The original arcade Battlezone was often thought of as one of the first VR games due to shoving you inside a wire-framed cockpit and sending you off to do battle in first person.
It’s fitting, then, that this game should turn up on Sony’s first foray into VR and for it to actually be pretty good as well.
While there are plenty of solo and competitive multiplayer VR games at launch for PSVR, Battlezone tasks you with working together in its online mode. Working as a team, you edge across a grid filled with hexagonal areas in order to reach the end goal.
With limited ammo and shields, it helps to work together to heal each other and work on a strategy of attacking the enemy from all sides. Given the right level of communication, this game is a great team experience; shooting aircraft from the sky while your team-mate takes on the enemy ground troops.
Battlezone attempts to straddle the line between the original’s clean cut simple lines and a more modern polygon-based future and the aesthetics are great. It’s part Tron, part cartoon but these both work to the game’s favour. offering arenas that look just how you imaged VR would look back in the 90s and were disappointing to find that, back then, it just didn’t.
Single player is slightly less glamorous as you’ll be fighting hard against the odds here. The game gives you depleting shields, a whole host of extra weapons and various upgrades for huge chunks of cash which need to be carefully earned in-game. Pretty soon you’ll most likely become a cropper unless you manage to move slowly, outflank the enemy and probably get lucky in the process. For me, though, it’s off balance after the first few easier levels. You’ve usually not got much of a fighting chance half way across the board.
The only other thing to add is that the VR Sickness, that form of motion sickness that you get from fast moving VR games, did creep in from time to time, though it’s not as bad as some other games.
It’s a shame that the single player isn’t more balanced. I’m hoping that this will be patched in a later update, but for now the multiplayer team version of the game is where the real action is at and it certainly performs well.
Battlezone VR might not be perfect, but it’s still one of the jewels in the crown of the newly released Playstation VR.