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Assault Rigs

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Released: 1996

Genre: Shoot-'em-up

Format reviewed: PlayStation

Publisher: Psygnosis

Developer: Psygnosis

When I think about Assault Rigs, I think about playing it with my dad after school, handing the controller back and forth as we completed a level at a time. Looking back, it wasn’t the most original, or even the most ingenious, but it had something about it. It was different, and being one of the first 3D tank battle games on the market, it held my attention more than the other, more heralded games of that era.

The basic premise of it was to make your way through different arenas as a tank, shooting enemies and collecting gems. You’d unlock fancy ammo, such as the Homing Missiles and the Bounce Ammo, along with a range of power ups to keep you protected, and to give you extra firepower in the form of turrets and sentry gun drops.

The levels were both psychedelic and futuristic, eliciting inspiration from films like The Lawnmower Man and Tron, but still creating a unique and quite frankly, bizarre world of its own. And who could forget the cheesy commentary? Whenever you fired off a round that hit an incoming tank right on the muzzle, a ‘great shot!’ would fill the arena.

Handling was excellent too, relying on strafing over movable platforms and winding ramps to move forward, and the simplicity of its design made Assault Rigs one of the forgotten gems of the PlayStation era. Ooh, and the electronica music was – and still is – one of the best soundtracks of the past 25 years.