Battlezone Plus

As I suspected Battlezone Plus is a fun casual shooter. The game is 3/4 isometric view and runs at a fixed 1024x768. I dug through the options and config files and couldn't find a way to change that. The game is easy enough to get installed if you've installed anything at all by this point. Click the Game Start on the website and go through the activeX installs and the launcher. Next next your way until it is finalized. Once it is done, hit the Game Start again and wait a moment. For some reason the anti-cheat seems to take a little extra time to fire up on this one. It is a small download though at only 190MB.

When the game fires up you'll be given a choice of creating a character or bailing. Create your character. It is fairly easy. You pick one of several stereotypical classes and customize a few things like their face and clothing color. Pick a name and you're good to go. It will offer you the tutorial, I'd say skip it. It wasn't that helpful and overly slow. Basic knowledge is this: click to shoot, move with WASD you can crawl by pressing E, if you have a special item like a health kit hold Q to make it happen, and when you are reloading there is a quick time event to let you load faster. You'll see it a couple times in the video. I hit it a couple times and miss it once or twice. You can double tap a direction to dash that way. To join a channel you have to first select one, I'd choose regular, and then choose the individual channel before you can join. Once you're in you can get on with blasting hippie gangsters, skinheads and your fellow man.

There are two play styles in the game. Deathmatch and Mission. Mission involves killing a boss and his cronies, the aforementioned hippie gangsters being one variety, several times. If you kill the cronies enough times they stop spawning and you can deal with the boss all by themselves. When you defeat them you get some XP, gold and a random item. I've mostly gotten bolts and arcade coins. No idea what the bolts do yet. The deathmatch pits you against one or more enemies, and seems to be just a team deathmatch. For as simple as the game is, it is a pretty fun and an intense deathmatch.

Interesting things of note in the missions is that enemies will drop random power-ups and traps. Things like mousetraps or mushrooms can mess you up. Other items can heal you. You can also sometimes get a grenade refill as a drop. Enemies can stun you so you're confused. Your direction keys will get messed up. They'll even randomize one or two more times so if you think you've figured it out, it won't last long. As you go up levels you can increase the level of the missions you do. You can also change the various levels difficulty level, but I found no difference between an easy Rank F mission and a normal Rank F mission.

All in all, it is fun, cute and you can get into it pretty fast. There are a host of upgrades, but I didn't actually see any cash items yet. The training area let's you upgrade your character. Speed, strength, other things like that. Even at 1024x768 the graphics are fine. The controls work well, I had the odd accidental dash, but I got used to it pretty fast. If you want a casual shooting game to play when you're not up to something more serious, this might be your game.


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