WWII: A Tank in a Tank
Cute tank night idea: go watch 1917, then play Winter Fury: Longest Road.
Developed by Spidermonk Entertainment and published by 10th Reality, Winter Fury: Longest Road is the VR tank game we’ve been waiting for. Available on Steam, Winter Fury: Longest Road is sure to please all crowds; from the WWII fanatics to those with a passing interest in History Channel’s former darling, from the hardcore gamers to those just trying out their friend’s VR, and everyone in between. This game is an exciting addition to the VR library, and one that I can definitely see myself playing for a long time.
The premise is perfect: a blitzkrieg fast approaches to deal some hefty damage to the Allied front. Under normal circumstances, this would be cause for alarm and definitely time to rally the troops; luckily for the Allies, they have two secret weapons on their side — a classified, experimental M-4 Sherman tank and you, the player. As the Steam page aptly says: “Turn the tide of war with a combination of steel resolve and good ol’ American ingenuity”. Do you have what it takes to single-handedly destroy all Nazis?
Controls are simple: use the grip buttons to pick up and manipulate weapons, such as knives, grenades, guns, and, of course, tanks, and the right trigger button to shoot. You can also use the right thumbstick to move the tank’s gun, but I found it more intuitive to just use grip and trigger to get the job done. Don’t forget to reload, though — it’s just a matter of waving your hand over the areas that are lit up green and waiting for the game to load the ammunition itself. Prioritizing fast-paced gameplay over advanced controls (thank God), Winter Fury: Longest Road is an exercise in reaction times over mechanical mastery, making you feel like a seasoned veteran almost instantly.
Booting up the game, I was given the option between sitting and standing, and, after a long day at the office, the sitting option was exceedingly preferable. Little did I know, however, that choosing to sit on an office chair made this experience like a million times better — if you’re picking up the game (which you should), definitely consider playing seated in a chair that can rotate. It not only allows you to play for longer stretches but dramatically adds to the immersion factor. The way I moved and rotated in the chair felt like I was legitimately in the roomiest tank possible. It was totally unintended but exceptionally cool, and I can’t see myself playing any other way.
The gameplay itself has been described as a bit on rails, and while I can agree to this, I don’t find that to be a drawback; instead, if feels more like a classic arcade experience instead of hand-holding. There are two major modes to Winter Fury: Longest Road — areas where you’re on a moving tank and areas where you’re kind of stuck in one spot — but ultimately gameplay is the same in both: kill all the Nazis. Like most wave gunners, they come in manageable spurts, but don’t let them get too close, as some will literally sneak up behind you and scare the shit out of you. I would say the amount of Nazis per wave hit the sweet spot — not too many that it becomes super stressful, but enough that it feels like a challenge. You’ll definitely stay on your toes when it comes to enemies!
The weapons themselves are really well done and have quite a bit of realism to them. As I was playing, I showed my husband my belt of grenades. He started explaining that grenades were attached to the soldier’s belt so that when they picked them up, the pin automatically detached and the soldier was forced to hold down a grip to keep the grenade from exploding in their hands before throwing. As soon as he finished describing this, I picked up a grenade to find the pin being ripped off from the movement, the grenade firmly in my grasp with the grip clamped down. It was a small, true-to-life detail amongst all the others that WWII buffs will be sure to enjoy.
Where Beat Saber is usually cited as the game that sells VR units, I’d say Winter Fury: Longest Road is the game VR players buy after they’ve gotten a bit bored of using their headset solely as a workout device. This is easily the type of game that players of all skill levels can get into and is perfect for VR arcade owners, gaming parties, and playing with friends. VR is just begging for a solid library full of polished, fun titles, and I’m happy to say that Winter Fury: Longest Road absolutely makes that cut. Be sure to pick this up if you’re looking for something new — it’s worth the price and definitely worthy of your time.
Final Verdict: 4.5/5
Available on: PC (reviewed on Oculus Rift S); Publisher: 10th Reality; Developer: Spidermonk Entertainment; Players: 1; Released: May 30, 2019; MSRP: $19.99
Editor’s note: This review is based on a retail copy of Winter Fury: Longest Road given to HeyPoorPlayer by the publisher.