Jack Dempsey was known as the Manassa Mauler. He had a knock-out punch, could take a good shot and fought on until the bitter end. Maybe, just maybe, that's why Battle Command's tank star is called The Mauler, an ultra-sophisticated armoured weapon platform which is sent on suicidal missions that, with a touch of luck and some heavy planning, might just be feasible.
Battle Command blends tense tank action with serious cerebral activity. 15 tests of close-combat mouse control test your planning skills, weapons selection and pure guts when the shells start to fly.
User Friendly Armour
BC is played from the traditional tank sim' viewpoint. Sitting behind a viewing screen, you survey the battlefield and use a roving cursor to select the weapons and other systems. Pushing and pulling the joystick/mouse moves the Mauler, with the right and left button switching control from systems to driving. Sights for the missiles and cannon pop up automatically, locking-on with refreshing speed, making the Mauler a very user-friendly tank indeed.
The whole game evolves around the map - one of the F-Key commands. You have to calculate the best routes between mission objectives and pick up zones. Used in conjunction with a radar and binoculars this allows long-range planning, while the fighting takes place from the tank's viewpoint.
When the enemies start blazing, the Mauler takes damage no matter how careful you are. Luckily the Mauler's a tough swine and it takes masses of hits before finally exploding. Avoid enemy fire by utilising your long-range fire to its maximum potential.
Destruction Jobs and Escort Services
The missions vary in nature as well as subject. Some are destruction jobs where you take out an enemy base, some have you escorting convoys, others set you the task of recovering valuable military secrets from the hands of the enemy. Each needs a coherent plan and its own special skills.
The graphics for Battle Command are a visual weapon in the war of gaming addiction. With four different detail settings, for speed purposes, the game is well constructed giving the player choice. In mega-mode, obviously the slowest of the four, the vehicles are superb with easily recognisable A-10 Thunderbolts, trucks and trains. When the signal lights work at a level crossing, you know that you're in for a tank-busting treat. A fact that even the lame-ish tune and average sound can't effect.
Battle Command is not only fun but it can be played as either a one-off blast or an on-going sequence with disk-saved victories. BC has a depth of entertainment often lacking in high-tech shoot-outs. The number of missions may prove to be a hindrance in the long term, but some of these are incredibly tough. The game brigs strategy, sim and shooting together brilliantly. It has enough abjectly weird locations to make exploring the world fun and there is an excellent range of firepower that promotes real experimentation.
You will find learning the strategies behind Battle Command is only half the fun and being in control of the battle is even better.
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