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Tanks, Memories, Etc: Rebellion Bring Back Battlezone

I didn’t know Sniper Elite devs and 2000AD owners Rebellion had the Battlezone [official site] rights these days – seems it’s passed through more hands than a brown envelope at FIFA HQ. Anyway, the olden tank battles game is coming back, back, back for the umpteenth time, now as a VR-focused game based on the original 80s Atari game rather than on Activision’s 90s FPS/RTS mash-up. “The father of VR gaming has returned,” they say. Sadly I can’t see it in gogglevision from the discomfort of this slowly-collapsing Ikea chair, but the trailer tries to give us some sense of what fractal spaceships launching themselves directly at your eyeballs might be like.

Quite like the look of that, though it might be exhaustingly intense in gogglevision. This uses the latest version Rebellion’s proprietary Asura engine, originally created for 2003’s tepid Dredd vs Death but still going strong for a gazillion Sniper Elite/Zombie Army games. It’s going for that whole Tron thing here, albeit with textures rather than darkspace.

No release date as yet, but it’s confirmed for PC. Whether it’ll support any VR headsets is as yet unspecified, which at a guess is because yer Valves and Oculuses are still being coy about details for now, but it is billed as “designed for the next wave of virtual reality devices.” PS4folk will be able to use their Laurence Fishburnes with it, however.

Oh look here’s a quote:

“When the original Battlezone came out in 1980 – long before we were developing games – Chris and I were among the many who made up its loyal arcade following,” said Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley. “When we acquired the Battlezone rights two years ago we almost had to pinch ourselves! It really was a dream come true, so it’s our aim to deliver the same revolutionary thrill of the original for a whole new generation. We want to use VR to truly capture the imagination of today’s gamers, just as the original Battlezone captured ours.”

It’s being shown off at E3, so expect more footage and maybe VR wordfeels soon. More details on the official site.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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