Written by Shigamoto   
Sunday, 26 March 2006

Most of us remember the old arcade game ”Battlezone”. But few knows that Activision released a much more wanted version in 1998, is it still as wanted as it was seven years ago? Read on to find out.

As man set out to explore space a new precious metal were discovered. The metal makes it possible to develop weapons and materials never seen before. Naturally the two super powers the USA and the Soviet Union want a piece of it, they want it so bad that the Soviets attacks the US moon base, which sparks a war.

Battlezone can be described as an RTS (Real Time Strategy) game in 3D, but it also has adventure and action elements in it. You are a commander so your main task is to set up bases, collect resources, build units and attack. To collect resources you use scavengers, who are simply scrap metal collectors.

The adventure elements in the game are mainly the cut scenes and narrations between each mission; they really evolve the story and make the game more alive. Another interesting part of the game is that it’s not only a war about metals; there will also be battles about alien artefacts among other things.

Sometimes your own units aren’t enough and you have to get into the action yourself. The fire fights are actually quite nice, even though your fellow units often drive straight into you or block your way. Driving around in your own ship can be quite fun thanks to the physics engine that allows cool jumps and high speeds.

The interface is one of the most innovative ones I’ve ever seen. To select a building or unit you point and press space, then press space again to have it move. You can also use the number keys as short cuts when you are in tense situations. Overall the controls work very
well, it can get a bit confusing if you command many units to keep track of them all.

Battlezone takes you through much of the solar system, including Mars and the Moon. I really like the environments, they look good but more importantly there are plenty of ridges and valleys to hide in.

The graphics in Battlezone has actually aged quite well. Sure the modelling of the units isn’t what we are used to today, but the environmental graphics is quite neat. You won’t get a flashback when first playing this game since the graphics has stood the test of time.

Soundtracks in games are very important and I have ranted on previous occasions over games without one. Battlezone has a nice set of tracks that at least in the beginning creates a good atmosphere of mysticism. However much of the tracks are the same, after while you might want to fire up your favourite Mp3 or CD instead.

Overall Battlezone is a great game that I feel haven’t gotten the glory it deserves. It’s still as fun as it was 1998, there are some minor flaws though. For example units constantly bump into you and a soundtrack that becomes boring after a while. If you get the opportunity to get this game, grab it.

Related: Dune 2000, Alpha Centauri
Developer: Activision
Related Website:
Publisher: Activision
O/S: Windows 95/98/ME/XP
Cost of Full Game: N/A
Year of Release: 1998

Tested on:
AMD Athlon 64 2.2 GHz, 2x512 MB RAM, Geforce 4 64 MB, Windows XP.

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