Platform: Nintendo 64
Release Date: Jan. 1st, 1999
Developer: 3DO
Players: Single Player, Multiplayer (Up to Four)
ESRB Rating: Teen

Good-bye Snuggles

Nothing says “I'm a man” like picking up a game with an advertisement where a stuffed bear is brutally mauled by a tank. NOTHING. (Interestingly enough, the bear doesn't really come up in the game. False advertising!)

BattleTanx takes place after the apocalypse.

You ride in huge tanks. Blowing up other tanks. After the freaking apocalypse. That was enough for my teenage mindset to love this game. But in case you want a bit more, here goes.

A plague wipes out most of the female population, while leaving the entire male population alive and dandy. Until things get antsy and people start tossing nukes each other's way. Soon enough, gangs start emerging to protect and capture the remaining females (“Queen-lords”).

You play as Griffin Spade. One man whose girlfriend survived the plague. She, in order to save you from yourself, disappears. Of course, you hop into the nearest tank and start up a gang of your own, Griffin's Army. A squad of men who, like you, have lost everything. Together, you fight off the other gangs, save cities, and win the ladies.

And maybe one day, you'll find her again.

Now that we've got that pesky plot out of the way, lets move onto the goods.

BattleTanx isn't about plot. BattleTanx isn't about characters. BattleTanx is about jumping into a tank and blowing shit up. That's it. If you're looking for a complicated and immersed Final Fantasy plot, then this game isn't for you.

Playing BattleTanx is easy. And it's certainly not one of those games that takes forever to master. Everything about the game is to get you into actually playing. The controls are relatively basic, so don't worry about trying to learn some complex combo system just so you can do a basic attack.

The tanks come in three different types. The MotoTank is the basically a street bike with a hull. It's tiny. It moves fast. And it blows up real good. The Goliath, on the other hand, is a moving house. These giant tanks can take one hell of a beating before they go down. But they're slow. Painfully slow. It's also the most powerful. And somewhere in between those two, is the Standard tank. It is basically the middle-guy. Average speed. Average firepower. Average health.

And that's it. You'll be driving one of those, for the whole game. If it weren't for the power-ups, the game would become boring fast.

  • Shield – Shots reflect and hit your enemy.
  • Radar – Gives you a radar that shows all enemies on your display.
  • Swarmer Missiles – A pack of missiles that shoot in groups of three
  • Grenades – Grenades. Toss and back up.
  • Guided Missile – The coolest weapon in the entire game. Once fired, your camera switches to “missile view” and you direct this with your control stick.
  • Mines – Lay up behind you for an bit of a sucker punch.
  • Laser – High damage, high accuracy single shot weapon..
  • Cloaking – Limited invisibility (both visual and on radar)
  • Nuke – Big bomb. Damages EVERYTHING. Including buildings.
  • Gun Buddy – Gun turrets that attack enemies in the line-of-sight.

The sound for BattleTanx was... crap. I actually turned the music off after the first few minutes of play. Which is, happily, an option. But even though the music lacked, the sounds were awesome. My personal favourite was the “Nuke Launched” warning... Come to think of it, that's the only noise of the whole game that stuck out in my memory at all. Everything else was merely “Bleh”.

This is where 3DO really fails with this game.

The graphics are just plain bad. While the tanks themselves don't look horrible, everything else does. Environments. Buildings. Explosions. Roads. Everything. Even the bloody Queen-Lords that I'm trying so hard to save look like blow-up dolls.

I played BattleTanx a lot. Whenever I could find someone to partner up with, we went at it with multi-player until the two of us were fed up with it. Whenever nobody was around, I played single player. This game was a blast.


This definitely isn't a game that one can play again and again. The single player is just insanely easy and when it's just under twenty levels, you expect a little more than the ordinary ending, hoping for something cooler than just the same old thing. But unfortunately, you just get the same old thing again.

While the multi-player is fun, it doesn't really justify buying the game. I'd rather go play Goldeneye for a fun-filled multi-player game. To hell with the big, manly tanks.


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