BattleTanx – Definitive 50 N64 Game #49

The list so far: The Definitive 50 N64 Games

3DO began life as a console hardware developer, bringing us the short-lived and poorly received 3DO in 1993, before shifting to third party game development. The company gave the world numerous entries in the Heroes of Might and Magic and Army Men franchises, but I’ll always think of them as the developers of BattleTanx.

So get this, in the distant future of 2001, a truly horrific disease has killed 99.9% of all the women on Earth. This catastrophe leads the world into another disaster… nuclear war. After which, little of civilization remains.

Tank gangs roam the land, just scraping to get by. Supposedly, without “the influence of female guidance” men have simply “reverted back to their most primitive instinct,” “the will to survive.”

Yeah.

In BattleTanx’s campaign mode, it’s up to you, as Griffin Spade, to venture through the wasteland that the United States has become, battle roving gangs, and reclaim your fiance, who has been taken by the US government. Of course, all of this is done with the help your trusty tank.

BattleTanx is played from the third person perspective… of a tank. Levels require you to traverse the smoldering remains of would-be familiar American cities, and their occupying tank gangs. Not only are the enemies destructible, so are the environments, which makes firing your mighty tank at everything that appears before you to be a pretty good idea.

As much fun as all of that madness is though, the real draw of BattleTanx is its multiplayer.

With its four controller ports, the N64 was a boon to competitive local multiplayer. If you had a 64 in its time, then you no doubt battled your friends well into the night with games like GoldenEye and Mario Kart, but third parties came through too, and BattleTanx is certainly one of the craziest, and most fun, examples of that.

Competitors can select between four tank-tastic modes:

  • Deathmatch is a simple fight to the first to 7 kills.
  • Family Mode is a variation of Deathmatch, in which competitors are unable to switch ammo.
  • With Annihilation, each battler gets five tanks, and must simply survive his or her combatants.
  • And finally, there is Battlelord. This is your standard capture flag mode, but, of course, women are the flags. It’s also great chaotic fun, and my favourite mode.

All modes take place in wastelands similar to those found in the campaign mode. That is, highly destructible playgrounds of gleeful madness.

BattleTanx would be followed by a sequel called Global Assault, but with 3DO going bankrupt in 2003, we unfortunately probably couldn’t get another if we wanted. Maybe that’s for the best, tank driving gangs competing for women in a post-apocalyptic hellscape is probably an idea that could only work in the 90s.

Let me know what you think of Battle Tanx and the Definitive 50 in the comments section below. Don’t forget to rate and subscribe.

Check back next week for entry #48 on the Definitive 50 N64 games.

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