Tank Commander cover
Tank Commander game front cover

Tank Commander

A 1st-person perspective game called Tank Commander was released by Domark Software Ltd. in the year 1995. Play it online now.

Tank Commander description

Tank simulator, which, according to rumors, based on actual programs-simulators of the us army, but it's a little hard to believe, because the gameplay of this thing is only very slightly crosses the line between simulator and arcade tank action'om.

Specific storyline here – there are just over forty decent-sized missions taking place in different parts of the globe, each of which you want to perform some tasks. Mission, admittedly, is probably the most diverse in the framework of this sub-genre and is often really exciting. The geography of their in fact extremely extensive – from Arctic deserts to the middle East, from city streets to volcanic Islands, is not only day and night missions. Given a choice of several real models of tanks, will even play tanks for armies of different countries of the world.

The gameplay here is scale – it is not impossible to recognize. The tank is operated by four men – commander, driver-mechanic, gunner and loader - and you can "play" for all crew members simultaneously, which, of course, quite difficult, but extremely exciting. Despite the fact that all models of tanks in the game exist in reality, really exactly such tanks, even in our time, there can be because your tank is some kind of super machine of the future. Judge for yourself: it is simultaneously a cannon, machine gun, flamethrower and a huge rocket launcher, there is a radar to identify the enemy and route guidance, have constant communication with the satellites to improve reconnaissance and even reconnaissance helicopter in the discipline, which at any moment can be sent to determine what lies ahead.

Before the start of the game, we need first and foremost to gather the crew of our tank, which is in any case international: the choice represented by four crews of three people each from the United States, Britain, Germany and Russia. You must then choose one of the proposed campaigns (a total of seven, the sequence of their passage there) and start to pass her mission (already strictly sequentially). The interface of the game is quite heavy in the first place because, as was said, will have to simultaneously control all functions of the tank. That is, the game has four different game modes for each crew member with a different interface and the prospect of a review between them will have to switch: be prepared for the fact that to move and rotate the tank itself only in the mode of the driver, select a weapon and shoot him – only in gunner mode (to turn the tower, if that, too, is possible only in this mode), while the charge – mode charging.

In the same commander you can switch between the crew members, you can switch between different types of review of the tank (the game supports multiple perspectives review) and do different interesting things (e.g. to include night-vision goggles). Very often in our submission there are four tanks that are managed automatically, but at any time you can switch to manual control of each of them (all functions). There are also the common interface of the game screen, which for the tank control in General, and here it is necessary briefly to consider.

In the upper left corner of the screen is a radar (can detect all enemies and land, and air). The scale at the top in the center is the compass, which is easy to navigate when choosing a future path. In the upper right corner is a picture of the tank from the top view – it is necessary first to understand in what position is now his tower and where it will get its shot (this is one of the most important moments of the game). Next is the vertical scale – is, I may say, "strip life" of your tank, reflecting his current state of "health". Also in the right part of the screen there is an indicator that shows the angle at which the lowered or raised turret (landmark – red bar). Choose one of the weapons to attack and to watch the amount of ammunition in the bottom of the screen.

F8 key in the game is incredibly useful – it gives you access to the map of the area obtained from the satellite. Shimmering colored dots on it – is the enemy. Red dots are tanks your group. The black rectangles with numbers marked those tanks that in this mode, you can switch to manual control. The edges of the map there is a lot of icons (here, too, the interface is heavy), the most important of which is the program call helicopter reconnaissance. It can be sent to any district location and to be able to see the area of the mounted camera, and even has the ability to rotate the camera and zoom. But before the flight, the helicopter must be set to the start and end points of the route. The left of the map there are also images of tanks in your group, with their help it is possible to order the tanks to follow in a certain area of the map.

All that has been described above, clearly gives us the right to say that we are dealing with a truly wonderful game and probably the best tank simulator in General. But, unfortunately, in fact it is not so, for without spoons tar there has not been. The fact is that, despite the very difficult (though thoughtful) interface, this game can be called a simulator of a stretch – the actual gameplay is much closer to the tank arcade game. And it's not even (or rather, not only) that our tank too many weapons, but, for example, in the speed of his movement so fast can't drive a single tank. No realistic physics of movement of the machine is not here in principle. Finally, if the ammunition for any weapon is over – you can easily find new right on the ground, just like in the arcade or shooter.

The level of difficulty of the game is quite high and progresses from mission to mission, but the number of enemies (as well as the relative weakness of some of them) and the General often frantic dynamics of the gameplay is much more action like a tank, rather than tank simulator. Yes, and the very essence of almost all missions, in fact, is simply to destroy all enemies on the map and reach a certain point, these "jobs" are rare. It also has a mode of collective game, which is to find flags of different colors, capture them and later transported to their base. I think this should draw a line in the dispute about what actually is this game. However, the status of the simulator – at least from the really complicated controls – we deprive it won't.

Graphically, Tank Commander looks very, very cool game developed for DOS, but is executed in full 3D, the levels are well drawn and objectively varied, there are some nice effects, but about the machines themselves and the number of objects to say this, alas, is impossible (although it looks generally decent). Well, the verdict was still a few lines above. It is really good and made with love and a very worthy game, but unfortunately created without focusing on a specific target audience because fans of arcade games will probably be turned off difficult to manage, and all fans of serious simulation – a huge number of simplifications and assumptions of the gameplay. If at all her wonderful ideas here would be removed this arcade style game really could give a perfect score, and the crown of best tank simulator in history of games.

But if you are too strict and demanding compulsory observance of the formal canons, who are not indifferent to the tanks and just want to play a good game with tanks in the lead roles – then to see the Tank Commander is required.

Play your all-time favorite Tank Commander free on your browser here.

Source: Archive.org, Mobygames.com