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Author Topic: Post what you're currently playing! [Screenshots] [56k is a JPEG saved in paint]  (Read 59348 times)

Trilkin

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Playing a game that's been a favorite of mine since I was very young (since I was in elementary, I think).

Battlezone '98. Now with a "Redux" makeover with new textures and models, better compatibility, and a mod-friendly setup. Some updates to AI, too. In addition to the regular game, you can also purchase the expansion pack, the Red Odyssey.

If you want a brief overview on what the game's about, here goes.

Behind the scenes of the Cold War, a secret war was fought in space.

In the 1950s, a meteor shower occurred near the Arctic Circle in the area of the Bering Strait. Investigation into the debris revealed a mysterious and powerful substance, metallic in form but also exhibiting vague biological properties; semi-living metal to put it bluntly. This element, dubbed "Bio-Metal," was simultaneously discovered and studied by both the Soviet Union and the United States. In the 60s, years of research revealed that the substance could be crafted into powerful devices, machines, and weapons. Upon realizing the Bio-Metal could change the face of war, both President Eisenhower and General Secretary Khrushchev ordered the creation of secret military forces (NSDF for the Americans, CCA for the Soviets) to secure footholds in space and secure control of the Bio-Metal.

Along the way, both sides discover the origins of the Bio-Metal lie with a mysterious extinct race of aliens called the Cthonians.

Sounds a bit silly, but the premise is executed so well that the silliness is mostly offset.
The game is part FPS and part RTS. While C&C Renegade is vaguely similar, Renegade is clearly a shooter first and a strategy game second. Here, strategy and tactics are just as important as the shooting.

Just finished "The Red Brigade," the Soviet campaign. Here you play Commander Aleksey Doyestevskiy, a tank officer who routinely has to deal with the toughest assignments while getting little respect from his slimy superior, General Romeskiy (who just happens to be voiced by Steven Jay Blum). Not only that, but Romeskiy routinely steals credit for his subordinate's accomplishments. In the last mission, the player gets the chance to give Romeskiy a taste of humble pie. If you choose to take the slimeball down, General Karnov (the supreme commander of the CCA) praises you for your ambition. Of course, there's a subtler way to get rid of him...


A pic from the loading screen, this is the Grizzly battle tank. It's sort of a mascot of the franchise. It's also unquestionably one of the best units in the game with solid weapons, speed, maneuverability and durability. It's also the default unit you pilot in the NSDF campaign.


At the wheel of a Czar battle tank, the CCA counterpart to the Grizzly.
The 4 off-white vehicles beneath the crosshair are also Czars. Not as swift as the Grizzly, but is slightly more durable.

In combat with a tough enemy.
This is an elite Grizzly belong to the Black Dogs, a dangerous and formidable covert ops unit of the NSDF. While mostly the same in appearance to the regular Grizzly, it carries more powerful weapons.

« Last Edit: June 21, 2019, 02:19:29 AM by Trilkin »

Trilkin

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I just finished with the NSDF campaign, which is much longer than the CCA. The CCA has only 6 missions, but the NSDF has 17!

Even though the briefing for CCA mission one says the Red Brigade campaign is for "the experienced commander," I find the NSDF to be a lot harder. It is rather easy early on, but the difficulty cranks up quickly within a few missions. The last three missions are very difficult.

Look out, spoilers inbound.

Here you play as NSDF Commander Jason Bates AKA Grizzly One. The campaign has little narrations by him during the loading screens, filling in little plot details.
As stated in the previous post. The tech in the game is all derived from "Biometal" which was created and perfected by a long-extinct race called the Chthonians. No, not those worm monsters from the Lovecraftian mythos. The word originally referred to ancient Greek deities, specifically those tied to the earth and the underworld.

In Battlezone, the Chthonians were a race that had advanced to such a high level that it might as well have been magic. They visited Earth and the Greeks many times, teaching them many secrets and performing acts that later inspired the legends. A plot point sort of like Assassin's Creed, but presented in a way that's not nearly so far up its own ass.

Anyway, the Cthonians vanished long ago and both armies in the game are fighting to gain control of relics they left behind. It all eventually leads to relics of a type of superweapon called the Fury.

Eventually the CCA builds mass numbers of them, but it turns out the craft are sentient and they violently rebel, attacking the CCA and anyone else they come across.
It's later learned from the ancient records that the Furies did precisely the same thing to the Chthonians, who were forced in desperation to destroy their own homeworld to stop the cancer they created from spreading. History repeating itself.

The last arc of the game deals with destroying the Furies and ending their menace for good. The Furies themselves come in two forms, the Fury Tank and the Fury Flier.
They are the nastiest and most obnoxious foes in the game. They wield disgustingly powerful lightning weapons as well as guided missiles called Wasps. Their lightning shots are nearly impossible to dodge. The Wasp can be interdicted, but the player still needs to stay back because it explodes with a moderate AOE.
Neither are fun to fight, but the Flier is especially unpleasant.

The Tank is exactly what it's name implies. A sentient hovering tank-like vehicle that only sports moderate speed, but they usually travel in groups of two or three. It's fairly durable, but it's low speed can be exploited by long range weapons.
The Flier is very similar, but looks more like UFO saucer and is slightly more fragile. It's lower durability is more than made up for with an utterly obnoxious vertical lift jump that allows to escape your shots and then drop down and hit you from behind.

Though very frustrating, the last three missions are quite epic.


Attacking a Soviet Unit Factory with a platoon of Bobcats (NSDF Light Tanks).


The Thunderbolt Bomber, sports very powerful weapons and is incredibly fast for such a large vehicle, but its turning speed is a pain to work with. Still worth it if you need big guns.


Engaging a Fury Tank with the heavy weapons of the Thunderbolt.


Lobbing rockets at a target building and getting jumped by 4 Fury Tanks. Surprisingly, I was somehow able to destroy all of them and not lose my bomber.


Splash one Fury Tank!


Smashing the Furies' assembly plants with a big-ass bomb launched from the mobile Armory, appropriately called the Day Wrecker.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2019, 02:07:40 AM by Trilkin »

Trilkin

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Playing the expansion of BZ 98, the Red Odyssey. To be as true as possible to the title, I played (and just now finished) the Chinese campaign "The Red Storm" first. The Chinese player character is unnamed, but of quite high rank - a Major. This makes him the highest ranked player character in BZ1 as a whole. The only player character that rivals him is the protagonist of BZ2, Major John Cooke.

Anyway, the Red Storm campaign. True to the name, it's very Maoist-Red, very much a Storm of fake difficulty and very stereotypically Chinese - up to and including really overdone and cheesy Chinese accents...including your construction rig saying the always, ALWAYS unfunny "oh sorry Charriy" line. That said, the Chinese CRA is a solid faction. Their vehicles are fairly lacking in sturdiness. To make up for their somewhat low survivability, they have excellent weaponry and use ambushes, trickery and high tech to get the upper hand. They possess a unique ability to cloak nearly all of their combat vehicles. They are quite similar to the Brotherhood of Nod in many regards.

The original game has two upgrades that do this to some extent, but they are flawed.
The Phantom VIR cloaks you visually and cancels your image signature from Shadower im-rec missiles, but you still emit a radar return, a heat signature and your thrusters still kick up dust. Real players will easily see through the trick, AI will not be fooled in any way and either way you are still mincemeat for Hornet heatseekers and regular weapons.
Its counterpart the RED Field is somewhat more useful. It cancels out your radar return, so you can close in stealthily, but you are still visible.
The Chinese cloaker is nearly perfect, concealing you in almost every regard. However, you cannot fire your weapons. Since BZ has no detector units to speak of, it can still be abused rather obscenely with a "flick and fire" approach - holding down the fire trigger, flipping the cloak off, firing a shot, cloaking again. That said, cloaking most useful against the AI; your vehicle thrusters still kick up dust, so real players will still notice if they look hard enough. It's still a drastic improvement from the Phantom VIR and RED Field, though, since it denies image-locking for Shadower im-rec missiles and a heat trail for Hornet heatseekers.

The Soviet CCA are the only opposing faction in the campaign, but they are quite enough. You are always outnumbered. While Uncle Vanya has only average weapons, they always attack in massive numbers, sometimes attack in 3-1 strength! This campaign absolutely does not fuck around.


I really wasn't clowning when I said this expansion doesn't fuck around. The first Chinese mission makes you conduct the entire mission on foot!
Here I'm smashing a Soviet compound with a Day Wrecker, which (for this mission only, naturally) is MUCH more powerful than normal. Bring on the fireworks!


At the helm of the Yeti, the CRA faction's main battle tank. Its armor seems a bit weaker than the Grizzly and Czar, but it's quite speedy and sports a cloaker and its main gun is a variant of the SP-Stabber (in gameplay anyway; story-wise, it's a weaker variant of the CP-Stabber mentioned later in my post).


For giggles, I'm attacking two Soviet Golem walkers with a Yeren, a shameless CRA ripoff. It's identical in every way, save its colors and its cloaking ability. The cloak is not very useful since all walkers move maddeningly slow. Hilariously, all walkers have the ability to bunnyhop and fairly efficiently to boot. It looks pretty ridiculous, but the extra speed is worth it.


Back in a Yeti, dropping my cloak to ambush two Stoli light tanks.


The Emperor heavy tank, the most heavily armored tank in the game and also the most miserable to handle. Its speed is barely any different from the Golem, which can't even hover!
It sport 2 disgustingly powerful cannons called Cupric Pulse Stabbers/CP-Stabbers. Unlike the downgraded version on the Yeti, this gun can erase pretty much anything it's pointed at, but at a price - see below...


At the helm of the Emperor, showing off its hilarious overpowered CP-Stabber. No joke, it's able to chew up a Golem walker in 3-4 shots. The downside is the ammo pool is horrendously low, allowing for only 6 volleys.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2019, 02:54:37 AM by Trilkin »