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Entries in Computer games (106)
Who would have thought that anything good would have come out of the flabby behemoth that is ArmAII? But DayZ (the mod) took the game world by storm last year and actually boosted sales of ArmAII as people bought the shambling game just so they could play the multiplayer open world survival horror mod designed by Dean Hall.
Now before I launch into any more rabid ArmAII bashing I will say that my experience of the game wasn't all negative - I remember that when I tried out ArmAII on one of my game days in 2009 I was initially wowed by the beauty of the environment. Thus far AmrAII - IMHO - has supplied one of the most realistic and submersive virtual worlds that I have played in battlefield FPS games.
...However the game itself stunk!
The DayZ mod added something very special to the basic ArmAII game - fun and playability! Basically it was like someone came along and showed Bohemia Interactive how to make a real game. :)
Check out the DayZ developers video blog...
Such was the success of the DayZ mod that Bohemia - finally showing some common sense - hired the DayZ developer and are in the process of making a stand alone DayZ game.
For me this is the stand out game of 2013 as last years drive for 'realistic modern warefare' just bored the bejezuz out of me. I am really looking forward to the DayZ release...
To be honest I was completely depressed that there hasn't been a LeftDead 3 yet, but even so DayZ surpassed teh experience by being a huge open world - not a restricted 4 player co-op game.
Fingers crossed eh?
How did I get to the 30th of January without updating this blog? Well, mostly because it's been a hectic month for 'real life' stuff (which I won't bore you with)...
Funniest thing that happened over the Xmas holiday (NOT funny at the time) was that my computer blew up! Yes, thanks to a wicked power surge - and yes, I do have a surge protector - my PC went 'Poof!' quite spectacularly during a game of World of Tanks!
Not having the money to repair it after the Christmas splurge all gaming stopped - though thankfully I had the Xbox to fall back on. But mysteriously, just last week I decided to try switching on my PC again and for some strange reason it decided to start (after a lot of BIOS complaints).
So here I am, end of January and I have just started playing again - just in time to turn all the XP I earned before Christmas into a lovely new toy...
This monster is the Tier X Soviet Tank Destroyer - the Object 268. Now if you thought my Object 704 was menacing enough then this giant brings a whole new world of pain (and yet again keeps me interested in WoT for a bit longer)!
The problem with my wonderful 704 was that the developers demoted it to a Tier IX and I think did some nerfing to it. In it's place they added two new Tier X Soviet tank killers, the horribly ugly Object 263 and the rather impressive looking 268. So I upgraded.
I moved my very well trained and skilled crew across from my 704 and - on advice from my BIG clan team mates - I switched to 'Gold' ammo for this tank (now that you can pay for premium ammo using silver). What difference has all this made?
Well, usually I would show you a nice screenshot of the after game scores to show how amazing a victory I had in my new tank, but I thought I would do something different. Just to prove having a humongous tank with a phenomenal gun on it doesn't guarantee victory (especially if you have a retarded team), here's a shot of a Loss that I had in my new Object 268...
I only killed two tanks in this dreadful game...But it so happens that both these tanks were the massive German E-100! And this was a BAD game! (Note that even with premium ammo one of these guys took 6 hits to put away!)
So am I happy, well yes and no...I am very happy with my new speed and manoeuvrability which makes my Object 704 feel like a oil tanker, but I am still learning how to use this new tank and am going through that annoying learning curve. The key tip is NOT to get carried away with your new found speed and dash in like a medium (ooops)!
Above: My new Object 268 in desert camo. I went the whole hog and bought the external camo options - this gives me a extra 5% camo ability, which is a good thing to have when you are a tank destroyer.
So - that was January...A lot of nothing much happening with a bit of a flurry at the end. Let's hope February is a bit more busy post wise!
I've gotten the strategy bug again (it comes in cycles), but I wanted something that was a little more casual and didn't involve a 400 page manual to play (things like Hearts of Iron scares me!). I was looking at a oldie like "Age of Empires III', which I never did complete when it first came out, as it is approachable and has a shallow learning curve and the games are reasonable short. But then, whilst rummaging through STEAM, I came across what looks like a little gem called Unity of Command.
This is a turn based World War 2 strategy game which focuses on the Russian Front. What caught my eye was the superb graphics, which admittedly does give a certain 'cartoony' feel to it but all the reviews I have read say that it is of intermediate depth and will give someone like me (who doesn't appreciate having to look up tables to play a computer game) a challenge. Here's a trailer...
Now the easiest way I could describe the game is an advanced version of Risk! But there is a real historical element to the play of this game as supply lines - and maintaining them - is absolutely crucial.
I've played the free demo and thoroughly enjoyed it and I note that there is already new DLC for it, which is a good sign. But best of all it is cross-platform and I can play it on my MacBook. The full game is £14.99 and the new DLC expansion is £6.99.
You can find out more about the game - and see lots more of the beautiful graphics - at the developers website: 2x2 Games - Unity of Command
I'm buying this tomorrow and I really hope that it continues to develop to include other theatres of operations (would love to see a North African campaign and, naturally, a D-Day campaign). I will do a full review over the weekend.
Playing CoD:BOII last night I decided in my head that although it was fun it definately wasn't 'the perfect game'. So far in my experience the closest we have come to the holy grail of computer games was Battlefield 2 (others will disagree).
However, this did get me to thinking - just what would my 'prefect' game be like?
Above: The obligatory 'Saving Private Ryan' moment from CoD: World at War (although this is the Pacific rather than Normandy). This was from the co-op element of the game which I enjoyed hugely, here you can see my clan mate BIG-Magnus getting ready to hit the beach with me. An excellent example of cinematic mission, you could imagine this being from a film like the 'Wind Talkers'!
Call of Duty: Hollywood
What I would really like to play is a Call of Duty type game but each single player scenario or multiplayer map would be based on a famous war movie set piece...For example...
I would love to play Clint Eastwood in the assault on the castle sequence from 'Where Eagles Dare' or Mel Gibson in the Battle of La Drang sequence from 'We Were Soldiers' or (my personal favourite) Ian Yule in the running battle during teh escape sequence in 'Wild Geese'.
I am sure you have your own list of great movie warfare sequences.
Above: When CoD get's it right it gets it very very right - this scene from CoD:BO was so evocative of a Hollywood war movie that it was one of those rare 'omg' moments when it was worth it to actually watch the cut-scene! Pity the rest of the game was mostly pants!
How cool would it be to be able to step into the shoes of any number of screen heroes to see if you could emulate their performances?
Of course, people might argue that that is exactly what the Call of Duty franchise has been trying to do all along - just changing the names for copyright reasons. And to a certain extent I would agree - as I have said before CoD: World of War was hugely cinematic and put you in mind of movies like 'The Thin Red Line' and 'Enemy at the Gates'. But to actually play the characters that you know and love from your favourite movie would just be the pinnacle of gaming experiences to my mind.
Of course it would also be a licensing nightmare!
Top 10 characters I would like to play (or play along side) in 'my perfect game'...
1. Sgt. 'Odd Ball' (Donald Sutherland) from 'Kelly's Heroes'
2. Colonel Steiner (Michael Caine) from 'The Eagle Has Landed'
3. Major Reisman (Lee Marvin) from 'The Dirty Dozen'
4. Maj. John Howard (Richard Todd) from 'The Longest Day'
5. 'DC' (Ray Stevenson) from the 'Outpost'
6. Capt. Peter Skellen (Lewis Collins) from 'Who Dare Wins'.
7. Sgt. Rolf Steiner (James Coburn) from 'Cross of Iron'.
8. Tosh Donaldson (Ian Yule) from 'Wild Geese'.
9. Vassili Zaitsev (Jude Law) from 'Enemy at the Gates'.
10. Jamie Shannon (Christopher Walken) from 'Dog Soldiers'.
Above: One of the most enjoyable CoD characters to play along with - Sergeant Viktor Reznov (voiced by Gary Oldman). This excellent character really drew the player into the game, but characters of this calibre are few and far between in games - there are, however, dozens of Hollywood characters that gamers would love to join in missions.
Last night I had my first go with the latest CoD (PC version) in multiplayer mode...Oh, and 'yes', I died A LOT!
OK, I gave in and bought CoD:BOII for the PC (still not confident enough with FPSs on the Xbox yet, but I am getting better). I'm at that dreadful 'have to do the single player campaign to learn the keys but don't really want to play it' stage!
Funnily enough, despite the - much hyped - amount of money spent on doing the single player element I don't find it anywhere near as engaging as CoD: World at War where the two main characters were voiced (beautifully) by Kiefer Sutherland and Gary Oldman. The 'future wars' silliness is really getting in the way, and the 'plot' (alleged) is so moronic that it tells you more about US paranoia than it does about the state of conflicts in the future.
I did like the openings set-scenes in Africa however - or at least would have if they hadn't been so restrictively scripted - and would have liked to have seen a scenario based on a conflict in that continent for a change...
Believability aside, we all know why we buy CoD - multiplayer. I am sure I will be happier when I get down to this nitty-gritty run and gun action with my friends.
However, I am starting to find myself feeling sorry for UBISOFT and the Ghost Recon: Future Soldier team as they brought out a reasonably good game which did all this (with a better plot) a while ago - but being 'Ghost Recon' (a tainted franchise now) everyone chose to ignore it.
Final note, graphic wise so-so really (I still think Battlefield 3 has the better graphics), they are starting to look a bit aged. I don't know if they have updated the system since CoD:MW but it certainly doesn't look like they have (I may have to play with the settings).
So we shall see - I should be ready to dip my toe in the online multiplayer mode by Friday (having set
I still enjoy tootling around with WoT, I like the fact that it's an easy to get into, no-brainer game you can just arse around in. But of course, there lies at least one of the problems with it, it can be somewhat repetitive (in the same way as Counter Strike was).
However, the other major problem with WoT is that a great many people deplore it's 'Pay2Play' philosophy (or as some people prefer it 'Pay2Win') and one of my gaming friends now refuses to even talk about the game as he hates it so much (his own fault really as he was fully sucked in to the gold trail arms race).
Well, I decided to have a bit of an experiment and see if it was possible to have as much fun with World of Tanks without spending any money at all!
First of all a confession. As you know I have steadfastly refused to play the German tanks in this game, however to make my little experiment work I wanted to start from scratch with a tech line I hadn't used to see just how long it takes me to get to a decent fun tank from scratch. As I have begun all the other tech lines the only option left to me was the German tech tree. I feel dirty!
Above: My first ever kill when I started playing World of Tanks - this is usually how I like my German tanks, nice and crispy!
The three ways - free, pay a bit and pay a lot!
So what are the disadvantages of the free account as compared to a Premium membership? Well, with a premium account (2500 Gold credits for a month, which is £8.45) you get one and half times more experience and credits. This means you can research and purchase items far quicker.
But to dispel a myth, buying a Premium membership is not the same as buying your way through the tech tree. It just means you get the XP/credit bonus (and a prettier garage), and the joy of supporting further development of the game. If you do want to buy your way through the game - or add premium items like advanced ammo or modules or add special camo or buy special premium only tanks - then you still have to purchase additional gold to do so.
So there are three ways to play the game - free, membership (to support the game and get a XP/credit bonus) and 'Pay2Win' by spending lost of cash on gold.
Free and easy?
But I am interested in the free game. How easy is it to actually have some fun in World of Tanks when all the very 'best' tanks (allegedly) are expensive to buy and run?
Well, technically it should be just as much fun, the majority of the tanks are the same (discounting the premium gold tanks) and you have to go through exactly the same procedure to progress through the various tech trees. The maps are the same and you play the game in just the same way as you would with a either a membership account or a 'P2W' tank. It's just that progress is a lot slower.
My German experiment started with the comical Liechttractor (or LOL-tractor as it is known), a sort of Steampunk Darlek of a vehicle with a 2-stroke engine, paper armour and a pop-gun as main armament. I determined that the first three tiers of WoT are always a bit pants - these tanks neither having the view range or gun power to really make for classic tank on tank duels. To me Tier IV is where things start to get interesting, and at Tier V you really have something you can work with - Tier VI is the turning point, and is where you really have something that can at least dent the big boys.
But what I found is that because I had to buckle down and spend longer in the lower tiers I really began to appreciate what those lowly tanks had to offer. The biggest surprise of all came with the LOL-tractor at Tier I as I absolutely loved it. It's was a comical cross between airsoft and dodgems as you putt-putted your way across a map with other likewise feeble tanks and sprayed them with your teeny-tiny shells until the enemy died of embracement (or just fell over)!. Actually, it was a real hoot and there are a couple of maps which work especially well with these little tin cans.
Of course, it's not so much fun when you get dragged into a higher tier battle! A LOL-Tractor versus a KV-1 is a bit like Joe Pasquale boxing Wladimir Klitschko!
So, you move on - Tier II saw me get something that at least looked a bit like a tank - the Panzer II - and I got a bit of a spurt on and the next upgrade came quite quickly and I got me the famous Panzer IIIA. But here's where things started to feel like my tracks were stuck in treacle. Tier III was a real drag as I tried to upgrade my PzIIIA to at least a passable offensive fighting vehicle - perhaps that was my mistake, but to earn the XP to rise to the next level I really felt I needed to reap some kills. But with the little tank's best gun being just a short barreled 5 cm KwK 38 L/42 (Damage: 70/70/90 - Penetration: 60/96/25!) and a view range of just 320m I was feeling a bit exposed all the time.
PROGRESS: PANZER II - 18 BATTLES>
PROGRESS: PANZER IIIA - 61 BATTLES>
Of course at these levels it's more or less all about manoeuvrability - scouting plays a big part and you can earn a fair amount by spotting for the big guys. Get in and take a peek and then scoot out of there is your best bet, and only get embroiled in a actual duel if you know you are up against an inferior tank or you have an unassailable tactical advantage (ambush).
Tier IV-V - things get interesting
Well, by now my slow progress had taken a couple of months! I wasn't a obsessive player, but I found teh allure of these lower levels didn't exactly have me falling over myself to spark the game up as I felt the rewards were so miniscule. But I stuck at it and eventually I earned myself a nice Tier IV tank - the fully fledged Panzer III with the chance to upgrade to a 75mm gun and you actually quality as a 'medium tank' now.
PROGRESS: PANZER III - 63 BATTLES>
At this point there is some hunting to be had, particularly if the tank mix goes your way (the tank balancing gods have to smile kindly on you). At this point you are up against the likes of the Russian T-28, the American M3 Lee and the British Matilda - so historically very apt and I would say you do have one of the better 75mm guns in this line-up.
Things start to progress a wee bit faster as you upgrade to the better equipment, one piece at a time, but it's still pedestrian stuff (there's a lot of upgrades to research through). On and on you trudge, but you get some good kills and once in a while you even get excited! Goodness me, was that a smile on my face when I dusted off that M3?
But then I did it, I got to Tier V. Phew! And boom, you hit the wall. Your PzIIIA cost just 35,000 'silver' and you thought you were hard done by when your PzIII came in at a eye watering 138,000 silver, but oh my lord - the Panzer III/IV is 315,000 silver to buy. And that doesn't count the amount of research XP you have to spend. And this jump in the price of things means a lot more battles to fight to progress...
PROGRESS: PANZER III/IV - 184 BATTLES*>
Above: This sleek machine is my fully upgraded Panzer III/IV. FAst and with a bite, the 75mm gun has decent range and accuracy with which you can really annoy those big tanks by chipping away at them...But don't stay around too long!
You have your lovely Tier V Panzer III/IV - the classic WW2 German medium tank - a tank that historians say that Germany should have stuck with instead of playing about with far more complex tanks like the Panther. It has a excellent 7.5cm KwK 40 L/48 (Damage: 110/110/175 - Penetration: 110/158/38) and a very nippy 55km/h. It floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee.
I actually attained by best kill ratio for my German tanks with the Panzer III/IV, despatching 7 enemy tanks in one game (it would have been 8 - he was on 1% - but I got too cocky).
Quite why I got stuck in this tier so very long is something you should understand - when you reach Tier V you are at a very interesting cross-roads when it comes to the tank balancing, you find you face a lot more very dangerous Heavy tanks with very, very big guns. In my case it was those bloody Soviet IS tanks with their 122mm guns and rock hard armour that were the bane of my life.
But also note the '*' after my total of 184 battles - the majority of these battles took place AFTER I earned access to the next tier, that should tell you something about both the tank and my developing attitude to playing the game for free.
But I have to say - I LOVED the Panzer III/IV. It really was the delicate balance between the lower and higher tiers. If you were at the top end of the match tank you were the deadly hunter and if you were at the low end of a match with the 'big boys' your were the nippy scout, but one that could still pop an annoying cap in the ass of a careless KV.
Tier VI - Evil, thy name is '88mm'
OK, so playing free takes a certain patience and the ability to see the positive things in some quite vulnerable tanks. You've dragged yourself along - with some fun moments - through those lower tiers and a painfully slow rate, but all the while you feel like the kid who gets sand kicked in his face at the beach. Tier V starts to give you a glimpse into the world of the true hunter, particularly if you are lucky with the match balancing, but you do still tremble when you get one of those 'whoosh, BANG!' clattering hits from the likes of a Tiger or larger...You want pay back!
One thing though - if you have never played through at premium and have not already reach the loft ranks of a Tier X tank in all likelihood you only have a slight inkling at what you are missing. For me, a guy who has several Tier X bad boys in his premium garage I measured my slow progress by continually comparing the 'pop' I got with 50mm or 75mm guns with the huge bass thunder of my BL10 152mm gun on my beloved Object 704. I had to stop myself and look at the other low tier tanks around me and consider, power is relative - in my Tier III Panzer II I was a god to someone in a LOL-Tractor.
But come on - we all know we guys like BIG GUNS! That's where it's at, right? So I could get all hippy-dippy about the positives attributes of a low tier, but we all know we want to be the King of the Battlefield...
At Tier VI I got me the VK 3001(H) and at first I thought it was a case of the urban myth in WoT that progress is marked by one good tank followed by one clunker, followed by a good one, etc. To begin with the VK 3001 (H) looked like it was a clunker and was even worse stock than my lovely upgraded Panzer III/IV!
Above: My stock VK 3001 (H) - bit of a disappointment...At first...
But here's the thing: AT Tier VI you've sort of made your choice regarding while line of tanks - medium, heavy or tank destroyer - that you want to proceed with. remember I said Tier V was a watershed? Well, by stepping over the threshold between V and VI you have probably made a commitment to where you are heading as far of tank types are concerned. With the Tier VI German tech tree I decided that I am looking at continuing with the Medium tanks - I like the mix of speed and reasonable hitting power. But I can still cross over to heavy if I wish.
The real VK 3001 (H) tank was a prototype designed to test out early (1942) ideas for the next generation of heavier tanks which the regime wanted to replace the Panzer III & IV lines. The VK 3001 series was the blueprint for the later Panther and Tiger tanks and so it's place in World of Tanks is very intelligently chosen by the makers. Both historically and in the game the VK 3001 is the doorway to two very different lines of German tanks.
But here's the thing - choosing where to go next is not the main feature of the Tier VI German tank, it the gun. After upgrading through a series of OK guns, from 75mm upwards, you can finally earn yourself the legendary 8.8cm Kwk36 L/56 - the much feared '88' that armed the infamous Tiger I tank.
Above: The intimidating shape that is the 88mm armed VK 3001 (H) when fully upgraded. This is really a strange hint at what you can expect if you chose either the advanced medium or heave route next. It's part Panther and part Tiger - but not really as good as either. But for it's Tier it's a bit of a hellcat.
What difference this made was immediately apparent as heavy opponents that were my nemesis in my Tier V Panzer III/IV - such as the Soviet KVs and ISs - suddenly started to feel my wrath! My very first encounter with a IS in my upgraded VK resulted in him starting to retreat when my first shot took 25% off his health and then I continued to demolish him with another three snap shots (I could have probably done the job with fewer if I hadn't been so excited)!
Up until this point KVs, ISs and other heavily armoured heavies had one tactic when facing lower tier mediums - run at them! Their frontal armour was near impenetrable to anything up to low velocity 75mms. But now they backed off - at last I could be the king of the mediums AND scare some of the big boys too - plus, as I was still a medium and once I had upgraded my engine, I could still pull a pretty good speed.
Above: The result of my very first game with my upgraded VK 3001 (H), oh baby feel my wrath! Grrrr!
As you can probably tell by how much I have rambled on, there was indeed a lot of fun to be had playing World of Tanks for free. I was surprised that I could have just as much fun with some surprisingly mediocre tanks as I could with my premium land battleships. In fact in two obvious ways the lower tier tanks were actually better - for a start they were cheap to own and repair, cost of shells and repairs did not make me flinch every time the bill came up in the after game debrief, and also for their price they reaped a good income.
The problem with my huge metal behemoths is that the cost a bomb (pun intended) every time you fire a shell, they are eye-wateringly expensive to repair, they rarely make all that much profit unless you get a multi-kill spree and some medals and if your tank is completely destroyed you can be nearly reduced to tears.
The low tier tanks can sometimes lead you into a bit of a casual approach to doing the suicidal - after all you aren't loosing much, but you soon start playing a little more craftily and really begin to enjoy out-witting the bigger tanks with your nippy play. My Panzer III/IV was not sold on when I up'd a tier, it remains a favourite in my garage because it's fun to play!
My VK maybe sold if I decide to progress to the ultimate WW2 medium, the Panther, but once you own a few good tanks you do really start to roll in the XP, especially useful if you can turn these tanks into 'Elite' by researching all the available upgrades. You then have the choice of contributing the spare XP to other purchases or pouring it all into training up your crew.
Yes, it has been a very long haul to get from Tier I to Tier VI, and I would have done that in about half the time or less if I had opted for a Premium membership (and even quicker if I had bought my way through the tech tree), but if I had I would have missed out on the benefits that this meandering progression offered me. I whizzed by some tanks with my premium membership, seeing them as no more than stepping stones to the next level and by doing this I missed out on some excellent little gems.
Playing WoT for free is a great way to really understand the tanks that have been offered to you, you have time to appreciate them properly and get to know their eccentricities and you actually fall in love with some of them. In other words you get to know them personally.
The biggest surprise of all is that I still have and play my LOL-Tractor! It's just ridiculous - and slightly - bizarre fun!
...And as for playing German tanks, well, know your enemy that's what I say! ;)
Milgeek rating for World of Tanks 'for free':
After shelling out a load of cash on a whim by buying a lousy remake of Heroes of the Pacific for the XBox I have just had my faith in game developers renewed by a gem of a little game which I just picked up for my new iPhone. Doom Resurrection is a unbelievably playable version of the classic FPS for the small screen and only cost £2.99 from the Apple Store.
Now I'm quite new to the whole mobile gaming thing, on my previous phone the only game I had was Peggle, so Doom Resurrection came as a really big surprise...It's like a real computer game!
The first thing is that I wondered was 'how the hell do you move when you don't have a keyboard or mouse?' Well, enter a funny thing called an accelorometer - tilt your iPhone about and you move the cursor. The forward and left and right moving is done automatically by the software as you move constantly forward through the map (apparently this is called an 'on-rails' game).
Admittedly this makes the game quite restricted and linear, but let's face it - Doom was quite linear anyway. What matters is that I'm playing bleeding Doom on my phone and it actually looks like Doom!
Bottom line: It is what it is, just a bit of casual fun. But it's well done and a step up from the cutsy jewel laden casual games I previously associated with mobile phones.
How could I not return to World of Tanks for the launch of version 8.1 and the introduction of the British line of tanks?
Above: One of my favourite British tanks, and the first British tank of WW2 that really put us on a square footing with the Germans. The Comet could be considered the British Panther, it was a excellent Medium tank of good reliability, sufficient armour, superb mobility and excellent gun. Sadly it was a year too late and only saw action in the later part of the war in Europe - how different things might have been had it been the standard tank during D-Day.
I know many are scathing about this infamously 'Pay to Win' game, but my view has been the same right from the beginning - I would rather give some money towards a game that works and I enjoy than pay for some of the terrible clunkers that have been released over the past two years.
The British line of tanks has breathed new life into the game and I noticed a big rush to try them out. Although a great people seem to have done what I have been doing and saving up their silver and XP just so they could get to the stars of the show - the Comet and Centurion tanks. I had stored up enough game credits to shoot past all the early Cruiser tanks and get straight to the Comet (level VII).
Above: The legendary Centurion - perhaps one of the greatest tank of the post-war period. When designed this was considered a Heavy tank and was meant to compete with the German Tiger series, but in the post-war period it was downgraded to a Medium. This is the first of two Centurions you can earn in the game, it's the Mk. I (albeit heavily upgraded and having the excellent 20 Pounder gun).
As you can see the game developers have also given us a nice spooky Halloween theme to our garages. It's a pity we couldn't have painted our tanks to match!
World of Tanks version 8.1
Aside from the British tanks the game has been through a bit of a revamp of late, culminating in this new 8.1 version. The main difference is the introduction of game physics - the feeling that your tanks are heavy metal lumps of metal clattering over uneven and rocky ground!
It's not just a minor tweak though, maps and vehicles have been more or less redesigned completely to allow for a greater sense of reality in their interaction with one another. While in the earlier version of the game tanks seemed to skate across the ground and you didn't really get a sense of there being ground underneath your tracks, now you feel every bump and rock with bone-shuddering realism.
The first thing you notice is the friction caused by this new physics engine seems to have slowed the top speeds down somewhat - my rocket-sled M10 Hellcat feels like it's been neutered a bit!
But the main thing you will see is the change in the maps, you can now drive off cliffs and the geography has been given a tweak too so although you recognise the maps there are subtle differences that have changed the way you play them.
Worth having another go?
Well, despite the overhaul it is still the same game format underneath - those that spend gold - a lot of gold - can expect to win a lot more than those that do not. That hasn't changed.
I still find it fun, but was already tiring of it and am ready for World of Aircraft. The British tanks has given me a bit of impetus, but the lack of new maps and new ways to play has taken the edge off the joy of playing with my favourite tanks.