I treat them well, really!
—A Drakuv driver promising to treat the brainwashed soldiers well
The Drakuv is capable of abducting enemy infantry with its stun rifles to turn them into obedient servants of the Soviet Union (or to be taken in to a Field Bureau so their equipment can be analyzed for "reverse-engineering"), healing nearby friendly infantry and crushing anything else in its way under its frontal grinders.
The Drakuv Prison Vehicle is a unique vehicle, as it is deployed from the Field Bureau and not the War Factory as all the other tanks are. It is a heavy multi-functional carrier designed not only for support, but for specialised tactics as well. A large grinder adorns the front side of this beast of a vehicle, holding any object it comes across in its place, tearing into it until there is nothing left. Enemy tanks will remain unable to move unless the Drakuv stops its attack or is destroyed.
Atop the troop crawler are turrets that fire powerful tranquilizer projectiles. With them, the crawler can capture weakened enemy infantry and brainwash them into service of the Soviet Union. Health packs supplied with the Drakuv allows injured infantry to be made combat ready again, as well as sustain them when nearby the unit.
During the development of Mental Omega 3.3 this vehicle has been through many sweet and sour to finally become the ultimate Soviet infantry support unit. It is tough as nails and can be a reliable wall for infantry to cover when they try to break through enemy forces and rest after combat thanks to their healing ability. What makes them extremely good in this version is that they can heal all types of Infantry unlike in 3.0 and their healing effect will stack if any other Drakuvs are stationary nearby.
In the late game, the Drakuv is an excellent defensive unit when using in conjunction with defensive structures or friendly infantry to neutralize any infantry rush tactic and even locking down tanks and other armored units for the Soviet commander's forces to take care of them.
The Drakuv is an excellent vehicle to use in conjunction with mid-game heavy infantry since their grinder attack will ensure tanks will only fire upon the Drakuv while sparing the fragile infantry so that they can do as much damage as possible. They couple extremely well with Pyros and Tesla Troopers, since that combination is strong against everything on the ground and will need constant healing since their close range attacks will definitely cause them to receive some damage.
The Drakuv's usefulness become less so in the late game where enemy anti-armor divisions will chew through Drakuvs with little to no effort, unless the Soviet commander can obtain the blueprints of the Apocalypse Tank, since the healing effect of both of them do stack and a formation of Drakuvs, Apocalypse Tanks and heavy infantry will surely bring destruction upon enemy bases.
Outside of combat, they can be utilized to abduct weakened enemy infantry, and they will become controllable to the Drakuv's commander once they evacuate the Drakuv. At this point the commander can choose to send the converted infantry to war, or to a Field Bureau so that the commander will be able to train that specific infantry.
Unused by the AI.
- The Drakuv Prison Vehicle is introduced as a controllable unit in Firewalking.
- In the Covert Ops mission Noise Severe, three Drakuvs are used by the Russians to transfer and return their Chinese prisoners back home. They must be protected from brainwashed Russians until they can arrive at the Chinese base - if all of them are destroyed, the mission is failed.
- One of the first objectives of the Covert Ops mission Blood Rage is to take control of a Drakuv (which is revealed to the player when the mission begins), either with a Hijacker or Epsilon Adept. Once it and the simultaneous objective (to infiltrate and then defend the Chinese Field Bureau to prepare a sedative for the berserk Libra) are completed, the Drakuv must be used to capture Libra after she has been pacified by the sedative fired by a Virus, then brought to a designated tunnel to be evacuated.
- In Meltdown, where the player is instructed to use Drakuvs to abduct enemy infantry and bring them to the Field Bureau to bolster a limited arsenal, the Drakuv can be deployed without the need for a Soviet lab since the player doesn't have access to any.
- In Earthrise, the Drakuv is notably unavailable for deployment.
Behind the scenes
- In version, 3.0 the Drakuv Troop Crawler was a regular T3 vehicle buildable from the Soviet War Factory exclusive to the Latin Confederation. It could heal T1 infantry only but served as a troop transport vehicle for friendly infantry.
- During development for 3.3 the Drakuv was supposed to receive the Drakuv Healthpacks support power instead of the current passive healing ability (see Gallery). This support power would have required a Prison Facility (which was the initial name of the Field Bureau) and healed much quicker than the present area of effect healing to infantry. Friendly Drakuvs from fellow Soviet generals would also be affected by this support power.
- The cut Drakuv Healthpacks cameo is still present in the current game files.