BattleTanks II is a surprisingly good game. When I loaded it up, I was expecting a Scorched Earth clone, and so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that it was in fact a legitimate tank battle game. Rather than taking turn based potshots at each other, you're one of several tanks on the field, flanking, attacking, and retreating. There's a glaring omission, however, that seriously impacts on the game, but more about that later.
The graphics are perfectly serviceable, and everything is easily identifiable. Enemy tanks are obviously different from yours, and it's fairly easy to pick the different types of tank whilst you're trying to explode them. The arenas are a little bit bland, and almost every single thing in them is insubstantial and entirely possible to be driven through, with the notable exception of some kind of hut in the desert level.
Gameplay wise, it's fairly unbalanced. Heavy tanks dominate the battlefield, and the way the game tells you to deal with them, "flanking with small tanks" is a good way to have all your tanks die quickly and pointlessly. In some of the maps with the four different teams, it often becomes an all out brawl in the center, and watching eight tanks come over a hill and give help to a rapidly dying team is absolutely epic.
The sound is fitting. Music so patriotic you can almost see the people playing it saluting, tanks which make tank sounds, explosions which sound like explosions, and the same American telling you "Affirmative" and "Roger that", regardless of what race you're playing as. It's all very nice and quite unobtrusive for the most part. Except the menu music, which is like a marching band playing in your front room every time you win or go to the menu.
This is all cast out, however, by the fact that despite often having 4 teams playing, with almost hundreds of tanks at once, BattleTanks II does not have a single multiplayer mode. It's a tremendous oversight and it's simply staggering that a game with this much multiplayer potential simply doesn't have any way of harnessing it.
Every time I charged with twenty tanks behind me, every time I narrowly secured victory, every time I laughed at the stirring military music, I was thinking of how much better it would be with a group of people. I know how difficult it can be to implement multiplayer, especially if it's one guy coding in his spare time, but a strong multiplayer experience would have helped this game immeasurably.
As it is, it's still interesting, good fun, that can run on basically any system that you want to run it on, and will certainly provide you with some epic battles. However, there's a feeling that it all could have been bigger and better. Worth a download.