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Sessine

Review of Tank Crew :)

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Hi guys

 

Here are my thoughts on the progress of TC.

 

CAMPAIGN
I'm halfway through the German campaign and am thoroughly enjoying the historical feel. It is pretty uncompromising in that way but it serves to teach you about the battle-  that you're a cog in a very big machine. No crazy Rambo stunts here. That being said, care should be taken to ensure content for the title. Too many DCS modules fx. are starved of content.

 

VR
I'm been driving armored vehicles in real life and the feeling you get in VR fighting inside the TC machines is very real. The smoke, the impacts, the yelling. Very well done!

And just for the record: VR is just fantastic in this game, as in Il-2 in general.

 

SOUND
A bit wonky sometimes. Artillery exploding right next to the tank, but with no sound... Radio is super loud at all times as is the engine sound. Sound engine needs some tuning.

 

COMMAND
It works for me. After spending a couple of hours setting everything up, the whole command experience works out pretty well. I usually control the driving of the myself tank while acting as commander. You can't get the gunner to switch targets until the current one is totally and utterly dead (and preferably in flames :)). Still working out the details of the system but formations etc work as they should. I like how it works against you by reducing the bit rate of communications. Very WW2.

 

GUNNERY
I see lots of complaining here, but I like it as is. You need to reduce sensitivity of the mouse to a minimum but once that is done, aiming and firing is very efficient. I don't like using the joystick to control the gun, not in this game, nor in games like Steel Beasts.

 

DETAILS
In VR, when I stand up from my chair, my tank commander stands up in the cupola and you can see his hands and feet. Very immersive and you truly feel like a king of the battlefield standing there (at home at your desk) with the tank swaying gently under you and the Ukrainian steppe around you :)

 

DAMAGE MODEL
Is very detailed. Very satisfying to see how banged-up tanks can get - especially when it is happening to someone else in your platoon. Obviously, as Mike Tyson once said, everyone has a plan until they get hit. Same with tanks, once that AP round connects with the vehicle at 800 m/s, something usually breaks :)

 

GRAPHICS
The terrain still need more granularity. In some respects I feel that the terrain of Steel Fury Kharkov, from 2008, is better at conveying the specificity of this landscape than TC. On the other hand, as we can see from the campaign, the engine is capable of rendering some pretty big and exciting battles with lots of tanks and airplanes on both sides.

 

VEHICLES
Amazing work. As a history buff it is incredible to experience those vehicles alive and kicking in VR. Sure beats the tank museum :)

 

To conclude, this is my favorite module in the series and I hope it gets the attention it deserves from simulator fans. I would really like to see it expand on features and theaters in the years to come.

Edited by Sessine
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Great review - thank you. 

 

Almost putting me over the fence of buying it. But - I still have a question: how is the 3D damage model? Is it as good as it is for the IL-2 planes? With that I mean, do we see impact holes inside the hull from which fires inside can be seen? How about attached items such as spare tracks, spades, shovels, etc, etc flying off?... etc, etc.

 

With IL-2 planes setting the quality approach to visible 3D damage rather high, I wonder if IL-2 TC delivers here as well. 

 

Thanks for any further insights.... 

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The damage models is quite impressive: fires inside the hull, all parts of the tank is destructible, in one mission the commander cupola was hit and blown off from my tank and the skirts on the german tanks is easy to lose and most hits on the armour is visible. But the damage model for getting killed and correct damage and penetration is still lacking but its improving.

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That's good info - thank you. I guess I am ready to get TC now then as well. :)

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Thanks for the review and insights - I finally got TC and I am going to try it out in VR asap. :)

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So after a few hours with TC I am thoroughly impressed by the visuals. The tank models - esp. in VR are wonderfully detailed and look extremely realistic - inside and out. 

 

However, on the downside I cannot seem to find a way to assign my HOTAS hardware to turn the turret and raise/lower the main gun. How do I do that? What a found was a very sloppy mouse aiming option that feels wayyyyyy too sensitive (even though my mouse lets me change mouse speed/sensitivity with a press of a button) when lining up on the target and trying to finely adjust it before taking a shot. Ugh.

 

Furthermore, in VR having to mess with keyboard pressed for pause/unpause, and having to hit tilde (~) to gain access so some command menu that requires the keyboard to issue commands feels also not very thought through. What's needed is a pie menu that can be called up with the mouse, and all command options should be accessible by mouse - not the keyboard. Trying to reach keys besides the easy to feel function keys on a keyboard while playing in VR is just no fun. 

 

And yes, I already mapped a ton of buttons to my HOTAS, but for some quick reactions in combat situations fumbling with keyboard shortcuts to issue commands is just not that nice of a solution. 

 

Overall, I quite happy with the looks of TC, but the usability should - no has to - improve some more. 

 

Thanks. 

 

PS: Forgot to ask if there's a world scale option (not talking about the IPD option here)? Everything feels a little too small around me. The tank crew 3D figures look tiny. 

Edited by RainMan

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15 minutes ago, RainMan said:

 However, on the downside I cannot seem to find a way to assign my HOTAS hardware to turn the turret and raise/lower the main gun. How do I do that? What a found was a very sloppy mouse aiming option that feels wayyyyyy too sensitive (even though my mouse lets me change mouse speed/sensitivity with a press of a button) when lining up on the target and trying to finely adjust it before taking a shot. Ugh.

 

And yes, I already mapped a ton of buttons to my HOTAS, but for some quick reactions in combat situations fumbling with keyboard shortcuts to issue commands is just not that nice of a solution. 

 

Thanks.  

 

 

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I tried the T34 tank in VR that is available in the basegame. Guess how long it took me to head for the store. 🙂

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Was playing with the tanks in QMB a while back and two things happened in relatively short order that I thought were great. I'm turning a corner and I see a shadow moving on the building ahead of me, it was another tank coming around the corner with the sun behind him. I pull back, and a second later, a lovely "I saw your shadow" ambush. Perfect.

 

And it was maybe in the same game that I'm driving down an alley, and several buildings in front of me a plane crashes and goes skidding across from side to side. Just saw it for a second, but it was very cool.

 

Tanks is fun! :cool:

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@Thad - thanks for that. I do hope, however, that the developers are able to allow us to bind our hardware directly in the game menu. I have no idea why that's not the case... 

 

----

Another quick question to anyone using VR - since I am new to TC - how come that tanks that are really, really close to me (traveling left and right from me), completely disappear from view? This happens quite a bit despite my in-game graphics settings being very high/ultra.

 

Also, I noticed that - while I am first-person in VR - I can move the mouse around and that seems to affect the view by removing tanks left and right of me (this also seems to shift the sound left and right, as if I am moving my virtual head with the mouse, even though my view is controlled by my VR head movement). So is that a known issue that VR first person view somehow conflicts with me moving the mouse around? Mouse movement should not be affecting my VR viewing direction when in first person mode (F1 key). 

 

Thanks. 

Edited by RainMan

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Sorry, I don't currently have VR equipment. 😕

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Ok, so I was able to use VKBdevCfg to map the my mouse axes to my VKB Gunfighter's joystick axes and now have turret and main gun controls available using my stick. Works like a charm in TC. :)

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