Overall Score 75%
Xtreme Tankz Madness 2
It's straightforward enough. Choose a tank, enter the combat zone and watch as the enemy moves in. Take aim, fire! The enemy explodes in a shower of debris. But watch out, for more are already surrounding you!
Xtreme Tankz Madness 2 (hereafter Tankz) is an action packed game in which you do just that. There's no mention of a plot, no reason why you're going into battle, except the obvious one - it's fun! Enemy tanks appear and search for you amongst the walls and other obstacles of the combat zone, and your task is simple. Destroy them all before they destroy you.
Along the way are various pickups, often found when you blow up the harmless supply trucks, like money for the upgrade centre, repair packs, temporary bonuses like speed boosts and 'berserk' mode, and powerful, useful things like Armageddon, which blows up all enemies on the screen. There are also lots of special pickups and I haven't seen them all myself!
There are three game types in Tankz. The Campaign mode is a series of missions of increasing difficulty as more (and newer) enemy tanks attempt to overwhelm you. As you progress you earn points (money) for the tanks you destroy which can be spent in the upgrade centre to improve your basic tank. Arcade mode pits you against wave after wave of enemies with the aim of scoring as high as possible. And Skirmish mode lets you set up your own levels for demolition practice!
The controls seem curiously split. Your tank is controlled entirely by keyboard - the arrows to move, space to fire, Ctrl to fire secondary weapon. But the menus are navigated by mouse. While control is smooth I always get caught out between missions when switching back to the mouse again. Could we not use the arrow keys to select menu options?
Onto the graphics. I initially had some trouble with them as everything was surrounded by black squares. Having seen this before I know it to be a fault not with the game but with the graphics card drivers. Transferring the installation files to my laptop, however, everything was fine. Newer computers should have no problems, but those with machines a few years old would do well to look for updated drivers for their hardware.
The game has some great music. It sets the right mood for the game but doesn't intrude upon it. The sound effects too are effective and if either annoy you there are options to adjust the volume or turn them off entirely. One area where Tankz is a little weak is in the general text. English is apparently not the author's first language. I would recommend a little proof reading!
I like Tankz. It demonstrates a great deal of time and effort as well as talent and experience. Note that if you're playing the demo version your choice of tanks is limited to two, and you only have Arcade mode to play in.
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