Hovering tanks, powerful weapons, and sexy visuals somehow add up to a mediocre game.
Atari's new, handheld BattleZone isn't related in any way to the phenomenal action-strategy PC games; it's more of a modernization of the arcade shooter from the early 1980's. Focusing on multiplayer action, it's can be fun with four humans facing off or teaming up against each other, but it suffers from a batch of annoyances that keep it from reaching its lofty potential.
The gist of the game is simple: it's a third-person, Quake style shooter, but instead of running about on foot, you battle opponents in hovering tanks. It seems promising at first; it offers a number of customization options (many of which you have to unlock before you have access to them) and the tanks and battlefields look fantastic, taking full advantage of the PSP's graphics prowess. Things fall apart, however, when you start actually playing.
It's simple enough to master the control conventions: you move and steer your tank with the analog nub, using the shoulder buttons to strafe left and right. The action buttons fire weaponry, energize your shield, and engage your special attacks or defenses. The d-pad enables you to issue commands to AI allies.