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Battle Zone

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Written by ST Graveyard

July 20, 2003
Comments

Everybody probably knows the famous game "Worms". In this game, by Software company "Team 17", you play as a team of 4 worms, battling it out against an other group on a playfield. The worms are armed with all kinds of crazy weaponry, like bazookas, grenades and much more. "Team 17" started programming for the Amiga exclusively, after the demise of the machine they went on to create games for the PC. Too bad they never considered developing for the ST, cause they are responsible for some of the greatest games on the Amiga. Another good example of their work is "Alien Breed". However, this company surfaced late during the second half of the 90's, when the ST was already dying. So that might explain their absence from the ST scene...


What most of you probably don't know is that the ST has got its own little Worms clone called "Battle Zone". This version is limited though, due to the hardware of the regular ST. But that doesn't change the fact that it is still great multiplayer fun. Let's give it a closer look!


Graphics

The graphics aren't really on par with the original game, which is acceptable. Viewed on its own, the game does look pretty good and professional. The scrolling is fine, just as long as there isn't too much happening on screen. The animations on the other hand are pretty harsh and blocky. There are 13 different landscape at your disposal, the ST landscape being one of the most original.


Sound

The game starts with a nice sampled soundtrack. After this all of it seems pretty quite. There is no in-game music, though the funny samples of the Worms swearing when they're hit, made it to this version as well!


Gameplay

Well, as already mentioned, Worms is an action game. Before you start the actual game, You have to pick one of the predefined teams of four Worms. You wanna practice or play a complete tournament? Finally, you select the level of difficulty and you enter the arena where the mayhem starts.


In Worms, you wait turns to blow each other to crimson thunder. To do this, you have a great selection of weapons at your disposal. eg the shotgun, grenades, rocket launcher, bazookas, ropes, ninja punches, and you can even call for air strikes. But if it was just that, the fun would end pretty fast, I guess. So the creators have come up with all kinds of nifty things.


You can move a worm freely over the landscape. You can reach higher levels by jumping, or you could use the ninja rope to reach that perfect spot. Keep in mind once you used a toy, you have to wait your turn again. You cannot just shoot a rocket at your enemy, well you can try, but there is a big chance that you'll miss him. The creators have added a lot of naturals physics to this game, wind is one of them, so try and make use of this in your advantage.


Each worm starts with the same energy level. This gets depleted by the numerous ways of attacks inflicted on the poor creature. Once you have killed all worms (or shot them from the scenery), you win the match. In this version of Worms you can take all the time you want, since there is no time limit for each turn implemented. To me, this makes the game a bit less fun, since it was an important factor in the original. Now you have to wait till everybody is dead till a game is finished, and this can take while!


As a one player game, Battle Zone isn't bad. And even though the AI is pretty good, the game gets boring soon. But the real fun starts when you can shoot the crap out of a friend :-). Worms was one of the best multiplayer games, well, Battle zone does that for the ST. You will be laughing for hours once you boot this thing up!


Conclusion

Battle Zone is a far cry from the original worms on the Amiga or PC, but it still is nice to have a clone for the ST. The graphics and animation isn't as good, but the gameplay is top notch. Especially in 2 player mode. Give this thing a chance, you'll love it! Kill 'em all...





Score
  • Graphics: 5
  • Sound: 6
  • Gameplay: 7
  • Overall: 6

Review Comments

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AtariCrypt
Great one mate!!
July 16, 2018

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April 4, 2020 by Morcar

Graphically, it's also nice on the eyes with well-defined graphics and animation. You really get the feeling that the developers put some thought and love into the game. Remember what I said about the large levels? Well these are wonderful and are very different to each other, they also scroll fairly smooth in all four directions.

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When you boot up the game you’re presented with a fantastic loading picture of your ship. It's detailed with bold colours and it tells you This is 16-bit, bitch. Then you get the wonderful rendition of the Cybernoid theme that's on all the 8-bit versions. It's not exact but the changes still make it noticeable to anyone who knows it.

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