Battlezone 98 Redux Blasting Off This Spring

When Sniper Elite devs Rebellion announced last year that they were bringing back Battlezone, everyone responded “Oh. But not the good Battlezone?” (by which I mean I said that, but I’m using my authority to make you complicit, sucker). Luckily, Rebellion soon added that as well as making a game based on Atari’s 1980 arcade shooter, they were revamping The Good Battlezone, the FPS/RTS Activision released in 1998.

Now we know that Battlezone 98 Redux [official site], as they’re calling it, will arrive in spring with Steam Workshop support for mods and other new bits.

The Good Battlezone is an alternate history RTS (yes, these were big in the late ’90s) where the USA and USSR brawl across the solar system, from the Moon to Mars and beyond. What makes it special and exciting is the ability to hop into any unit on the battlefield, controlling it yourself to lead the charge or pull off daring maneuvers and turn the tide of battle. It was fun then, and I’m hopeful it’ll still be fun now.

As well as sprucing up the graphics a little (Rebellion talk of “completely remodelled vehicles and buildings, enhanced lighting and shadows, improved particle effects, upgraded animations, upscaled terrain, and more”), the Redux will boast Steam Workshop support to easily download new player-made maps and mods and all that.

I remember when you had to buy cheery RPS fanzine PC Gamer to get mods and maps, you know, and they came on fragile 12cm-diameter USB circlesticks we had to plug into a special huge USB slot. Kids these days don’t know how good they’ve got it.

Here’s the Steam page, if you do all that wishlisting jazz.

25 Comments

  1. Pheeze says:

    Hell yes, I’m going to buy/play the hell out of this.

    My non-gamer friend got BattleZone and the original Freespace free with his PC, both of which I ended up ‘borrowing’ for life.

    • GepardenK says:

      Battlezone AND Freespace in the same free package? Talk about getting the peak of gaming poured over you like a bucket of ice-water. The only comparable situation I can think of is having Einstein and Newton randomly showing up at your house and schooling you for free.

      In fact, the only thing you’re missing there is Thief: The Dark Project (Nikola Tesla)

  2. Cinek says:

    The fact that they did not know which Battlezone to re-make first is not a very good sign for future…

    • DanMan says:

      Yeah. This one looks more like a quick cash-in, really. Mostly better textures and probably high-res support. Comes down to how much money they want for that.

      • GepardenK says:

        Probably true, but the quick cash-in mentality may not be so harmful in cases like this. Battlezone is great as it is, what it needs is a steam release with modern resolution support, working multiplayer and updated compatibility.

        If they stick to that and don’t do anything crazy this should be fine

      • manny says:

        What that saying, “good artists copy, great artists steal”. No medium is this more true than games, where you can copy a game in every detail but paint it a different colour, and your golden.

        In fact the whole “copycat” argument doesn’t even occur in gaming anymore. Most gamers just see it as someone trying to improve or just cash in on a good idea, nothing wrong with that. It dilutes the original, but at the same time forces innovation, as good ideas are quickly mined to extinction. (until they are refound 10 years later)

  3. SupahSpankeh says:

    I know this is an indie remake, and the focus is on gameplay, but even allowing for that the visuals look a touch dated.

    Meh. Hope it’s good enough that one naturally looks past the low poly count etc.

    • GepardenK says:

      It may not be screenshot friendly but even the non-updated battlezone looks great today. The clean mechanical art-style works just as awesome as it did back in the day after you give your brain 10mins of gameplay to lower technical expectations.

      If anything I’m happy that they don’t give it a grand update, the current look works so well that I’m afraid a lot would be lost in translation when converting to high-poly models and effects

  4. Rao Dao Zao says:

    I really like clunky low-poly artwork, has the original version resurfaced anywhere? Can’t see it on gog.com or I’d have put it on my wishlist. :3

  5. Thankmar says:

    Finally. Loved it, but wasn’t very good at it and failed the three times I restarted it at the same mission, so I hope they rebalance a little bit. I particularly liked the little installing video, and the german version featured the dubbing actors of Clint Eastwood and Jack Nicholson, it was like a meeting of titans.

  6. Justoffscreen says:

    I wonder if they will include the expansion Red Odyssey. One can only hope.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Alfy says:

    I loved this game. I had one of my most intense gaming moment on it:
    Me and a ruski where firing at each other on Mars, and we managed to simultaneously destroy each other’s tank. We both ejected. After landing, I had to run up a hill as the guy had landed on the other side. I aligned him in my visor, took the shot and missed. I saw the guy hesitate, and then suddenly veer off before I could shoot again. It took me three tries to get him.

    Obviously, I know there was little ai at play, such as change course when shot at. But it just felt like a real, desperate duel on Mars!

    Now I’m older, so if it happened now, I’d probably do nothing for me. Sigh.

  8. Blackcompany says:

    “Cheery RPS Fanzine PC Gamer…”

    These little tidbits always crack me up.

    Also, game sounds great too.

  9. racccoon says:

    Does not look that great, but, it has a certain reminder of just how poor you can develop something that’s way to hard to emulated.

  10. Vulpis says:

    Sooo…first you say they’re remaking the Good Battlezone (aka the vector graphics game with the twin sticks), then you go on about the knock-off?

  11. SomeDuder says:

    Ehhhh I’m hesitant to look forward to this… The Homeworld remake was supposed to be an orgasmic retelling of a classic game, but it turned into a frustrating mess. And now someone wants to “update” another classic game (from the same year, even)…

    • GepardenK says:

      A bit unfair to HW remastered I feel. That HW1 lost a lot of it’s charm when ported to the HW2 engine is definitely a shame, but the overall package is really great and by far one of the better attempts at a remaster I have ever seen (it’s no simple HD cash in for sure).

      At least they are listening to feedback. They have spend the better part of last year rewriting the entire engines movement code to get it closer to how HW1 works. Should be coming in a big patch soon

  12. keefybabe says:

    FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT CHIMP THIS!!!!1!

  13. bedel says:

    battlezone 2 was one of my favourite games, I never played the first one was there some thing that made it so much better?

    I really only played multiplayer in bz2

  14. Syra says:

    I just had my first “SQUUUUUUUUUUUUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” of 2016.