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Arcade classic Battlezone returning as an RTS remake and VR showpiece

Sniper Elite series developer Rebellion announced that it plans to relaunch Atari’s arcade classic Battlezone with a pair of new games for PCs and VR devices.

In addition to the VR-focused Battlezone remake it announced at E3, Rebellion also plans to release a remastered version of 1998’s Battlezone, updating its hybrid FPS/RTS gameplay for modern PC platforms.

Related: Sniper Elite 3 review

Released in 1980, Atari’s Battlezone put players in control of a tank surrounded by swarms of enemy vehicles and UFOs. The game was noted for its immersive presentation; its green-tinted, wireframe aesthetic showcased action from a first-person perspective, and players viewed gameplay through a cabinet-mounted periscope. Battlezone also offered a unique twin-stick control setup, simulating forward and reverse movement of individual tank treads.

In 2013, developer Rebellion acquired the intellectual property rights to Battlezone, earning the exclusive privilege to produce modern remakes and sequels. Promising “the next generation of VR warfare,” Rebellion’s VR remake of Battlezone features the same basic gameplay as its arcade forebear, upgrading the experience with new enemy types and a graphical overhaul.

Battlezone is currently in development for Sony’s Project Morpheus VR device, and a Steam release is also in the works. A trailer offers an early look at the remake’s gameplay. A release date is not yet known.

Battlezone has seen a number of sequels and revamps over the last few decades, including 1998’s Battlezone for PC platforms. Published by Activision, 1998’s Battlezone features an alternate-history plot that pits the United States and Soviet militaries against one another in extraterrestrial combat. Gameplay merges real-time strategy elements with first-person shooter mechanics. A port for the Nintendo 64 arrived in 2000, and a sequel, Battlezone II: Combat Commander, shipped in 1999.

Responding to fan feedback following the announcement of its VR Battlezone remake, Rebellion confirmed that it also plans to release a remake of the 1998 version of Battlezone.

“We’re very pleased to reveal that we’re also working on a remaster of the 1998 Battlezone for PC,” the studio stated in a recent blog post. “It’s still early days but when we’re ready to show you more you’ll be the first to know. All we can say for now is that whichever vision of Battlezone you love, you’ve not been forgotten!”