Harking back to the original 1980s arcade cabinet, Battlezone offers a real challenge. Progressing through the procedural campaign map is no mean feat – the challenge is raised as you progress, strengthening enemies as well as unleashing the might of the Nemesis tank against you. This isn’t just a test of your skill, but of your strategy too. But don’t fear the restart – you’ll learn from every death and unlock more awesome weapons and special equipment.
1. GET TO KNOW THE COCKPIT
Before you set off on the small task of saving mankind, you’ll want to take time looking around your tank, the Cobra. Familiarise yourself with all those monitors, the way the radar works, how your health is displayed. Remember, you’re in VR now, and the Cobra is designed to give you awareness of your objectives, your arsenal and your environment.
2. SWITCH WEAPONS AND EXPLOIT COVER
Make sure to switch out weapons for different enemy types using X (XB) / □ (PS). There are a number of different guns in Battlezone, all upgradeable. The more you play and progress, the more you’ll learn what to use when – homing missiles and machine guns are very useful for fast moving or airborne enemies. Different weapons are better at different ranges – keep distance and cover when you can. Make use of the structures around you and try to take out some of the more powerful static targets from a distance.
3. USE BOOST CAREFULLY
One of the quickest ways to trash your Cobra is to use boost liberally! Boosting (LT / L2) is vital for getting out of tough spots, or speeding to a destination against the clock. But overusing boost drains the Cobra’s shields very quickly, leaving you extremely vulnerable while they recharge. Be sure to look out for displays and alerts warning you when your shields are down.
4. HEAL YOUR CO-OP BUDDIES
In co-op, teamwork is vital. Keep an eye out for teammates who are damaged and in need of a health boost. When you’re close enough to a teammate you’ll both heal each other, so be sure to huddle up when you can! And if a teammate is downed, you can revive them before they spend a life by healing them the same way. Since you all share the same supply of lives, if a teammate has to spend a life to re-enter the battlefield, that’s a life you’re losing too! So when you’re in the main hub you could do far worse than spending data on upgrading your Cobra’s heal modulator – this will greatly improve your chances of co-op success.
5. USE YOUR BLASTER TO GAIN AMMO
You’re never completely out of ammo in Battlezone. Hold X / □ for a few seconds to activate your back-up ‘Blaster’ – it’s fairly accurate, has infinite ammo, and most importantly it’ll guarantee an ammo drop from kills.
6. HOOVER UP DATA
Destroying enemies is not the only way you can accrue data. Look out for data stores to hack and data crystals to destroy, and also keep an eye out for the UFO – this guy sucks up data lying around the battleground, so it’s well worth taking it out to grab all that data back.
7. BOOST YOUR DATA INCOME
As you destroy enemies, you’ll see a scattering of blue and yellow polygonal drops emerge from the wreckage. This is data – and it’s vital you grab it from enemies when you can, as it’s absolutely critical for progressing through the Battlezone campaign. You can spend data in the main hub both to upgrade your tank and buy more lives, and at supply points to improve your arsenal.
8. TAKE DOWN SHIELD GENERATORS
See those beacons of light on the hexagonal campaign map? These are shield generators, and taking them out will greatly help your chances in the final showdown at the volcano. It will also reduce the amount of objectives you need to complete towards the later stages of your campaign.
9. SAVE SPECIAL EQUIPMENT FOR WHEN YOU’RE SURROUNDED
Use special equipment wisely. Activating your special equipment (LB / L1) is a great way to change the tide in your favour. Feeling overwhelmed by a swarm of nearby aggressors? Deploy an EMP to leave them temporarily offline. Low on health? Use Vampire to drain health from enemies to heal you and your teammates!
10. PURCHASE EXTRA LIVES
Make sure to purchase additional lives as you progress along the campaign. It’ll be very tempting to spend all your data on a sweet weapon upgrade, but if you run out of lives then that’s game over for your campaign run, and you’ll have to start all the way back at the beginning.