Battlezone Review | Personal Computer News - Everygamegoing

Personal Computer News

By Quicksilva
Spectrum 48K

Published in Personal Computer News #085


Although there have been quite a few versions of this type of game, this is the only one to be officially approved by Atari, the original designer.

The title sequence should be familiar to anyone who has played Battlezone in the arcades. The lettering appears in the distance and spins smoothly, end over end, towards you.

The scenario is similarly faithful to the original. You're looking out from a tank across a plain towards a mountainous skyline. Imposed on the scene is a large central cross-sight. When an enemy is in range and lined up, the edges of the sight flip - your signal to fire.

Since the view from your tank is limited, a radar display at the top of the screen helps pinpoint the enemy's position. You can be attacked from the rear, as well as left, right and front.

As reinforcements to the ordinary tanks, the enemy has supertanks and diamond-like flying saucers at its disposal. There are also assorted cubes and pyramids strewn around the plain; these can be used as shields when confronting the enemy. All the objects are three-dimensional, not solid but wire-frame.

Your tank has two caterpillar tracks, each of which is controlled independently. Moving your tank around without getting into a muddle takes some practice. In fact the mountains never seem to get any nearer or further away which makes it just that bit harder.

Movement is smooth and natural; the scene slips effortlessly in the appropriate direction. Any objects or tanks in view change in perspective as you or they alter position.

The game may now be a bit old hat to do well in the charts, but if you're looking for a first rate implementation of the original, this has to be it.

Bob Chappell

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