Although the United States and its allies crushed Nazi Germany to win World War 2, some historians argue that had Adolph Hitler made one or more decisions differently, the outcome might have been terrifying for the rest of the world. Ultimately, Hitler committed a handful of blunders that led to the Nazi demise, but that doesn’t stop fans from immersing themselves in alternate history. This also carries over to video games. Bethesda’s Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, for example, takes place in a Nazi occupied USA.  Similarly, Wargaming’s new and free update for the popular World of Tanks will introduce Mercenaries, a new player versus environment scenario where World War 2 didn’t end, and people questioned each other’s loyalties. 

Launching June 26 for Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PS4, World of Tanks: Mercenaries introduces two main features. First, there’s the aforementioned  story missions that fall under the Mercenaries game mode. These new scenarios pose the hypothetical scenario where World War 2 continued well into 1948. Instead of having characters that fall into global militaries (U.S., Russia, etc.), groups of people from different nations choose to ignore orders from their commanders and band together to survive in the new post war environment. 

For example, The Heist follows a group of mercenaries as they battle to steal nuclear material from a secret war facility; this is playable solo or with a friend via online co-op. Before embarking upon the mission, you’ll be able to check out the list of objectives to know exactly what needs to be done in order to emerge successful, and there are both primary and secondary objectives to complete. Primary objectives include weakening the perimeter defenses, cutting off train transportation, and assaulting the enemy base. With the secondary objectives, you will need to destroy eight defense towers and then take out the boss.

From what we’ve seen, World of Tanks fans should be pleased that Wargaming chose to not radically change the gameplay that made WoT so popular. The experience is similar to the core World of Tanks game, with you controlling heavily armored tanks and blowing stuff up, but the theme of mercenaries carries over to the tanks that you’ll control, all of which were assembled from a variety of different parts in order to produce hybrid war machines that players have never seen before. This also ties into Mercenaries’ player-versus-player gameplay. Basically, think of Mercenaries as a brand-new nation within the World of Tanks universe, in addition to the USA, Russia, and Germany, among others. Mercenaries has its own lineup of unique tanks to unlock (five at launch, and then another five soon after), but the tech tree and steps to acquire them are unique. 

Normally, you would research and earn silver to eventually unlock a tank. To earn the Needle Tank in Mercenaries, for instance, you’ll complete a series of contract details to complete stages; of course, the option to buy the tank outright is still there, and all of these tanks that you unlock in PvE are playable in PvP.

From what we’ve seen, World of Tanks Mercenaries includes enough content to keep hardcore fans grinding (and spending cash) on Wargaming’s flagship video game. Be sure to test drive the tanks and conquer the new missions beginning June 26 on PS4, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.