Written by  :  Ashley Pomeroy (233)
Written on  :  Oct 18, 2000
Rating  :  4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars

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Criminally overlooked

The Good

Rather like Looking Glass' 'Terra Nova', this received lots of favourable reviews, but, whilst far from being a flop, was not as commercially successful as it should have been. Basically, it's one of the finest modern strategy / action games around, with an excellent user interface that successfully allows the player to control a tank, whilst simultaneously directing friendly units about and building a base. It's comparable to 'Urban Assault' or 'Wargasm', but done properly.

Other good things abound - the sensation of driving a hovertank swiftly over undulating terrain is entertaining enough to be a game in itself, the difficultly level is just about right, and the graphics, whilst being two years old, are still very effective. There are lots of clever things, too - you can hop out of your tank and capture enemy units, the plot is an amusing mixture of 'Alternative 3' and paranoid conspiracy theories, and there is a nice mixture of mission types. Top marks for an excellent ambient musical score, too. And best of all, radio transmissions have the famous NASA 'beep'.

Overall, Battlezone is the first and so far only game to combine action and strategy without messing up either element.

The Bad

On the other hand, it's frighteningly hard towards the latter stages of the game. Often, you find your base being obliterated whilst you are away, and both friendly and enemy AI is often suspect - enemy gliders tend to run straight into you, whilst your resource miners blunder into mines. And it doesn't have much to do with the original game, not that it matters.

The Bottom Line

A fascinating action / strategy game, owing almost nothing to the original Battlezone, but with an atmosphere and style of its own.