When Carrier Command was released a couple of years ago mouths dropped open in amazement. It was one of the few games that could honestly be described as awesome!
It wasn't until weeks later that everyone realised it had bugs and playability flaws. Realtime Software, the creators of that epic, haven't done anything since then, except work on Battle Command which, they hasten to point out, is not a sequel. It just had the word 'Command' in it.
Battle Command will appeal to lovers of Battlezone, and to northerners who harbour resentment against southeners. Why? Because the plot has north facing south deadlocked in an Ultra War.
You, as a Northener in your one-man tank full of sophisticated electronics, are dropped behind enemy lines and have 15 or so missions to try to alter the course of the war. Or get blown up, which is the more likely.
The missions on offer range from straight blasting exercises to destroying particular objectives. You're also racing to pick up a satellite from behind enemy lines, leaving time-
You can tool up with a number of infra-
Once you get dropped off and are under way, you'll notice the screen has become 320 x 200 pixels - i.e., sized to suit the American market. A scanner, your weapon pods, speed indicators and the main 3D display outside are your primary sources of information, as well as a damage display screen just like Carrier. Except you can repair damage, and there is no way you can re-arm, capture armament, or organise a supply drop - something of a pity really.
The 3D graphics are smooth and decidedly impressive when there are large numbers of tanks on the move at once. They travel at a fair lick too, and the action is always thick and fast. Geographical features are minimal, the odd tree and hill here and there. You cannot drive up the hills or hide on the down-
The missions make the most of what is, despite the interesting missiles and weapons, a simple game. If you were hoping to get a tank version of Carrier Command then you're in for a disappointment, since it comes across more as Battlezone with solid graphics and missions.
It is a good game however, and completing the 15 or so missions will take you no little time. These are what lend variety, because one minute you're sneaking towards a hidden base, ready to fire mortar shells of it because you can't actually see it, and then the next you are frantically trying to defend a bridge while your own troops straggle across.
If you were hoping for a sequel to Carrier Command, you've done so in vain, but if what you were looking for was an all action, tank blasting, monster battle simulation, Christmas has just arrived.