Rebellion, maker of Sniper Elite and the Zombie Army Trilogy, has released Battlezone 98 Redux, the remaster of the 1998 Battlezone game, on Steam. There it costs Ł14.99.
British studio Rebellion has unveiled the first details of Battlezone 98 Redux, the new name for its previously-announced Battlezone remaster.
Earlier this month Sniper Elite and AvP developer Rebellion announced that it's remaking the old Atari Battlezone tank game into a VR shooter for PS4 (via Morpheus) and PC (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive). As it turns out, Rebellion is making not one, but two Battlezone games, with the other one being a remaster of the 1998 edition for PC.
"As our teaser trailer revealed, our VR version of Battlezone is very much a reboot of Atari's 1980 arcade classic, a game we're very fond of at Rebellion," the developer said in its announcement. "However, we also know that a number of you are fans of the 1998 and 1999 Battlezone games released by Activision that re-imagined the franchise as a groundbreaking hybrid of FPS and RTS gameplay."
As such, this remaster is coming.
Atari has reportedly been throwing its legal weight around on the App Store, forcing out games that resemble its old work.
Rocky & Bullwinkle
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Price: 800 Microsoft Points (GBP 6.80 / EUR 9.60)
It can’t be denied; Atari’s designers came up with some incredibly inventive and interesting games before their decline. Battlezone is one of the finer examples - a two stick game (before Robotron was even a glint in Eugene Jarvis' eye), with the ever-popular objective of destroying as many enemies as possible.
Vectors were equally fashionable during this era, and were certainly the best method for the graphics scaling. Despite their simplicity, they've aged a lot better than their raster-based counterparts, and their smooth, flowing nature imbues a certain chic which carries forward to this day.
Affecting the appearance of a real tank, the original arcade cabinet featured a magnificent full periscope. This caused awkward problems for some younger players, who often had to resort to standing on tip-toes - but even without this added distraction Battlezone took some time to master. Each stick controlled one track of the mechanised killing machine, offering several combinations of motion with which to pursue prey and avoid incoming fire. Considerable skill and patient self-improvement were required to learn how to hit enemies while on the move.
Maybe twenty-seven years ago, when the original Battlezone was released into the arcades, game names like this excited the kids. Nowadays, with ten thousand other near-indistinguishable, testosterone-beckoning rivals on the shelves, Battlezone newcomers would be forgiven for occasionally checking the box to see which one it was they bought again. Not only is the game generically titled, it also rejects updating the original's famous minimalist, striking vector graphics in favour of dressing the tank battling mechanic in more obvious visual clothing, making it even harder to pick out from the PSP crowd.
Then again, what Battlezone's name lacks in titular creativity it makes up for in functional accuracy. In the game you're given control of a futuristic hover tank in which to fight (battle) inside a confined space (zone). The basic rules are deathmatch simple: get more kills than everybody else before the timer runs out and you can have a biscuit.
It's a simple premise that requires little further explanation because there's really not much more to it. What's immediately apparent is that this is a slight game, with simple rules and simple environments that intends to give you your value for money by setting up some memorable Quake-ish multiplayer moments rather than by providing any extended single player options. Indeed, with just three ways to play (single player match, single player tournament and ad-hoc multiplayer) there's not much on offer to those looking for some time alone with the game.
Atari's announced plans to bring a modern update of BattleZone to PSP this November.