Monday, 7 November 2016

Battlezone VR


The original Battlezone is about 30 years old, that’s time more than I’ve been alive! I only mention that because my age is ever becoming an increasingly worry aspect of my life and this is an easy segue way to say that the series has received a reboot of sorts after English developer Rebellion bought the rights to it recently. The first new game of the series takes the form of the PlayStation VR launch line up and it’s easily one of the best available. Developed by Rebellion and out now on PlayStation VR, Battlezone VR is a simple enough tank combat game.  You spend the entire game in the cockpit of the tank and battle other tanks, turrets, and other similar enemies. It feels smooth and responsive and doesn’t tack on any VR special controls of methods to deliver a novelty experience on VR just for the sake of it.


Instead, VR is used to enhance the visual aesthetic. While PlayStation VR runs on PlayStation 4 which is vastly underpowered compared to the PCs used to run the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, Battlezone features a flat, almost textureless world with emphasised coloured lights that grab your attention. It's something that looks simple but is undeniably a visually appealing game. Sometimes when you get close to an enemy tank and destroy it, the actual explosion can look really good.

There is a multiplayer as well as a campaign mode. The campaign mode is simple enough as you begin on a procedurally generated hex grid. Then, it's up to you as to how you make your way to the finale. It's probably the best way to handle a campaign with simple gameplay mechanics. Having every campaign be different is a quick and easy way to improve replayability and it's definitely done effectively here.

What make the simpler gameplay and structure even better is that fact that the game also features online co-op for up to four players. Having other players in the game and knowing they are in VR alone has a novelty that doesn't wear thin playing Battlezone VR. There is no competitive mode but the options here for single-player and co-op is enough to enjoy for hours alone.

Gameplay isn't vastly different throughout but it's all executed so well that it was easy to keep playing. You use the controller to move and shoot the tank but the added factor of VR helps you see your surroundings with the help of your radar.

Comfort Level 

Battlezone VR benefits from being in a cockpit. Movement isn't too fast but action is kept to an enjoyable pace. It seems like putting the player in a cockpit is an excellent way to either remove or just alleviate a lot of the problems associated with motion sickness in VR. One of PlayStation VR's best. 4/5

 ★★★★☆


Jason Redmond



Battlezone VR at CeX


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