The world was very different when Atari released Battlezone in 1980. Seaside amusement arcades were still the cutting-edge of video games, Battlezone's crisp 3D semi-see-through graphics were revolutionary, and the idea of fighting a virtual war in the desert for no apparent aim seemed pure fantasy.
But like a trophy wife deserting a balding New Romantic '80s rock star, Battlezone for PSP aims to lift the best bits from its heritage whilst getting banged up-to-date elsewhere.
Super-manoeuvrable hovertanks, for instance, are still the stuff of science fiction, so they stay. And action is kept to the fore – this isn't a war simulator, more a gladiator pit for tanks.
Elsewhere though, Battlezone boasts all the bells-and-whistles of modern pocket combat: Photo-realistic theatres of war, customisable vehicles, four-player wi-fi support, and unlockable vehicles, weapons and upgrades.
Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Team Deathmatch, Hotzone, Knockout, and Fox and Hound modes flesh out the multiplayer experience, while the single-player mode is built around a tournament progression to win upgrades and enhancements.
There will also be fresh supply drops from HQ in the form of extra game content delivered via the BattleZone web site, and you'll be able to fight in new battle zones created by other players using the online level builder.
That said, the levels supplied sound wacky enough – ten 'military combat arenas' from around the world that apparently include the 'jungles of China', the desert canyons of the United States and, erm, the Canary Islands.
We appreciate Battlezone is set in the future and all, but where does it end? Tank busting in the underpasses of Milton Keynes? Rolling out across the beaches of Ibiza?
Maybe – BattleZone for the PSP is still being fitted out by developer Paradigm Entertainment, ready to enter the retail arena in November.
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