Battlezone: Combat Commander Image
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68

Mixed or average reviews - based on 8 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
6.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 6 Ratings

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  • Summary: Battlezone: Combat Commander remasters FPS-RTS classic Battlezone II with new visuals, new achievements, Steam Workshop support and more. The solar system is at war. Take command.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 8
  2. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. 80
    An excellent remaster of an unappreciated classic from the PC’s golden age, whose unique mix of genres seems more novel than ever.
  2. Mar 9, 2018
    75
    It’s certainly worth picking up Battlezone: Combat Commander if you like the central premise of an RTS/FPS mash-up as it’s still one of the best games in the Action Strategy genre, but if Rebellion or Big Boat make a proper Battlezone 3 then we hope it’ll focus on the fun more than the frustration.
  3. Mar 11, 2018
    75
    Battlezone: Combat Commander is a relic of its time. It’s clear this is a love letter to fans of the original, a nicer way to play a game plagued with some unfortunate problems back when it was released.
  4. Mar 5, 2018
    60
    The story is interesting and giving the FPS nature of Battlezone: Combat Commander, it feels much more 'personal' given the unique hybrid aspect of the game. The strategy elements and the FPS parts do not stack up to modern conventions, but are sufficient enough to work. The real appeal is the fact that this is a hybrid of two very different genres and, while not perfect, considering its 20 year age, it is worth checking out of if this mixture sounds appealing, as the story is indeed fun to experience.
  5. Apr 4, 2018
    60
    For all of its faults, Battlezone: Combat Commander is fun, unique, and innovative. It could even stand the test of time if the developers had spent their energy updating the game mechanics rather than just the in-game graphics. Ultimately, it's a fun game that should have gotten a lot more love from the remaster than it did. For my part, I will continue to enjoy this old classic like I did when I was a kid, but I will always be disappointed that it isn't all it could be, nay, all that is should be.
  6. Mar 1, 2018
    50
    Just like Rogue Trooper Redux and the recent Age of Empires remaster, the focus has been almost entirely on upgrading visuals instead of the gameplay. As a result, Battlezone: Combat Commander still feels like a game released nearly 20 years ago.
  7. Apr 2, 2018
    40
    A great game in its time, but one that has not aged well enough for it to stand up today with just updated visuals, especially when the cutscenes are omitted from that update.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Aug 13, 2020
    8
    I first played Battlezone 2 many years ago, I believe around the time of its original release. My memory of playing it then is hazy, and I wasI first played Battlezone 2 many years ago, I believe around the time of its original release. My memory of playing it then is hazy, and I was not very good at it, but I was no doubt thrilled to be playing a sequel to one of my favorite games ever, to this day. In retrospect I suppose I was quite lucky to do so, as the original release was apparently bug-addled and notoriously demanding of PC hardware of that time. Before Crysis, there was BZ2.

    This version of BZ2 features heavily updated visuals, in particular very nice lighting effects. It's hard to tell looking at Rebellion's version that the game originally came out in 1999. It also features steam workshop support, much like the earlier Battlezone 98 Redux.

    Gameplay in Battlezone is simple enough, though it would probably feel odd to today's shooter players. You are controlling a hovering tank with conventional FPS keymaps, with the added element of a simple strategic interface that use the number keys, the mouse and spacebar to select units and structures, and issue orders. If your tank is destroyed, you are not necessarily out of the battle- you automatically eject and can then float down and walk the rest of the way back to your base to obtain a fresh vessel. On foot you are armed with a feeble energy rifle that boasts an alternate sniper mode that can, with precise aim, be used to snipe an enemy pilot out of their vehicle, thus making it available to you.

    The overall flow feels awkward to me now, but I suspect this system allowed for tight, high-level play in whatever multiplayer scene might have existed once. In addition, where you were limited to only ten units of each category at at time with a finite number of pilots as well, in 2 you can create up to ten groups of ten units each, with no pilot limit, allowing for much larger battles where individual losses are not quite as punishing. Still, it is not hard to see why action-strategy games never fully caught on- in my the experience the average shooter player cannot reasonably be expected to employ anything resembling a strategy.

    I had an amusing experience playing this version where I accidentally discovered that you can freely fire-link different weapon types using the shift key, and now I'm not certain whether this feature was present in the original release. It certainly might have made my life easier back then.

    I mentioned earlier that BZ2 is significantly easier then the first game. Part of this is the improved friendly unit AI and command interface, but another major factor is the change in how gathering biometal scrap works. The primary of the game's only two resources, the other being power. In the first game there was a finite amount of scrap on the map at the beginning of a level or match, with additional scrap only appearing from destroyed units or structures. In 2, there are biometal "pools" scattered throughout most maps that your scrap harvesters can deploy over, becoming immobile extractors that generate scrap automatically over time. This major change in the underlying economic mechanic of the game put off many players, but makes most campaign missions a matter of simply defending these extractors long enough to build up a sufficient attack force with which to bowl over the enemy base, with the enemy AI only throwing significant attack waves at you in the final few missions. Campaign missions in the first game were severely limited in terms of effective tactical solutions: If you didn't build or move certain things at or to certain locations and times, you were basically screwed, and this is largely not the case in 2 until very late in the campaign.

    Though it was either streamlined or dumbed-down from the first game, depending on personal interpretation, Battlezone 2 maintained a key aspect of the experience- a combination of emphatic voice acting and written fragments of background information that that told an engrossing story of interstellar discovery, betrayal and intrigue, with a quality soundtrack as well.

    Whatever the public perception of Battlezone 2 as compared to the first game or otherwise, I consider it a forgotten gem of the late 90s, with a brand of gameplay that has seldom been explored before or since, and I greatly appreciate both these games being made available to a wider audience.
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  2. Apr 30, 2018
    7
    Overall the remaster of Battlezone Combat Commander wasn’t really a disappointment. I can see why some people may not like it or complainOverall the remaster of Battlezone Combat Commander wasn’t really a disappointment. I can see why some people may not like it or complain about the job Rebellion have done with the remaster but for the most of it I enjoyed myself. There’s always something about flying round a planet or space and just blasting Aliens out the sky. The multiplayer and other modes add nice bonus gameplay and content to the game which are all tied together by a neatly wrapped up story and alternative endings. Expand
  3. Oct 9, 2018
    5
    Haiku Review: My fond memories / Do not hold up to real life / This game is very meh
    Favorite Thing: The base building plus unit control is
    Haiku Review: My fond memories / Do not hold up to real life / This game is very meh
    Favorite Thing: The base building plus unit control is still a great idea.
    Least Favorite Thing: There's a lot to dislike but I think the thing that I disliked the most was the bad level design. Nothing is well balanced and they constantly waste your time and patience.

    Date Completed: 2018-10-07
    Playtime: ~ 20h
    Enjoyment: 5/10
    Recommendation: If you're feeling nostalgic, yes. Otherwise, most definitely not.
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See all 4 User Reviews