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Review For: BZFlag
Date Written: June 7, 2005
Compatibility: Windows/Mac/Linux
License: Open Source
Download/Site Link: http://www.bzflag.org
Rating: 5 out of 5

†††† Who wouldnít want to shoot other peopleís battle tanks from all over the world over and over again in a virtual shooting frenzy!? Now with BZFlag you can do just that and get addicted to yet another free online game. BZFlag is a simple battle tank fighting game where your main objective is to shoot other tanks to accomplish one of three goals determined by the game mode, which is set by the server you are playing on. The three modes are free-for-all (where you simply shoot other tanks to keep building up your score), capture the flag (where you must steal another teams flag and bring it to your base), and Rabbit Chase (where the goal is to have the highest score and become the white tank, but when you are the white tank everyone is your enemy). The three game modes may seem quite simple, but the addictiveness of this game is amazing.

†††† As a mentioned before, BZFlag is an online game and unfortunately has no offline mode. Also, if you are a dial-up user, donít even consider this game. If you donít have a good ping time you will be auto kicked from almost any server you try to play on since dial-up just canít handle the amount of data being transferred by BZFlag. But, if you have a high-speed connection, there is no excuse for you not to try out BZFlag.

Gameplay
†††† As I already mentioned, there are three modes of game play and your main objective is to shoot other tanks. However, it isnít so simple as you may think. While playing you can pick up various white flags that can affect you negatively or positively. Some white flags may give you a speed boost, new weaponry, and other features that you wouldnít even expect. Unfortunately, every once in a while you may pick up bad flags which could make you go only backwards, reverse your operations, etc. for a small amount of time. To top everything off, in most servers you are able to make your tank jump in order to doge shots and get up onto various platforms and what not.

†††† As for maps, I canít exactly comment on them. You see, everyone who runs a BZFlag server can create their own map for people to play on, which is downloaded to your computer when you try to connect to that other personís server. This means all the maps are different (usually). All I can say is that there are a lot of good and not so good maps and you will just have to try out various servers until you find a map or maps that you like.

Graphics and Sound
†††† Both the graphics and sound affects are fairly good, creating a semi-realistic battle tank fighting experience. The 3D graphics donít look anything close to real and the sounds are sort of fake, but what really makes BZFlag a great game is the game play. As for music, there is none, but if you turn up your speakers and start playing you will see that if there was music, BZFlag would lose a lot of the realistic-type affects that it gives you.

†††† In my mind, BZFlag just beat one of my favorite free online games (excluding some MMPORPGís) known as Armagetron. BZFlag is just planing addicting and you will end up wondering where the time went after playing it. The graphics and sound may not be spectacular, but this game is a definite download.


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