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First person tank sim with tabletop strategic elements
In M1 Tank Platoon you play both as a strategist leaning over the digital tabletop map, issuing commands and trying to establish the next best move to take, but you also are pitted in the position of a tank crew, where you will pilot a tank, aim and fire at the targets. While on the strategic map the graphics are functional, true enough, quite bland and uninspired but functional, the same cannot really be said of the 3D tactical representation of the game. While you drive your tank and steer it, you will see it from a third person view. This is done in the crudest most minimalist 3D you're ever bound to see, understandable if you think that the game was released in 1989 but very hard to get past today. While you shoot and target your enemies and other objectives your access to the 3D world is diminished to a sixth of the original size and the rest of the screen is taken by a tank interface full of pseudo controls and a few real gauges. So, bottom line, while the strategic element is really well designed the crude tactical map graphics will make it harder for you to truly enjoy this game. However, for the old school strategists and tacticians who don't mind a good level of graphical jazz, this can be a good game to try out.
Tank simulation, the first attempt
M1 Tank Platoon is a game that tried to simulate tank combat, but failed miserably due to many bad design decisions. First of all, the HUD of the game offers too much information for any gamers brain to process. I understand that you need some information for a simulation game, but not that much. Secondly, you can only command your tank strategy style by issuing orders. Wouldn't have been better if the CPU issued orders and you just carry them out? And I didn't quite see any tank combat in this game, other than on the combat map. Yes, you change the views so you can have a first person perspective from the tank, but that wasn't enough for me. Simulation or not, this game doesn't deserve the attention of many gamers, other than the one who find these kind of games fun. So, if you want a tank game that's at least fun, you might want to check out Tank Racer.