E3 2015: Brave Tank Hero is All About Adorable Destruction

What would you get if you combined World of Tanks with Animal Crossing? Well, I’ll tell you that this is never a mashup I would have imagined before Brave Tank Hero. This upcoming release on Wii U and 3DS is basically that, although the end result is quite distinct on its own. So, what do I mean by these comparisons? As the name Brave Tank Hero implies, this is a game about tanks. You drive a tank about, destroy opposing tanks, complete the mission, and rinse and repeat. Where does the Animal Crossing comment come in? Simple: it’s a cute art style. The visuals are bright and colorful, the tanks are chibi-like in their shaping and you can see the curvature of the world making it feel teeny tiny as the small houses dotting the landscape.

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With that said, the visual charm may be all that Brave Tank Hero has to offer. At least, that’s how things appear right now based on the E3 demo. In both versions of the game things are pretty simple. Players select a tank from one of three classes. These are Light Class, Heavy Class, and Attack Class. As you might expect each has its own stats (such as speed and firepower). With your tank selected it then deploys into battle alongside teammates while you try to find and destroy opponents. On the small screen it is difficult to keep an eye on the entire field. Sometimes tanks may creep up behind you and attack. Other times they sit right around waiting to get attacked, although that’s probably not intentional AI behavior.

Players can upgrade the stats on tanks but there’s little else customization to be had. Given the small amount of tanks to begin with it’s quite a shame. The same holds true on Wii U, despite the more powerful hardware. However, both games are not exactly the same. The Wii U release of Brave Tank Hero includes an option for local co-op multiplayer mode. There is no online multiplayer included, but at least there’s some co-op in there to spice things up. Given the local nature of this mode, it also happens to be splitscreen rather than how some other Wii U games handle multiplayer with one player on GamePad and the other on TV. Not sure why the design choice was made this way, but it’s acceptable.

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What would be nice is to see more creativity involved in the game. Blasting tanks is fun, but for how long? After all, there’s not too much challenge to it (at least in initial stages). Players control the tank via analog stick and can turn the turret either via L and R buttons or by using an auto-aim feature. If you turn on auto-aim it really reduces a lot of the hassle of having to turn your turret personally. The turret moves a bit slowly, which can prove problematic if you’re attempting to get a quick shot off on a quickly-moving tank. Beyond these bits of action, though, it is hard to tell if there’s going to be a reason to stick with the experience long term.

Brave Tank Hero is coming to both Wii U and 3DS this summer and will include fifty missions. Those who wish to play with a buddy in couch co-op will want to opt for the Wii U release as there are no extraneous multiplayer features (not even StreetPass!) on 3DS.