Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.
I’d love to play a modern version of Battle Engine Aquila, and I’d be eternally grateful if anyone can tell me if such a thing exists. Each level tasks you with either obliterating or protecting a futuristic army base, which you do from the skies in jet mode or – with a tap of a button – a spider-like tank that blasts foes from the ground.
There was something effortlessly compelling about those transformations. Swooping down behind a line of tanks, transforming mid-air and firing a barrage of rockets before you’d touched the ground could make me feel agile and powerful in a way that few vehicle/mech based games manage.
There was strategy to it, too: on the attack missions, you had to choose which buildings to target first. Shutting down the infantry generating buildings might give your own troops an easier time, while destroying the enemy’s tank factories might eliminate a direct threat to your Battle Engine.
Those Battle Engine’s came in varieties that catered to different playstyles, with some being stronger in the air or on the land, while others had stealth capabilities. I spent most of my time with it in the multiplayer, so I never got to see some of the later models that could only be unlocked by reaching milestones in the campaign. Maybe one day I’ll go searching for them.