Saturday, May 19, 2018

Battle Command

Late last year I planned to feature Atari's BattleZone but I couldn't get to grips with it. No matter how much I tried, I found it sluggish with lethargic controls that just didn't feel right. In fact, I hated it and came away quite upset by this disappointment but still with the urge to jump into a tank and kill something. How was I going to scratch this itch?

Of course, it can only be Ocean's very own Battle Command - which I've recently bought. Okay, the story goes that two factions are at war, and we are in control of a heavily armoured Mauler who must complete a variety of different missions. Come on, let's stop right there because this is basically a BattleZone ripoff!

For those who love a challenge, there is a huge selection of missions ranging from the starter through to more advanced tasks like protecting a bridge, accompanying a transport, and even recovering a U-Bomb! Before you begin, the briefing will detail all the necessary information and then weaponry options - whilst accompanied by fantastic 3D animation. Don't let the thought of tough missions fool you, this is an arcade game through and through. But, if you require more of a challenge, then Battle Command certainly has many excellent missions.

This is a game that is proud of its 3D engine and will flaunt itself at every opportunity.

Controls are absolutely superb and it was easy controlling my tank using the mouse for acceleration, turning and firing. It's worth taking the time to arm your tank properly and I must say I had a preference for the heat-seeking missiles. Inside the game's box is a nifty reference card that details the extras, like the damage-screen, a detailed map, and the chance to view our tank from outside - this offers cool perspectives, if kinda pointless.

This shooter has nice 3D and reminds me of a cross between the obvious and Mercenary, for some peculiar reason. I was hooked from the moment I saw each missions 3D imagery swirling about and loved how our tank is dropped by aeroplane!! In-game framerate isn't exactly Resolution 101 but everything moves far smoother than Atari's lame effort and the enemy is great up-close. It's an understatement to say I really admire the graphics!

Battle Command is a great tactical shoot 'em up but it's not perfect and what I didn't like was the immense size of the play area which is a slog for my little tank (and now I sound like Hubert Gruber!). This often means opponents can be a zillion miles away which feels too far for a 320x200 display to cope with... However, distant shots would have been impossible but for a suspect collision detection system that balances things out rather well.

BattleZone... Oops, sorry... Battle Command is a stonker and I've really enjoyed blasting everything in sight and even the trees feel the wrath of my insanity. Overall, a brilliant game. One of the best action shooters I have in my collection so jump inside your tank and kill everything in sight using either a floppy or hard disk.

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