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PC REVIEW; Battlezone (Activision) cd-rom

In the realm of strategic war games, a new master takes the stage. In light of the immense success of Command and Conquer and its descendants, it would take something pretty special to dominate such a popular niche. But Activision have managed it with their new release, Battlezone.

The game casts you as the commander of an expeditionary force sent to the moon to gain control of a superior alien technology. You can choose to control either American or Soviet troops, but, whichever side you plump for, you can be sure that the other lot will do everything within their power to wipe you off the face of the moon.

Battlezone promises to revolutionise the strategy game genre. Not only does it give the player total command over offensive and defensive strategy, it also allows you to roll up your sleeves and fight alongside your comrades on the front line. Essentially it's two games rolled into one.

One consequence of the incredible depth and variety in the gameplay is that it takes a while to get acquainted with all the different menus and commands. However the game helps you along as much as possible, with the names of the various units and the actions they can perform popping up on screen as soon as they come into view.

The 3D graphics are superb, with loads of detail on the vehicles and clever lighting techniques used on the lunar landscape to give the impression of a desolate environment. Add to this a suitably dramatic soundtrack and you have all the ingredients of a true classic.

On release, pounds 34.99