It was only a matter of time before the war to defend humanity reached new battlegrounds. Starting on May 2, players of World of Tanks Modern Armor will get to fight against Orks and the forces of Chaos in a brand-new Warhammer 40,000 event on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
This Imperium-sized event features incredible content to immerse players in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Five new tanks, two new 3D Hero Commanders with exclusive voiceover, and a limited-time community event are all available for those who swear to defend the Emperor.
“Both Warhammer 40,000 and World of Tanks Modern Armor have a rich history of vehicular combat,” says Daniel Burr, live game director for World of Tanks Modern Armor. “Whether you are in a Sherman or a Leman Russ, tanks are powerful!”
So let’s talk about tanks.
Five new tanks will be available as part of the Warhammer 40,000 event:
· The Nemesis tank destroyer
· The Teefbreaka light tank
· The Reaper’s Scythe medium tank
· The Ignis Purgatio medium tank
· The console-exclusive Leman Russ heavy tank
“The single most challenging aspect was fidelity,” says Burr. “Warhammer 40,000 tanks and Commanders are very detailed, and getting those details right required a lot of work and a lot of communication with our partners at Games Workshop.”
Leading the effort to faithfully reproduce these tanks for a 20th-century battlefield was Andy Dorizas, Art Director for World of Tanks Modern Armor. Dorizas is quick to acknowledge, though, that this wasn’t a one-person task. “The Commanders and tanks were a massive group project that spanned four continents and took several months,” he says. “The Warhammer 40,000 tanks were very much an exercise in accuracy.”
A special part of the challenge was recreating the Leman Russ, the Astra Militrum’s primary battle tank. As a tank exclusive to World of Tanks Modern Armor and unavailable in other games in the World of Tanks family, it required a certain amount of creativity.
“We painstakingly studied the physical tank so it would be spot-on accurate,” Dorizas explains. “Then we had artists translate our concepts into usable geometry for our game. Once we had the model for the Leman Russ battle tank, we then painted the tank to match its most iconic colors from the universe, a lot like fans of their models do every day.”
But Dorizas and team didn’t stop there. “Of course, we added a ton of wear and detail to make the tank look… battle hardened. Our dedicated tank artists rigged it with our special track system, designers added special World of Tanks collision and balancing parameters, and bam. You can drive the Leman Russ in our game.”
Every ground-shattering vehicle needs a formidable warrior. Available to players during the event are two new 3D Hero Commanders, battling in the name of the Emperor: Volusad Thassius of the Ultramarines and Patricia Laserian of the Sisters of Battle.
Just like the tanks, these animated 3D Commanders required exceptional care to be brought to life
“The [3D] Commander models went through several iterative sessions to make sure we got all the details correct. Then they were textured and painted by some super-talented artists here at Wargaming,” says Andy Dorizas. “Then we did a special motion capture session just for these Commanders and our animator had a blast giving them attitude.”
Once the visual models were down, it was time to let these two Commanders’ unique voices be heard
Guiding the voiceover for this project was gaming industry veteran Jason “Jay” Baughan, whose previous voice direction credits include LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. “It all comes down to authenticity and creating an experience that feels true to fans of Warhammer 40,000,” says Baughan. “Working with actual Warhammer 40,000 voiceover veterans, I think we achieved that.”
Baughan and the voice talent recorded over 300 unique lines for each Commander. The result?
“We’ve set a new bar for ourselves in terms of quality: hearing your Ultramarine Commander or your Battle Sister Commander praising your victory in combat really elevates the gameplay experience,” says Daniel Burr.
Appropriately enough, all of this content is part of World of Tanks Modern Armor’s current epic season, Gladiators. It’s offered alongside a two-part community event in which players can ally themselves with either the Space Marines or the Sisters of Battle and do battle first against the Orks, then the agents of Chaos.
Whether players are familiar with Warhammer 40,000 or simply ready for a fight, this May, champions are needed.