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Steel Battalion

Steel Battalion is an action-oriented combat game developed for the Microsoft Xbox console by the Japanese company Capcom. Released in 2002, Steel Battalion gameplay employs a specialized controller. The controller was made in limited quantities, and it is often sought as a collector's item.

How does the gameplay work in Steel Battalion?

Steel Battalion is a vehicle combat simulator in which you take control of a heavily-armored, bipedal weapon called a vertical tank and engage in battles against the enemy. The objective of the game is to advance through each of the 12 action-packed levels as you attempt to overthrow a corrupt military dictatorship. The player can assume control of multiple tanks during a single play-through, and new machines are unlocked progressively throughout the campaign. The tanks are divided into light, medium, and heavy types. They can assume multiple combat roles against the enemy, including standard, assault, scout, and support roles. Each tank can wield a variety of powerful weapons, such as a plasma torch and a twin-pod rocket launcher.

Steel Battalion for the Xbox meticulously simulates every aspect of piloting a combat machine. As a result, gamers can immerse themselves in a deep and dedicated understanding of the game’s mechanics and controls. If the machine overheats, then the tank's operating system must be reset. If the machine is disabled, then you must eject from the cockpit. Once the in-game character dies, you start over from the beginning. Steel Battalion is designed to appeal to hardcore gamers who are interested in challenging mech games.

Do you need the special controller to play Steel Battalion?

Yes, the Steel Battalion controller is mandatory because of the nature of the game. In order to give you complete control over every aspect of the vertical tank, the controller features 40 different buttons, each of which performs a different action. There are separate buttons for weapon controls, communications, night scope, ejection, ignition, monitor zoom, and much more. The controller also features multiple types of inputs, including trigger buttons for firing weapons, foot pedals for acceleration and braking, and levers for shifting gears and moving from side to side.

The Steel Battalion controller for the Xbox is prized for its complexity, and beating the game requires learning all the subtleties of that control scheme. At the beginning of every stage, the player goes through the process of starting up the machine and its operating system as if they are piloting a real vehicle. The player will also learn how to steer the vehicle while simultaneously operating the weapons systems.

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