Exclusive Review: War Thunder’s Ground Forces expansion

War Thunder - Review - EN


Graphics: 9
Gameplay: 7.5
Sound: 9

Overall: 8.5

Pro: Extraordinary environment graphics & effects, perfect level of detail on the tank models, which captures the realism of the game creating a much more immersive experience.

Con: Control of the tanks is quite difficult; due to their slowliness, it takes a while to get around and, especially when respawning at the other side of the map, to get back into the action.


We were lately offered the chance to check out the beta test version of the new Ground Forces expansion for War Thunder. With Gaijin's recent partial lift, we are allowed to tell you about our brief gaming experience and just exactly what we got up to. The expansion is still in testing and all aspects are open to change, as well as any existing bugs. We have to say, however, that during our brief time in game, nothing struck us as obviously broken.

War Thunder enables players to take to the skies in dogfights set in World War II. The main focus in the game having always been aerial combat, the new expansion now allows players to focus on driving tanks and armoured vehicles to fight the war by land against opponents from across the world, still set across key locations from World War II.

War Thunder Ground Forces expansion screenshot (2) War Thunder Ground Forces expansion screenshot (7)

Loading into the game, we got to choose between either Germany or the USSR for testing purposes, having a handful of tanks available for each faction. The vehicles, similar to planes, have been meticulously designed to reflect their real-world subjects and so the stats and specs match up as accurately as we can imagine they would. Your initial choice isn’t that important as you are able to switch between your different vehicles each time you die in game and need to respawn - if you never plan on dying though, then your initial selection is pretty critical, we suppose...

The loading screen prior to entering a match informs about both yours and the aircrafts' objectives, as planes and tanks alike can play on the same map. Regarding the tanks, you are typically tasked with annihiliating the enemy tanks and capturing specific objective locations, which is the whole purpose of the game. By positioning your tank on a capture location, this spot slowly converts over to your team, Your points start to slowly decrease, the more locations you control; the first team to reach 0, wins the game.

War Thunder Ground Forces expansion screenshot (4)

Targeting is done with directional controls based on the rotation of your tank turret, but the current angle that your tank itself is pointing is also taken into account, meaning every piece of terrain shifts your vertical aim as you drive over it. Without any auto targeting, it does require an element of skill and definitely team work and good tactics to get the most out of the game. Being a solo driver going in alone, we felt indeed a little out of our league. One of the best strategies seems to be the use of walls, structures, rock outcrops and even trees as cover while waiting for your enemy as opposed to going in gung-ho and being ambushed by an enemy group.

You have a number of different weapon types available depending on your chosen tank. Some of the faster tanks are able to fire quicker consecutive shots, with quick reload times but are extremely light-armoured and typically only take one hit to kill. The more heavily armoured vehicles present an alternative. They can take a few extra shots before exploding into flames and often come with two types of ammo that can be switched between them as if cycling between two weapons.

War Thunder Ground Forces expansion screenshot (8) War Thunder Ground Forces expansion screenshot (10)

Driving can be quite a challenge and the speed at which your tanks move, at least the completely non-upgraded versions, is pretty slow. Therefore, getting across the map can take a while, even longer if you keep dying. That said with a little bit of time and effort and some more experience under the belt, we believe the expansion is going to be a more than welcomed addition to the game. Looks and sounds are stunning, the intricate details placed in the game did title proud and really made for an immersive combat experience.

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