Battlezone 98 Redux Brings Back FPS-RTS Fun

Battlezone 98 Redux [official site], a revamp of the splendid sci-fi FPS-RTS from 1998, is out… oh! Today! Now! It’s out now! Publishers Rebellion today jumped out a box yelling “Boo!” and flinging it onto Steam. They say they have more revamps coming too.

Battlezone’s your usual ’90s arcade-y RTS – the space race was a cover for an interplanetary hot war between the USA and USSR, where they collected resources to build tanks and blow up each other’s bases – only with the delightful addition of the ability to scamper around the battlefield yourself, taking control of vehicles to lead the fight. I remember it fondly.

This Redux brings improved graphics, “with completely remodelled vehicles and buildings, enhanced lighting and shadows, improved particle effects, upgraded animations, upscaled terrain, and more” according to Rebellion. It also boshes in Steam Workshop support for mods and levels, and general sprucing-up.

As for revamping other games, Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley said in today’s launch announcement:

“We’re also delighted to reveal we have more Redux games in the pipeline. We are blessed with a vast library of games and properties, and we are well aware fans are keen for us to give some of our other games the remaster treatment.”

He doesn’t say which games they’re revamping, mind. Evil Genius, perhaps? Rogue Trooper, maybe? The game based on the 2000 AD strip, that is, not to be confused with Rebellion’s Rogue Warrior. Hooo dear.

Rebellion are working on a new arcade-y tank FPS named Battlezone too.

A 20% launch discount brings Battlezone 98 Redux to £11.99/15,99€/$15.99 on Steam until next Monday. Rebellion had teased that they would announce a release date today and boy howdy, I guess they did!

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  1. Bobsy says:

    It’s slicker certainly, but it still looks a lot like a game from the late 90s. Not sure if it’s the polycount or the style of textures, but something’s still off.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Aggressive draw distance fog?

    • Spacewalk says:

      The screenshots kinda look like concept renders from magazine ads for 3D accelerator cards from the late nineties which is probably why it feels “off”.

  2. Menthalion says:

    I remember this fondly as well, even the TDM multiplayer part of it was great fun.

    Until Fungu from my clan came back from a two week hiatus. During that time he had memorized all cockpit ‘headshot’ locations, and trained a jump – scope – shoot routine that inferred all bonusses from a scoped shot without having to wait for the scope animation to finish.

    It was fun for a few weeks while we dominated people used to running over pilots without ships, but a lack of patching said exploit ultimately doomed the FPS part to a substandard first person shooter, where no-one would step into a tank to begin with.

    • bamjo says:

      Yeah, that sniping drivers out of vehicles mechanic seemed kinda bullshit even in single player, although I remember one stealth/infiltration campaign mission where it was used to good effect. I never played multiplayer, but can totally see it being ruined like that.

      Battlezone seemed like one of those late 90’s games that was clearly built around a single player experience, but threw multiplayer in for the bullet point on the box.

      • Phasma Felis says:

        Indeed. Those were good times. Now it’s more often the other way around.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Risingson says:

    The “official site” link brings back to rps main site…

  4. RedViv says:

    Please never play this game. You will just end up getting addicted to weird genre mixes from that point on. Save yourselves, don’t become meeeee

    • mashkeyboardgetusername says:

      BRB, reinstalling Sacrifice.

      • RedViv says:

        We are struck with a terrible curse.

      • Tekrunner says:

        Wow, I’d almost completely forgotten about this game. Now I remember liking it quite a bit, but also never getting far into it because it just confused the hell out of young me.

        … and into the wishlist we go.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      It’s true, my god it’s true. Battlezone was my first taste (unless it was Uprising, I have never been quite sure which I played first) and I’ve been hopelessly hooked ever since. Honestly it’s a shame they’re so few and far between (good ones even more so). I believe it was the Battlezone devs themselves who described the problem there as “Stragety gamers hate to die, and action gamers hate to think”. I never liked their wording much, but whatever the case, I do wish we could have lots more like this.

      On a related note I’m currently playing Hostile Waters: Antaeus Rising for the first time, having completely missed it originally, and it’s rather good too.

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        Ahem, that’s “strategy” and NOT “stragety”. Although I’m laying claim to the latter.

        Stragety, adjective

        An unkemptness of the ears and feet, particularly in weasels, stoats and ferrets.
        “Darn judge disqual’fied ma ferret, he did. Said it were too stragety. Th’ nerve!”

        • Premium User Badge

          The Almighty Moo says:

          Comedy + time = stragety?

        • Llewyn says:

          As opposed to stragedy, n. – a tactical game which fails to live up to its potential in the most disappointing fashion.

      • udat says:

        I totally loved Hostile Waters. Really great game, with a great engine, interesting story, and some fantastic emergent gameplay. Then the last mission, which kinda takes all the flexibility you’ve previously enjoyed away from you. I don’t think I ever completed it :(

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        The Almighty Moo says:

        Hostile Waters is wonderful, and I love the fact that it leaves a major plot point hinted rather than fully explained. Also, great voice work.

        • Kaeoschassis says:

          The voice work was an especially nice surprise, I have to say.

          • Jay Load says:

            The incomparable legend that is Tom Baker reading words written by the stone-cold genius that is Warren Ellis. Our primitive hobby was not ready for such concentrated awesome.

          • Dr Biffo says:

            I always wondered if Paul Darrow’s enunciation was completely natural, or if he deliberately “acted” or worked on it? I mean, there’s a definite similarity with his speech and the way Richard Burton spoke, isn’t there? Regardless, he still has an amazing voice, natural or not.

    • Thiefsie says:

      Battlezone, Uprising, and that weird Microsoft game with tanks were some of my favourite formative games. They took the boring bits of Dark Reign and Total Annihilation and put you in there.

      Much love for these…!

  5. Young Turk says:

    The trailer on their site looks the same as the old game. Is this just the version that was available online for the past several years with community added netcode updates and other bugfixes but relicensed?

  6. Darsman says:

    I would have easily grabbed this version a couple years ago before I got my PS4 but now I’m excited to play Battlezone on the Sony’s PSVR in October.
    Im sure they will move some for the PC users out there though.
    Funny how you didn’t at least mention Sony’s upcoming PSVR version of Battlezone in your article.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      I did mention the game, but I left out the PlayStation release because it didn’t seem relevant for an aside in a post about another game on a PC site.

    • Menthalion says:

      It is mentioned in the linked article about the upcoming Battlezone, albeit a bit cryptic

  7. snv says:

    Why should Evil Genius get a rework? It still works on modern computers and the style aged well too.

    • ZombieFX says:

      New EG… less clunky controls and more way evil traps. I go for that.
      Closest to DKII we ever had.

      War of the overworld is shallow “build to many rooms and mass mashing” rather than story / campaign with progress, that limits you at times and forces you to use/learn other stuff…
      instead of throwing so much rooms+spells+monster at you, to the point you drown…

      Overlord is Pikmin, so dont even get me started on that<.<

      OH… Populus 3… in CryEngine<333 THAT I BUY TO DEATH :D

  8. ZombieFX says:

    CnCRenegade should get base building… perfect game right there.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Savage did that, a multiplayer game I bought on the strength of the demo then never had time to play the full version before it died off, because I’m dumb. :/

  9. copy paper says:

    Anybody know if they added AI bots to the multiplayer so that you can play competitive with a friend against AI? The original did not have them.

  10. Sunjammer says:

    This was a favorite of mine but playing it now I know exactly how much of it is nostalgia. The heavy but drifty and smooth movement is still an absolute delight, and it can still produce outrageous moments like getting blown up, ejecting, and sniping the pilot out of the vehicle that blew you up to steal it for yourself, and the spacebar to select and command stuff is still great.

    But man the mission design in the single player is an absolute dog. The very first mission is an incredible exercise in frustration and most missions are so heavily scripted trial and error is your best strategy.

    I love this and its sequel but it’s hard to argue they weren’t really really flawed games. Would love a third one that nailed it finally.

  11. Sunjammer says:

    Sidenote; I had a dream recently about Uprising and found that it had appeared on GoG pretty much the same night. Providence! That’s another game of this “genre” that I feel approaches it from a more aggressive angle. A mix of the two could be tremendous fun.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      People should hire you to dream about games for them. I personally would be interested in hearing your rates re: Metal Fatigue, for example.

  12. HumpX says:

    I would kill to see an updated Rogue Trooper with MP intact.

    BZ 2 wouldnt hurt either.

  13. hollowroom says:

    Bought it, played it, loved it.

  14. Doganpc says:

    Someone please make a Mechwarrior 2 mod for this… pretty please.