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Video Game / Battlezone (2016)

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Battlezone is a video game originally released by Rebellion in 2016 as a launch title for PlayStation VR. It is a Virtual Reality based reimagining of the original Atari arcade game, pitting the player in first-person tank combat against a rogue AI. The main campaign can be played solo or with up to three other players, with drop-in drop-out gameplay. The objective is to travel across a futuristic neon landscape, with the ultimate goal to destroy the rogue AI core in a volcano. Traversal is on a hex-based map, with each hex containing either supplies or various encounters. Successfully completing encounters earns "data" that can be used to upgrade the player's tank.

The game was ported to Microsoft Windows in 2017, with support for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. A 2018 upgrade, Battlezone: Gold Edition, added support for nonVR gameplay and all previously-released DLC. It was ported to the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

Battlezone provides examples of:

  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The game is centered on defeating a rogue AI and its army of computer-controlled tanks.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: When a mission is successful, even if your tank is destroyed it still counts as completing the mission. No extra lives are spent as a result.
  • Augmented Reality: During battle, various tactical data is displayed on top of battlefield elements.
  • BFG: Weapons like the railgun and the cannon are this. Enemies also carry heavy cannons, too.
  • Boring, but Practical: Probes. They're inexpensive to buy and only serve to scout maps, but are very helpful for planning the best route.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: Up to four players can play together, with the ability to join or leave the campaign at any time.
  • Equipment Upgrade: Players can spend "data" to upgrade their tank's gear.
  • Fictional Currency: Befitting the virtual reality theme, "data" is the main unit of exchange.
  • First-Person Shooter: True to the original arcade game and enforced by its VR roots, the entire game takes place from within the tank's cockpit.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Nemesis tank lives up to its name if encountered.
  • Neon City: The game takes place across various futuristic cityscapes with glowing neon light sources.
  • Retraux:
    • The game's design deliberately makes heavy use of textureless low-polygon models to invoke an early-VR appearance.
    • "Classic mode" allows playing with green wireframes, similar to the original 1980 vector arcade game.
  • Starting Equipment: At the start of each campaign, the player chooses a tank (and its initial loadout) to use. The tank's weapons can be upgraded or changed at supply points.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: The Autogun. It's a rapid-firing cannon, but it's great against a variety of enemies and can be fired from any range.
  • Storming the Castle: This is the player's ultimate goal, to siege the volcano where the AI core resides. The player is encouraged to take out shield generator hexes beforehand to make this easier.
  • Tank Goodness: Just like the original arcade game, the entire point is to drive a cool tank and blast everything in sight.
  • Tron Lines: The landscape is a futuristic metropolis with glowing neon lines for trim.