Gratuitous Space Battles was an interesting take on the strategy genre -- set up and outfit your fleet, prepare for combat, and then sit back and watch helplessly as it all goes horribly wrong. You weren't able to interfere directly with the combat once it had begun, so it was all about proper planning preventing poor performance, as your school teachers might say.

The upcoming Gratuitous Tank Battles looks to be a slightly different sort of beast, however -- developer Positech Games describes it as an "RTS/tower defense hybrid with online elements and customizable units." Players will be able to take on either attacking or defensive roles, with gameplay looking set to be markedly different depending on the role you choose to take on. The game will also include a map editor and the ability to share challenges, much like Gratuitous Space Battles offers.

The plot, like Gratuitous Space Battles, is hardly important -- hence the title -- but for what it's worth, here's the gist: in an alternate reality, World War I continues for 200 years, with soldiers fighting in the trenches with laser rifles and armored mechs stomping their way across no man's land. The war is, however, expected to come to an end by Christmas 2114 one way or another -- and it's presumably up to the player to make sure it ends the way they want.

The game is slated for release in the fourth quarter of this year on PC and Mac. You can see a few screenshots and sign up for the game's newsletter on the official website.

This article originally appeared on as Gratuitous Tank Battles Revealed