Plus, they smushed that stupid bear again.
Today is Valentine's Day (Yes, I'm writing a video game review on Valentine's Day. Somebody shoot me.). So I ask the question: Do you have a girlfriend? Do you have a special Valentine today? Well, if you ever want to fall for a girl, you better do it soon. In the year 2006, the year of BattleTanx: Global Assault, it's gonna be a whole lot harder to get a date.
Turns out we only have a few years before the whole world is going to be a really big mess. What with the upcoming collapse of governments, nuclear war, and a plague that kills 99.9% of the world's women, things just aren't going to be the same anymore.
In 2006, much of the remaining population is divided up into different gangs and clans. Many of the gangs are led by some of the few remaining women, now called "queen-lords" (I didn't name them). They try to control and pacify their territory in this post-apocalyptic wasteland through the use of their tanks… errr tanx. Fortunately, for the sake of gameplay, they also spend a lot of time blowing up the tanks of rival gangs in the streets of different cities around the world. Think Twisted Metal 2 with tanks.
Actually, if you're a fan of Twisted Metal on the PSX, and have been just dying for some vehicular combat on the Nintendo, BattleTanx: Global Assault is exactly what the doctor ordered. Don't get this title confused with the first BattleTanx, which was not as good. This newest version has improved just about everything including graphics, control, gameplay, variety and depth.
"Depth?" you ask. Actually, yes. There's certainly a lot more depth here than in any of the other big car combat titles. There are 24 different arenas, 12 different tanks, another dozen different gangs, and seven different ways to play. Your goal is not always to blow up the enemy (although it usually involves blowing up at least some of the enemy). In your quest for gang dominance, you can have many goals like: attempt to score the most kills in a time period, play capture the flag, rescue the women, protect the convoy, destroy the convoy, or take a journey through the game's campaign mode.
In the campaign, you take on the role of Griffin Spade (Ahhh… another video game name taken from the grab-bag o' nouns. Someday, just once, I want to save the world as Joel Finklestein). Griffin is the battle-lord and husband of queen-lord Madison. Together, they have a son with psychic powers, and all three of them are under assault from another, evil queen-lord. Ok, so it's not the greatest plot, and there are no movies to draw you into it, but the missions are varied and the battles will take you across the globe, mostly to blow stuff up.
And blowing stuff up is one of the best parts of BattleTanx: Global Assault. There is a huge range of standard and powered-up weaponry to help you on your destructive rampage. Aside from the enemy, you can also blow up cars, trees, gas stations, movie theatres, historic monuments, and whole city blocks. Lets just say that the battlefields look very different at the end of a mission than they did at the beginning. But be careful not to blow everything up, don't forget, you are part of a gang, and often you will have help. Blowing up friendly tanks won't make it any easier to complete your mission.
And you can have human help as well. Up to four players can play split-screen in classic N64 style. But the cool part is that you can play any of these modes together. So, for example, you and a friend could be assigned to protect a convoy, while two of your other (ex)friends will try to blow it up. There are just a whole ton of different ways to play BattleTanx: Global Assault.
So loyal Nintendo owners, there is now one less reason to be jealous of the PSX. BattleTanx: Global Assault is easily the match for the famed Twisted Metal series, and is certainly better than TM3 & 4. While not anything really new, this is good, fun, solid vehicular combat at it's current best. Pick up a copy, and serve your queen-lord well. Just be careful if you ask her for a date, the competition is fierce.