who like to rumble around the map with their friends. Cooperative play is included, which allows everyone playing a shot at different duty stations within the tank.
The production values are pretty minimalist – the tanks rumble and roll realistically, but the sound and visuals feel dated. Nothing ugly, but nothing that would ever push a modern PC, and honestly, this lack of any modern polish makes the game feel like a budget title. At $39.99 U.S., this game is definitely not a budget game.
T-72 Tank Command is a nice entry into the tank sim genre, so long as you’re not expecting a terribly modern game. The plentitude of missions and ability to jump between duty posts, however, boosts that game’s value, and should make it a welcome addition to any tank fan’s collection.
- Gameplay: 7
- Definitely realistic, but sloppy AI sometimes feels cheap
- Graphics: 6.5
- You certainly won’t need a new graphics card, but the graphics engine gets the job done.
- Sound: 6
- Engines rumble, commanders chatter and sabots slam into armor, not much more sound is needed!
- Replayability: 7.5
- Plenty of content and LAN play extends the game’s value
- Overall: 7
- A good game for fans of the genre