Aug 3, 2010

Tank Recon 3D

I was browsing the Market a few days ago and stumbled across this new game. And then it dawned on me how the old Atari arcade classic Battlezone is really quite under represented. Most people apparently prefer to fly a plane instead of driving a tank (Or is it that most developers prefer to write air based games? The world may never know.).

Tank Recon 3D is a tank game in 3D. It sports two modes of play: survival and mission. Survival mode isn't too dissimilar from the aforementioned arcade classic Battlezone. You cruise around in your tank killing as many enemy tanks as you can before being killed yourself. In Battlezone you have lives (each equating to taking a hit) whereas in this game you have a health meter and can pick up 'repairs' as in most first person shooters. Mission mode features three skill levels and gives you an objective making the game a bit more of a story than the "kill or be killed" of survival mode, but it's the same game with respect to controls and all. And the missions, even on Normal mode, are not pushovers. The first one has you knocking out communication towers and it's nice to have this additional option beyond survival mode as it's actually pretty satisfying to see one of those towers fall.

The graphics are good. Tanks explode into pieces with nice, fiery explosions before their parts disappear into the dirt. Scrolling is smooth and while the mountain landscape doesn't offer much to look at other than enemies and dead enemies what is there looks nice. Audio? Well, the game is almost eerily quiet. The only sound it makes is that of firing shells at your enemy. In fact it kind of puzzles me that the graphics are as good as they are when the audio is as non-existent as it is. I'd, at least, expect a nice little musical number on the title screen and the rumble of my tank as I move. Controls are all touch screen based... a familiar virtual DPad for movement, a fire button, and another fire button for launching one of your limited supply of guided missiles. There's no option to use a real DPad that I can see, and that might have been nice.

At US $4.99 this is one of the higher priced titles... a premium game if you will. This is a game that does so many things so well that I'd like to give it 5/5, but with the lack of decent audio and just the one environment (that is also kind of bland) I'd say 4.5/5. Also, how great would networked multiplayer support be? If you want an arcade oriented tank combat game then this suffices nicely. It's a fun game to play. A video of the game from the developer follows although, if you look closely, you'll see it's the Blackberry version of the game [and it's got a nice soundtrack]:

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