‘Tanks/Thanks’ Pun: Obsidian’s F2P Armored Warfare

Zap pow

From their beginnings as a rag-tag band of plucky youngsters forming after the closure of Black Isle Studios, Obsidian Entertainment have made RPGs. Alpha Protocol, Fallout: New Vegas, Knights of the Old Republic II, Pillars of Eternity… it’s sort of their thing. They do still like a good explosion, though. We didn’t post about the announcement of Armored Warfare in March (a few days before I joined RPS). I imagine the Hivemind looking at its inbox in disbelief, glancing at the bottle of moonshine in its tendrils, back at the e-mail, the bottle, to the e-mail, the bottle, then finally declaring “No more for me!” and tossing the bottle over its many shoulders.

But Obsidian are making a free-to-play multiplayer tank game. For proof, see this first gameplay vid.

The pre-alpha footage shows a PvE co-op mission (it has PvP too) with four players completing objectives and smashing AI vehicles. Armored Warfare’s set in modern times so its tanks are newer than those in, say, World of Tanks. They’ve got fancy gadgets like smoke grenades, active protection systems, and guided missiles too.

Obsidian are keeping shtum about Armored Warfare’s release date, but plan to launch closed beta testing somewhere from January to March next year. Signups are on the website.

This is a capture of a livestream so you’ll want to skip to the one-minute mark to jump some guff, but then you’ll see project director Rich Taylor explain what tanks are (some kind of big car) and what they do (shoot other big cars). The game itself shows up at 3:50 then rolls on for 19 minutes.


  1. Gog Magog says:

    I… er…

  2. Lars Westergren says:

    I prefer singleplayer, but I’m ok with anything that keeps my favorite studio in business.

    Note that this is something they got contracted to do by the Allods Oline company which they have done business with previously (mainly artwork, some writing ad quest design apparently).

    If the F2P is done non-intrusively, I will at least try it out with my friends. Having base customisation looks intriguing. I like that there will be some plot and characters.

    • C2B says:

      Armored Warfare was actually first. The MMORPG help came after (But was announced first).^^

    • Gog Magog says:

      Oh man if they made a game in the style of Mechwarrior Mercenaries but with tanks with that single player I would basically cry all of my blood out through my eyes and collect it and use it to summon fucking Moloch hisself and tell him to shove it all where the Sun don’t shine ‘cus god is in My heaven and all’s right with the world.

      • JiminyJickers says:

        Haha, that would be awesome. The game you describe that is, not the blood ritual.

  3. Palindrome says:

    It looks extremely similar to WoT and it seems to play similarly as well. If the balance is right, which is most definitely not the case with WoT, this may well be my default tankshoot game.

    • lurkalisk says:

      WoT’s balance problems are relatively small (but easy to notice). This game looked like it will be significantly simpler when it comes to things like damage models/calculations, that sort of thing. So it wouldn’t surprise me if it were more balanced, since it would probably be vastly easier, but it looks like they’re going for flash more than substance. Nothing about this looks like it will scratch the same itch that WoT currently takes care of.

      Also, part of me really dislikes how simple their approach seems to be (calling ERA “heavy armour” was, in particular, pretty ridiculous).

      • Palindrome says:

        WoT really isn’t well balanced.
        Any game where you are forced to play against opponents that you almost literally can’t even damage is not balanced. On tier games are relatively fine (but even then there are some issues) but its far too common to be fighting opponents who are vastly weaker or stronger than you are due to the hopelessly, but purposefully, broken match making system.

        Going by the video and the use of first aid kits and the like it looks as though damage and armour modelling is very similar to WoT.

        • untoreh says:

          You made me remember war of the roses 1.0 with its. Old armor system

        • lurkalisk says:

          I think we might have slightly different definitions of balance. Encountering an enemy 2 tiers higher than you could be criticised for several reasons, but this occurrence being the functioning result of deliberate design choices means it’s not really a balance problem we’re talking about. There *are* balance issues, but those are typically lumped in with every other complaint and the whole mess is erroneously labeled “balance”. Well, that’s how I see it anyway.

          And you might well be right about that second bit. I might just be focusing on what I didn’t like rather than what made sense…

  4. pullthewires says:

    Definitely not my sort of thing, but interesting to see Obsidian moving outside their RPG comfort zone.

  5. Dog Pants says:

    Co-op tank fights? This is on track to be an interesting option. Could be fun with a cupola mates.

  6. eggy toast says:

    Just hope it doesn’t wind up going from “make some money with an easy f2p” into “to hell with trying hard, this f2p is making us a mint!”

    You know, the DOTA2 effect.

    • toxic avenger says:

      What are you talking about? Valve is doing a lot of interesting things with DoTA that aren’t monetized. All of the heroes, full stop, are free from the get go unlike Riot and LoL. The game is very, very deep and the only thing that really is monetized are aesthetics, and hell I don’t even enjoy playing the game! I’m not sure I’m understanding, or what you’re saying actually makes sense. Is this a plea for Valve to get off the F2P bandwagon and make HL3 or other games with normal monetization strategies?

  7. FurryLippedSquid says:

    Angry houses? Anyone?

    • Bull0 says:

      I came here expecting the angry houses joke, so that’s… 2 of us at least.

  8. Tei says:

    *trying to pull any obsidian meme*

    The tanks have amnesia?

    Also hit points. They die when they hitpoints is zero.

  9. JFS says:

    Did they lift the landscape straight out of New Vegas?

  10. Velko says:


  11. Ross Angus says:

    In other news, ID will be making a point-and-click adventure game.

  12. Hairball says:

    Bless you tanks. Blanks.

  13. skyturnedred says:

    Looks like a less bleak version of World of Tanks.

  14. ohyeah says:

    Healthbar tanks in this day and age, your game is a failure already.

  15. Askis says:

    This seems like an almost straight-up copy of World of Tanks…
    The only major differences I can see from the video (not counting different engine/graphics and maps) are:
    1) Modern/Near Future setting instead of WW2
    2) A Coop/PVE Mode
    [3) The player’s base, but since they’re not really showing, it might just be a fancied up Tank Hangar]

    Those guided AT-missiles are going to be premium ammo, calling it right now.

    • C2B says:

      Theres no premium ammo in the game.

    • Thurgret says:

      NATO and NATO-aligned countries don’t tend to use tanks as missile platforms, so, er, that would be premium ammunition for Soviet and Soviet-derivative models, I guess?

  16. Tom Walker says:

    Pre-alpha is a stupidly overused phrase now. Games go straight from pre-alpha to beta.

    Look at the new UT. That’s pre-alpha. If a game already looks and plays a lot like the final product will, you’re obviously just using the phrase to say, “Oh, but it’ll be loads better than this, honest.”

    Down with this sort of thing.

  17. hamilcarp says:

    The guy said BMP 3 but it was a BMP 2

  18. SuicideKing says:

    I like the look of the game, noticed a lot of destructible structures, and like the PvE angle.

  19. kevmscotland says:

    Be interesting to see how this turns out.
    Seem’s to be becoming a rather saturated market however.