Battlezone was there in 1980, when the idea of a 3D world was in its most fleeting stages of possibility, and so it is again in these early days of VR. But where its predecessor signaled a future of previously-unimaginable digital entertainment, this new Battlezone feels like a throwback in all the right ways. Unlike a lot of VR, it doesn't try to ape reality, instead going whole-hog with a striking retro-cyber look that evokes classic films like Tron and Wargames. The end result is both cohesive and convincing. From the moment you drop into your tank's cavernous cockpit, you get the feeling that there's an internal logic to this weird digital world – to why enemies drop "data" when you blow them up, and why you're craning your neck around to read all your instrument panels.
The "roguelike" structure – in which you're forced start from a clean slate after every "game over" – hearkens back to the arcade days, and works perfectly with the sort of short spurts of play that VR is best suited for. Beyond all this, though, Battlezone just feels right to play.