Battlezone: Battle Commander is a streamlined manner of titling the upcoming Battlezone II remaster. Naming practicalities aside, Big Boat Interactive will have the classic ready for an early March release date - a modern DX coat of paint, 4K graphics, and multiplayer functionality from the olden days.
Battlezone II: Battle Commander was Pandemic Studios' first game, long before EA's axe shaped smile could be seen sparkling on the horizon. The studio may have not survived EA, but a lot of its games have an enduring legacy.
The remastered version will be bringing back a game concept straight out of the late 90's PC craziness handbook. "How about we put a tank game into an RTS game, and then put an FPS game into the tank game!", someone must have shouted right before a standing ovation during some early design meeting. The result of that thinking was the first Battlezone title, and the sequel takes those concepts and ads a lot of colour and polish to the mix.
Yes, we are aware that Battlezone was an arcade game first, but the arcade and PC versions have little in common other than their name, the presence of tanks and the odd volcano in the distance.
The remaster is being done by the same fine folks behind the Battlezone 98 Redux release, Big Boat Interactive and their CEO, Mike Arkin was the lead producer of the original game under Activision.
"For those new to the world of Battlezone, Battlezone: Combat Commander is an FPS-RTS hybrid, where you collect scrap, create a base, build deadly units, then control them as you take on the enemy in explosive first-person battles", is how the man in charge summed up the concept for the uninitiated in a blog post.
Some concerns have been brought up by the developers regarding the hardware make up of most of their customer base. There are apparently a lot of lower-end machines out there looking to run the game, and this presented a bit of a problem with the Redux release. Little more was said on the matter officially, but a classic mode may be in the cards. This could add to the nostalgia factor while potentially addressing the hardware issue at the same time.
"Another key takeaway was that we ended up adding so much to that poor 18 year old engine that we unfortunately reduced performance on lower end computers. Many of our oldest and most loyal players were on low-end PCs, so that was a real disappointment for them."