Battlezone – Gold Edition is a first-person tank shooter which places you in the seat of a Cobra tank fighting off different types of enemies in the sky and on the ground. You get to choose between 12 types of Cobra tanks, you start off with 3 being made available and can unlock the rest by completing certain tasks, these 3 are; Heavy Tank, a tough and powerful tank which lacks speed, Medium Tank, this tank has its strength and agility balanced, and lastly, Light Tank which is faster but has less armour, if you’re good at dodging rockets then this tank is the one for you, sadly I was just being blown up in it and the heavy tank was too slow for my liking so the Medium Tank is where I decided to stay with, some of the tanks you can unlock along the way are Aggro Tank, Classic Tank and Stop and Pop Tank, these are just a few of the others you can unlock, each tank has a gun setup which you start out with, as well as a special ability, these guns and special abilities, can be changed at a supply point if you have others unlocked but it’s always best to pick something that suits your play style.
I started off feeling a little lost trying to figure out the campaign setup, you can basically select whether or not you would like a small medium or large campaign, you can also change the difficulty from easy medium and hard, I personally liked this customisation, you could quickly play through a hard campaign with a smaller duration, it does make it harder for you as each level you partake in you’re given credits for your overall score, these credits can be used on upgrades so the smaller the campaign the less credits you’re going to build up, meaning you can’t upgrade your guns and probably won’t make it to the end obviously when you increase the difficulty the enemies are trickier to kill from the start, as you continue throughout the campaign the enemies power will increase and decrease meaning even on easy depending on your playthrough it could feel like hard you can also have a randomly generated seed or if you know of a decent one type the code in for it whilst setting up your campaign which can also change how the difficulty will feel.
Whilst playing through the campaign you’ll come across different mission types, for example you could find a capture mode in which you have to capture an enemy base by driving close to it and hacking it, at the same time the enemy will be attempting to take your base so you’ll have to make sure you’ve wipes most of them out before you go in for the hack another mission is escape in which you have to fight off all of the enemy vehicles and make your way to an escape pad, as well as a few others you also have shield generators which you have to destroy to decrease the enemy power of the final mission which is the AI Core, on your playthrough of a campaign you can hack buildings within each mission which can help with the overall amount of credits you’ll receive or give you blueprints for upgraded weapons etc as well as a nemesis which is a large enemy tank which will move around the campaign mission board trying to catch you and basically take you out, once you lose a mission it’s game over for this playthrough so I would advise trying to play this online with friends rather than offline by yourself, I’ve played both and found the offline to be a little bit boring but with that being said I’m a bigger fan of co-op online gameplay so some of you may find the offline to be perfectly fine.
As I’ve mentioned upgrading weapons a few times I think it’s only fair I go into a little bit of detail about the upgrades and things you can spend your hard earned credits on within the game, if you’re on the campaign screen selecting which hexagon to go into next you can press LB and upgrade your shields, active reload, magnet, and healing capabilities, your magnet is what collects the loot for you when you’ve destroyed an enemy whether it be score points/credits or ammo so the more upgrades on your magnet the higher chance you’ve got of your tank sucking all of the loot out of a dead enemy if you’re at a little bit of a distance away from them, As for the Heal upgrade, when you’re playing the game and get close to another player you will automatically start to heal each other, the healing time is rather slow so I would advise upgrading this at least a few bars once you start getting to the later levels of the campaign. As for the weapons, you unlock them whilst playing the game whether it be naturally or from hacking a building, with these blueprints unlocked you can then buy them at supply pads littered around the campaign, you always start off with 2 MK1 weapons on your tank and can upgrade as high as MK16 for certain weapons, obviously the higher the MK the more expensive these will be but they will also deal out more damage to each enemy, the different types of weapons are available to view in the arsenal which is situated in the main menu of the game, these are as follows: artillery, autogun, cannon, multi lock on launcher, single lock on Launcher, laser guided missiles and railgun My personal favourites were the multi lock on launcher, unguided rockets and the laser guided missiles you can have up to 4 weapons on each tank as well as one special weapon which consists of: shield boost, vampire, virus, EMP, ammo replenish, flare, mine spotter, radar ping and rot, again in my setup I used the ammo replenish, when you’re playing with 3 other players online this comes in handy especially when you’ve got a lot of ammo hogs playing with you.
You can also customise your tank with different paint schemes for the outside of the tank and in your cockpit along with bobble heads you can choose to have on your cockpits dashboard which is a nice little touch, I was rather surprised at just how much you can customise from your campaign to your tank, when I first picked Battlezone up I was expecting it to be a set campaign with one or two tanks so it’s really surprised me, the graphics are rather decent, they suit the game and give a king of Tron feel to everything, it’s also Xbox One X enhanced which again upgrades the graphics whilst playing, as for audio again it’s fit for purpose, I wasn’t expecting top notch amazing sounds and great background music, what it delivered was a quiet space age experience if you get what I mean? I’ve found it hard to find many negatives to this game as I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, i would have liked the difficulty ramp up to not be so steep and also when you’re playing online the host is in control of where you move to next so if you’re playing with a beginner it can be a nightmare, you can drop a little cursor on a mission to say which way you would like to go but I think a voting system may have been slightly better, also the reload times are a bit of a joke even if you have active reload ramped up quite a bit and lastly the way the scoring credits drop when you kill an enemy, if an ally is closer to them they will collect any left behind automatically with the magnet which can make score hogs scream in joy whilst you’re struggling to get credits together for your next multi lock on upgrade but other than those few points I couldn’t find any other issues that I personally came across.