Battlezone Dev Interview

BATTLEZONE was an instant PS VR hit when it was launched five months ago… but now it is even better.  A high-quality upgrade has unveiled new missions, weapons and environments and opened a treasure chest of goodies to find.  Rebellion Games’ Grant Stewart is one of the designers behind the reboot of this gaming classic.

He lifted the lid on how the game pushed the boundaries for the new tech and how tough a battle it had been.  Grant said:

Right from the beginning we were a VR game.  We had been testing out ideas and we had been trying to overcome a lot of the challenges through experimentation.  We looked at lots of different control methods and ways to make the cockpit work.  We looked at ways in which you would inhabit the world and how the campaign and levels would all tie together and still be comfortable if you are wearing the VR headset.

That didn’t sound easy and the reality was just as tough. Grant added:

We looked at controls and the best one was to use your head to look around but to control the tank with the PS4 controller.  It is a deliberate choice so you can use the full range of motion to see threats coming your way and have a heads-up on them so you can adjust accordingly.

Anyone familiar with the Tron look in the 80s will recognise cues in this, and Grant makes no apologies for that.

He laughed:

Battlezone is a reboot of the late 80s arcade game which had a sort of VR itself.  It is often called the first VR game so this one has a lot of nods to retro gaming.  Tron is one of them though Battlezone originally came out before it.  The campaign is about trying to fight a huge volcano.  That is a reference to the old game because there is a myth that if you just keep driving straight forward you would get to a volcano.  The game is player versus AI and the levels are procedurally generated.  It has a rogue light sort of structure and it’s built so that you can play through it a number of times and each time it will be different.  You will need to run through the game a few times before you unlock everything.

The Battlezone update is live now to download on PS4 and playable in PSVR.

This interview originally appeared in The Scottish Sun on Friday 17th March.

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Stuart Cullen

Scotland’s very own thorn in the side of the London gaming scene bringing all the hottest action straight from The Sun… well… The Scottish Sun at least, every week!

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