The original game of its name, Battlezone was a vector-based wireframe tank game in which players were required to destroy other tanks and flying saucers. It became notable as one of the first games to use a 3D perspective, and is known for its wireframe vector graphics and green-on-black color scheme. It was this version of Battlezone which provided the original inspiration for Activision's series, with the flying saucers analogous to the Furies.
The game's popularity spawned numerous ports, rendering the game playable on more than twenty platforms over thirty years, with the most recent release being for the PS Vita in 2012. Ports for the Atari 5200 and BBC Micro were begun, but cancelled and subsequently lost.
Bradley Trainer ("Army Battlezone")
The realism of the original Battlezone game prompted the United States army to commission Atari to create a version designed to train the gunners of Bradley tanks. This version was never completed, and only two test cabinets were constructed.
Battlezone 2000 is a deluxe port of the original game released for the Atari Lynx in 1995. Atari and Hand Made Software had originally planned to create a much larger and more immersive game using a completely different sprite graphics system, but testers deemed it too complex and it was replaced with a port more true to the original's gameplay and vector graphics. This seperate part of the game is still accessible through a cheat code and is completely playable, though almost entirely undocumented.
In 2006, Atari rebooted Battlezone with a arena deathmatch PSP game. It has some design similarities to the Battlezone series, such as hovertanks, but is completely unrelated.
In 2008 Atari again rebooted the game, this time commissioning Stainless Games to produce a remake of the original. It features both a vector version similar to the original and a 3D rendered version.
After winning the Battlezone name at auction following Atari's bankruptcy, Rebellion Developments announced a new version of the arcade Battlezone at E3 2015. This new version of the game targeted VR devices, particularly the Sony Morpheus, and aims for a PC and Playstation 3 release.