Battlezone

Moby ID: 360
Arcade Specs
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Description official descriptions

Commonly considered the earliest progenitor of first-person shooters (FPS), Battlezone is a 3D tank game initially released in the arcades, and later converted officially to many systems. Earth has been invaded, and you and your tank lead the defensive effort. You drive around the battlefield from a first-person view, targeting and firing at tanks, planes and UFOs. You have a radar to help you see where the enemies are in direction and distance. Objects can be used as strategic cover. Controls simulate the tracks of a tank realistically, so the direction and speed settings are varied - combining forward right and backward left movements (as you can on keyboard versions) sees you change direction more quickly.

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Credits (Arcade version)

6 People

Programmed by
Project leader
Electrical engineer
Vector-graphics generator by
Enemy tank models
Artwork
Erupting volcano code by

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 64% (based on 19 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 76 ratings with 1 reviews)

Relive the first first-person shooter in a surprisingly faithful reproduction of the original arcade game.

The Good
Battlezone for the PC was released during a time where the only PC title to have decent 3D graphics was Flight Simulator, so when I first saw it I was skeptical that it would run well. Not only did it run well, but it was a nearly perfect conversion and it ran just as fast as it did in the arcade.

You don't have to be familiar with the arcade to enjoy the game; it's a sly shooter that really ups the "nervous" factor and forces you to keep one eye on the radar at all times.

The Bad
The dual "tank sticks" control mechanism was replaced by the standard 8-way joystick directional paradigm. No actual control was lost, since all possible left and right stick combinations map perfectly into an 8-way joystick, but the game feels different as a result.

The Bottom Line
Fans of the original arcade game won't be dissappointed, and modern arcade emulation programmers will be impressed by the conversion.

PC Booter · by Trixter (8962) · 1999

Discussion

Subject By Date
The arcade original John F Apr 3, 2023

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Battlezone appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott

Arcade version

Development of the original Battlezone coin-op was a team effort: Morgan Hoff was the project leader; Jed Margolin handled electrical engineering; Ed Rotberg programmed it; Roger Hector modelled all 3D objects as minimally as possible, and Howie Delman's vector-graphics generator was used.

References to the game

Battlezone units appear in the movies: * Tron (1982) * Joysticks (1983) * The Philadelphia Experiment (1984) * Running Scared (1986)

Volcano

Owen Rubin kept pestering Rotberg to make the volcano on the horizon active; Rotberg brushed him off, challenging Rubin to write the code for the volcano himself if he felt so strongly about it# The next morning, there it was sitting on his desk.

Awards

  • Retro Gamer
    • Issue 46 - #20 in the "Top 25 Atari 2600 Games" poll

Information also contributed by Nélio, PCGamer77 and FatherJack.

Analytics

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Related Games

Battlezone 2000
Released 1983 on BBC Micro, Electron
Battlezone 2000
Released 1995 on Lynx
Battlezone: Gold Edition
Released 2018 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Battlezone 98 Redux
Released 2016 on Windows, 2017 on Macintosh
Battlezone: Gold Pack
Released 1999 on Windows
Battlezone: Combat Commander
Released 2018 on Windows
Battlezone II: Combat Commander
Released 1999 on Windows
Battlezone 98 Redux: Odyssey Edition
Released 2016 on Windows, 2017 on Macintosh, iPad

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  • MobyGames ID: 360
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

Windows, Xbox 360 added by Alaka. Atari 8-bit added by Kabushi. ZX Spectrum added by Martin Smith. Arcade added by Pseudo_Intellectual. Antstream added by lights out party. Apple II, Atari ST, Atari 2600, VIC-20 added by Servo. Commodore 64 added by wanax.

Additional contributors: Alaka, Martin Smith, Pseudo_Intellectual, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack, ZeTomes, Abhishek Kumar.

Game added November 1, 1999. Last modified January 19, 2024.