Author Topic: Battlezone II: Combat Commander  (Read 1559 times)

Offline Daedrus

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Battlezone II: Combat Commander
« on: March 01, 2015, 12:09:12 AM »
The story of this game, the successor to the remake of Battlezone is a sad one.

It's brilliant. FPS and RTS rolled into one. Sadly, the initial release was plauged with bugs and broken multiplayer. This was before such things were the norm. Subsequent patches were released, but the game flopped.

It also suffered from being way ahead of its time. It came out in 1999, and hardware had difficulty with it.

In 2002, I found it in the bargain bin at Software Etc. (since eaten by EB, later Gamestop) for two bucks. Figured, why not? Seeing bugs I installed the two patches that the publisher had put out.

After that, I was blown away. Being 3 years newer, my Pentium 4/Nvidia GF4 Mx420 rig ran it very nicely.

The campaign was fun (even featuring a story fork). I didn't bother with online multiplayer (some of you might remember GameSpy...)

I spent a lot of time in Instant Action mode, even hosted a couple of LAN parties.

It's an FPS. You can pilot and control nearly any vehicle (mostly sci-fi hovercraft, but also walkers and ground tanks) or turret in the game, but also build bases and command units as you would in an FPS. You can change weapons on-the-fly. If you're feeling dangerous, you can snipe out pilots of enemy vehicles and steal them- even upgrade them with your side's weapons.) I rather liked stealing Scion Warriors and putting ISDF plasma cannons and cloaking devices in them. Fun shit.

A couple of the devs from the game continue to maintain an unofficial patch (updated as recently as 2013 AFAIK), adding compatibility with modern Windows versions, fixing bugs, ripping out GameSpy (now dead) and putting in Raknet, adding maps, vehicles, and DX9, and may other goodies.

It's also a fairly moddable game, even featuring a built-in mapmaking tool.

If there is interest, I'll post links. This game killed many hours of my early adolescence.

I would advise looking it up on youtube. It looks really damned good for 1999- some games 5 years newer didn't look as nice.







Offline Feargan

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Re: Battlezone II: Combat Commander
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2015, 09:38:06 AM »
Sounds cool, I'll give it a look.  8)

Offline Daedrus

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Re: Battlezone II: Combat Commander
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2015, 07:15:53 PM »
Excellent! Interest has been detected! Since it's so old, it's been on MyAbandonWare for some time. I have the CD but am running the one here. To get it running, you'll want the following:

Base game. You'll need to unzip it and mount the MDF file in the virtual optical drive of choice. I use WinCDEmu but Alcohol/Daemon will work.
http://www.myabandonware.com/game/battlezone-ii-combat-commander-46f

This is the most recent unofficial patch (1.3.6.5). It adds a ton of stuff tailored for modern hardware and makes the game actually work.
http://matesfamily.org/bz2/

I highly recommend the Unofficial Expansion as well. It adds a lot of interesting stuff. Many more mods exist.

Installing: Once the MDF is mounted, you'll want to browse in it. The installer splash screen is incompatible with 64-Bit Windows but the setup launcher is a-ok. Just go one folder in and find it. Then install the patch and run the game. You'll immediately want to go into graphics settings and set them to maximum (also set your resolution, turn on the resolution doubler, and enable V-sync. The latter was very helpful.)

You won't need to leave the image mounted to play as the patch removes the cd-check.

The biggest snag I've run across so far is the tilde key. Modern Windows has an issue with this on many games, most notably Fallout 3+. But the same fix works. You'll be wanting to rotate buildings (and might want the console to work too).

Let me know what you think!

Offline Cababs

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Re: Battlezone II: Combat Commander
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2015, 11:33:19 AM »
so I needs to dust off my old xp pc then or downgrade to a x86 OS...... A Virtual PC. that's hope fully the answer
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1 (can vary on monthly basis)
Processor: AMD Phenom(tm) II X6 1100T Processor (6 CPUs), ~3.3GHz
RAM: 8GB
External GFX card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB

Offline Daedrus

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Re: Battlezone II: Combat Commander
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2015, 12:44:14 PM »
I'm running it fine on x64 Win 7 thanks to the patch. Just use the installer for the initial install in the CD's setup folder, not the one in the root directory of the CD/image.