The Let's Play Archive

Battlezone 98 Redux + The Red Odyssey

by Lunethex, Coolguye, TheLastRoboKy, Jade Star

Part 2: NSDF #2 - General George Collins in... The Cold War High School!

has hit hard on Earth's Moon, taking and weakening their enemies greatly. With few resources left and a war already on the brink of being lost, General Collins relocates the NSDF to Mars to establish a foothold and kick the CCA out. The race for bio-metal takes a new turn as alien relics are discovered, artifacts of a race existing during the Hellenic times: The Cthonians. What the ancient Greeks thought were the gods - Olympians even - were in fact a space faring race that observed them for some time. Now that these ancient artifacts have appeared, the Americans and Russians vie for their secrets!

The first mission has 3 locations you can set up your base at. The best place to be is in the north. It puts you right next door to the massive scrap field and in direct competition with the Soviets, but you have to move quick because that puts you closer to the attack waves. The western location is great for turtling and gives you good ground, but it's a slow defense and build. The northwest position is dumb and you should never take it because that's far away from any scrap and puts you at risk of losing the mission to the CCA Tug. Though to be fair in Redux, the Tug and APC were made to move so much slower than original BZ (bad design choice there for real) so the possibility of that legitimately happening anymore is non-existent. You can in fact destroy the CCA base before all the waves get destroyed and Collins will remark about how you should take care of any further attack waves, which is a cool touch!

The second mission is definitely where the game will definitely have you asking yourself the question of whether or not you want to keep playing. It's an outrageously tedious and long map, especially when it's building off a strong start. The scrap is all over the place, surrounded by mines in gullies that scavengers constantly fall into (made slower in Redux, I'm almost certain of it) or have problems pathfinding on the narrow ridges. Goes without saying the AI has serious issues with even slight inclines. If you can get through it things definitely get better, but the third mission will again be asking you that question. If you're trying to play this as some traditional "build and steamroll" RTS like Total Annihilation, Command and Conquer, or Starcraft you may feel turned off by it. It's a broad definition sure but you know what I mean and I try to get away with building a load of tanks or just a well rounded attack force in general.

We get our feet wet on building the first base at the end of the video. Establishing a base is as simple as it can be. You only need to build a power plant to get your satellite & gun towers working. Power plants make fragile targets and are the Achilles ' Heel in any base defense, which is why it's not hard to plan an attack, you just have to hope your AI squadmates are not as brain dead as canyons and claustrophobic conditions unfortunately make them out to be. I've tried setting up squads in ways like having two people follow one person who I command directly to get around these issues but they always lag behind and I don't know if this is some intentional nerf or AI problem that Rebellion couldn't fix. If the kind of thing you'll see at the end of the video was intentional that's...well, I have a lot of negative and spiteful remarks about that but considering this mission is the most dense of any canyon you'll get in the campaigns, I can overlook it. Especially with such an easy way to cheese it and forget about building a darn thing.

Battlezone's biggest problem as I would say is the AI. Whether or not the community or Rebellion tried to change it much I can't say for certain nowadays. The only big difference is enemies not turning tail and breaking off attack at the slightest danger, but they don't seem to have done anything for the player's squad. On the flip side, even larger enemy attack forces have a much easier time moving as a unit (and moving at top speed at that ) than your own, again demonstrated when only two people actually make an effort to keep up with me and I've got the rest lagging behind 200+ meters! I don't know how to deal with it other than suffering, but maybe we'll get a proper answer in the future.

Here's a bonus video of me destroying a CCA base located out of bounds on the second mission of this video. It breaks the level but it shows that, at some point, you were allowed or even intended to engage this position.
If you buy this game I made a workshop collection of the mods I use!