Battlezone Gold Edition takes what was great about the Virtual Reality edition of the game, as released on PC and PS4, and gives us more.
You can see my full review of the PC version here, but for a brief premise of the game: Back in 1980, Atari launched Battlezone – you’re a tank, the enemy’s a tank the sky is black. and everything is black apart from green wireframe graphics drawing everything in sight, including the enemy and other elements that are either there to be shot at for you to gain more points, or the same but on a collision course for yourself. What set this arcade game back from most of the rest was that you look through a tank-style visor, with handlebars either side as you turn the position of your vehicle round. It wasn’t quite the same with an Atari VCS 2600 joystick soon after that, but a modern joypad has two sticks which can either replicate the same arcade game’s movement, or provide you simply with one stick to move and one to aim – like you expect with any modern game, these days.
As for the VR version, were you a big fan of TRON back in the ’80s, or since? Ever wanted to be Flynn, travelling through the canyons? Well, that’s the feeling I got here, with similar audio in places, but all with a modern polish and sheen whilst still retaining the retro feel of straight-line design in the environment, and gliding about like Torvill and Dean in exactly the same way that real tanks don’t, but that’s why Battlezone VR is better than driving a tank. unless you have a tank at home and accidentally on purpose drive it into the car of a neighbour you don’t like. Hmmm. that gives me an idea for the sequel!
The basics are simple – pick up ammo when destroyed tanks drop theirs, then go from one level to the next, not just blowing the enemy tanks off the map and their planes out the sky, but also protecting your own bases. which I’m a bit crap at. Once you’ve completed it or fluffed it, gaining points to upgrade artillery and tanks, you move on to the next one to complete the map. As you move around that, from one location to the next, soon into the game, a new Nemesis is moving about, also taking one step at a time inbetween levels. The effect is like the final, Vortex round of BBC’s The Adventure Game! Gronda! Gronda!
But you don’t have to be permanently stuck in the ’80s like me to appreciate this game. Play for long enough and it’s so damn effective that it really makes your head swim, and is an absolute mindfuck. so take a break after an hour, maximum, but you still won’t want to leave…
Battlezone Gold Edition – PSVR Gameplay (1080p HD) – PS4 – DVDfeverGames
Battlezone Gold Edition has outstanding graphics and amazing audio with enemies approaching you from all around, so quite often I was trying to blast a tank in front of me, whilst being followed by another and hearing it fire behind me. although try not to shoot at the AI blue tank in some levels – he’s on your side!
There’s also online play against others, but I generally stuck to offline play, rather than show myself up, as I’m never any good at multiplayer.
The original wireframe graphics is an option in the settings, and an example of that is shown below when I played this on the PC, but in the main, I prefer to stick with the colourful version.
When I played this on the PC, I used the Oculus Rift DK2 (Developer’s Kit 2), the quality of which isn’t as good as the CV1 (Consumer Version 1), but that cost around £550 at the time, and while I was waiting for that to reduce, the PSVR helmet reduced even more, to around £250, so that’s what I prefer to use every time I play with my helmet.
BUT, if VR is not for you, you are now catered for, and this release contains the original game, plus all the new DLC to date:
- Horn Pack: Surprise or rally your Battlezone teammates with a blast from one of these 10 custom tank horns including ship, clown, sports car, train and bike sounds … and more!
- Military Camo/Hi-Viz/Safari Camo skin packs: Customise the inside and outside of your Cobra with 15 unique skins!
- Bobblehead pack: – Personalise the inside of your Cobra command deck with this pack of 8 detailed bobbleheads inspired by Rebellion’s legendary videogames and comics, including Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper
Another plus, is that if you’re playing this on PC or Xbox One X, you can experience the game in 4K. Note that this is not within an Oculus Rift headset as commercially-available VR devices don’t yet output in 4K. To that end, I’m surprised that the Ps4 Pro version doesn’t have 4K, but Playstation’s site lists 1080p max.
Personally, I still stuck with the PSVR when playing this. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, but I know VR isn’t for everyone – especially if they don’t have the headset.
And when’s the long-promised Microsoft Hololens coming out? Is that considered vapourware, now?
Check out more gaming footage on loads of games on my DVDfeverGames Youtube channel.
Battlezone VR – Classic Mode Gameplay (Ultra settings) (1080p HD) – PC – DVDfeverGames
- Publisher: Rebellion
- Developer: Rebellion
- Players: single player: 1; multiplayer: 1-4
- HDTV options: 1080p
- DTS 5.1 / Dolby Digital 5.1 sound: Yes
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.