reviews\ Jun 25, 2006 at 8:00 pm

Iron Warriors: T72 Tank Command - PC - Review

War simulations are among the most popular genre of video games. Stories of heroic deeds against impossible odds have always appealed to humanity. It is no surprise games that allow players to experience some of the joy, fear, and excitement of combat are popular. Iron Warriors: T72-Tank Command is an outstanding example of a realistic simulator for mechanized combat in the real world. Players can command, drive, or serve as the gunner for the virtual tanks this game boasts. The developers have done an impressive job recreating the armored vehicles with precision. That precision will appeal to die-hard fans, but more casual gamers might be less enthusiastic. Decent graphics and sound help players immerse themselves in the game, but the true value of this title is in its realism.


The world of Iron Warriors is lovingly crafted in extreme detail. When commanding a tank players will have to keep an eye on their surroundings and their vehicle. It is a challenge, but the interface helps players clearly and quickly view all the information they need to have at a moment’s notice. Each tank featured in the game is a faithful representation of the real-world original. There are only minor changes between the real world and the virtual world, which the developers are kind enough to spell out in their manual. Each tank has the strengths - and flaws – you could find if you were to pilot one today. This gives players both an immersive environment and some small frustrations at times when the limitations of the vehicles become apparent.

The damage system included in the game is also extremely realistic. Unlike other simulations where a player can continue until they are completely destroyed, in Iron Warriors every hit can have an effect. An enemy shot striking the side of your tank might not be a killing blow, but it might have struck home in the track assembly on that side. Sights can be damaged, weapons can be knocked out, and engines can be destroyed. This holds true for opponents as well as for players. Damage to the treads might cause a tank to list to one side, making it difficult to steer. This can give players an advantage - or a fatal disadvantage.

Beyond the tanks the world of Iron Warriors: T72-Tank Command is decently done, but not outstanding. The graphics are average compared to other simulators and the sounds are a mixed bag. At times the sounds are crystal clear, but some of the shouted orders that help convey information and meaning to players are garbled by very realistic static. Again, this is very realistic, but it can also be a little frustrating. The world itself is displayed in bright colors on vast maps which give players a lot of room to explore and fight. The grasses and shrubs, something players will see often as it is ground into the dirt beneath their iron treads, are a bit bland. Tank traps, buildings, and walls are all rendered well.


The visual quality never achieves anything spectacular, but at the same time it holds to a degree of quality. The only flaw in the game is that dust and debris, thrown up when a tank fires or plows through a wall, can sometimes make the graphics slow down a touch. The temporary blindness is realistic and serves a purpose - at a price. Combined with the difficulties in firing and players will not simply throw out ammunition in an attempt to strike an opponent by chance. It also provides a sense of realism when a player drives headlong through a barrier. Some obstructions, like concrete walls, can be broken through or destroyed by the tank. Others, like canals, ditches, or tank-traps will bring the tank to a sudden, complete stop. Depending on the speed and the obstruction damage can also be inflicted on the tank itself.


The physics used when firing the tanks’ guns is also realistic. Players will need to account for distance and other factors in order to strike their target. A distant target will be missed if you fire in a straight line, for example. The shells are still subject to gravity and will fall to the earth as they fly. Fortunately the gunner’s interface shows height and range-finding tools. The AI gunner is also quite adept, providing a solution to players who have not mastered the fine art of aiming a tank’s powerful main gun.

Players also have the option of which “seat” in the tank they are going to occupy. Players can take control of the driver’s position, steering the tank themselves. They can take control of the gunnery position and directly control the weapons. The commander’s chair gives players a more limited view, but also includes a periscope that can be used to survey the area around a tank, unlike the driver who can only see straight. Each position brings its own abilities and limitations. The AI built into the game allows players to give orders to the other positions at will. Thus the commander can order his tank to move to the right, fire on his target, and increase speed - all at the same time! 

Iron Warriors: T72-Tank Command is an interesting game that will appeal to simulator fans or anyone who wants to know how tank combat works in the “real world.” The developers have done an amazing job of recreating these armored vehicles in detail. Those very details might confuse or irritate a less experienced player, and the learning curve for controlling a tank is steep. This creates a high difficulty for the game itself. The graphics and sound, decent quality in their own right, cannot quite ease the sting of the complicated interface. Once mastered the interface allows players to quickly make decisions, give commands, and conquer their opponents. Mastering the interface is the first challenge players will face.


Take the time to play through all the “single missions” before you try the campaign. The name can be a little confusing, but those missions are the tutorials that help a player learn how to control their tank and use it to the fullest.

Accuracy and movement are mutually exclusive. If you are sitting still to fire you will have a much easier time striking the target. On the other hand, if your target is armed, the same is true. Learn the fine art of providing your gunner with a smooth ride for a half second and you’ll greatly improve your chances of living to tell the tail.

Don’t always take your enemies head on! If an opponent’s shell strikes home in the front of the tank it can kill your pilot and make driving the tank impossible. It can be painful, and even deadly to have an enemy’s shells strike your treads from the side, but lateral movement can make you easier to hit. It is also more likely the shells won’t punch clear through the armor.

Sometimes the enemy will miss. Don’t plan on this, and don’t hope for this, but take advantage when it happens - reloading a gun takes several seconds. At the same time, if you miss your target take evasive action until you are ready to fire again.

Review Scoring Details for Iron Warriors: T72 Tank Command

Gameplay: 6.5
A die-hard fan will enjoy this game. Casual players might not. The controls are detailed, but not responsive at times. It also takes quite a while to learn how to control all aspects of a vehicle, especially if a player is hopping between positions for hands-on control.

Graphics: 7.0
The graphics are average for a game players would expect to see on the market today. Except for the minor slow-down when smoke or dust clouds the area the graphics render quickly and easily. Even that slowdown is small, and doesn’t detract from the game very much.

Sound: 6.8
The background noise is a constant hum when the engine is engaged. Listening to the noise allows players to easily tell what is going on with their engine. Unfortunately it is constant and can grate on the nerves after a while. The shouted information or commands used in the interface are plagued by static. It is realistic, but sometimes makes understanding what was said difficult. 

Difficulty: Hard
The world of Iron Warriors: T72-Tank Command is impressively realistic. This means that every aspect of combat or driving is difficult. The interface can be daunting, conveying so much information, and players have to remember which keys to use. Given the sheer number of options and commands, this is a challenge!

Concept: 7.5
This game is an excellent example of a solid concept being brought to fruition. The developers wanted to create a game that was fun, challenging, and highly realistic. They have succeeded admirably. Everything from the tanks to the effects of combat on those tanks is well done. Instead of bowing to the least common denominator, the easiest way of doing something, Iron Warriors challenges players to learn and to master this complex and rewarding method of combat.

Multiplayer: N/A
Iron Warriors boasts the standard multiplayer options. Friends can connect via a network to play together. There are options for cooperative and competitive play using missions from the game itself or skirmishes.

Overall: 7.0
The game itself is very fun, once you get used to the interface. I’m also very impressed with the level of realism the developers have produced in this title.


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