Now Playing: Battlezone (2016)

This was the first VR title I got to try out back in the day. The one that convinced me I needed a Playstation VR for sure. Having it in my hands now though, my feelings are a bit mixed.

The graphics, gameplay, and VR effect are all great. It’s easily the most polished of all the games I’ve tried so far for PSVR. What I couldn’t tell at all from the demo or the trailers is that this is a roguelike game. You pick your tank, difficulty, and campaign length at the beginning and are handed a randomized map full of randomized missions, with your main goal being to get to the other side and destroy the enemy AI in the final enemy base. You only get limited lives, no continues, and the enemies are pretty damn vicious. I had to drop the difficulty down to easy and fail several times before I could finally finish a single easy/short campaign. As usual with this kind of game, you have no choice but to fail over and over again until you get into the rhythm enough to be able to succeed.

There are some problems though. For one, even the shortest campaigns can take a few hours to complete. What makes most successful roguelikes tolerable is that they’re usually actually really short, around an hour on average to complete the whole campaign, and much less if you fail. Imagine the frustration of spending 2-6 hours on a campaign and losing at the end. Now imagine doing that over and over and over again, as you often need to do if you want to get all the major unlocks in a game like this. Even if the gameplay is as fun as it is here, this becomes disheartening pretty quickly.

Of course this turns out to have been related to the other main problem with the game. Apparently it’s so difficult solo because this game isn’t really meant to be played alone. Yes, this is primarily a multiplayer game, despite the fact that the game or its marketing ever really say this. I was beginning to feel like a puss, struggling to get through even a short/normal run by myself, but apparently everyone is in this same position and you can only get through normal and above by playing online co-op, which I don’t know if I really want to bother with. I don’t know. On one hand I liked the game while it lasted and I would kind of like to unlock the other tanks and win on the higher difficulties, but on the other hand I reaaaaaally don’t like playing online with strangers. I guess I’ll just stop and have a break either way. I’d still probably pick the game up again someday though, either to play it on easy a few more times or maybe just suck it up and try to play with some online weirdos

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