There's not much that's advanced about Advanced Battlegrounds: The Future of Combat. And when you get down to it, there's not much that's new about it, either. Despite the fancy name, Advanced Battlegrounds is simply a repackaging of the 2003 first-person shooter Chrome. There's nothing notable or new here that we could detect, aside from the fact that it's now been patched to address some of the stability issues from the original release. Unfortunately, the passage of more than a year hasn't made the gameplay of Chrome any better.
You'll battle it out on a variety of worlds, but in general, your opponents will present a fairly lackluster challenge.
In Advanced Battlegrounds, you assume the role of Bolt Logan, mercenary to the ruthless corporations that run outer space. After being double-crossed by his old partner, Logan hooks up with a new one and takes jobs to protect the miners looking for "chrome," the most valuable substance in the universe, though it's still not quite clear what exactly chrome is or what it does. Anyway, it's hard to like Logan, mainly because he comes off as a complete jerk. He's not even a lovable jerk. Just listen to the way he constantly puts down his partner Carrie, and you'll wonder why it is they even bother sticking together. Still, though poorly conveyed, the game's plot does show some promise, especially in the way it branches near the end, allowing you to decide which faction to side with.
Ultimately, Advanced Battlegrounds comes down to Logan traveling to a planet and blasting his way through huge outdoor and indoor levels with a variety of weapons. However, it's not all about shooting. One of the interesting aspects of the game is that you can loot bodies, RPG style. This means that instead of simply picking up any weapons and ammo that the enemy dropped, you can search him for equipment. It also means that it's practically impossible to run out of ammunition, medkits, or even weapons, as you can always loot enemy bodies along the way. Logan also has access to different implants that can improve his abilities--such as hardening his skin against damage or toggling heat vision to see through walls--and these have their obvious uses in places.
As with most first-person shooters, the heart of the game is in the combat, and in this regard, Advanced Battlegrounds is a lackluster affair. Even though you can be armed with a variety of pistols, shotguns, submachine guns, and assault rifles, most of your weapons feel decidedly underpowered. However, this won't stop the enemy from being hurled into the air, as the rag-doll physics are over the top in this regard. It doesn't help that the AI is a bit frustrating, alternating between complete ignorance of the fact that some of its buddies may have just been blown up a hundred feet away and knowing your exact position at all times. The latter can cause some headaches when you're going room-to-room in a building and the AI fires on you the split second a door opens. And in terms of tactics, the AI doesn't do much other than stand its ground, crouch, and shoot at you. It doesn't look for cover or fall back when wounded, so it's fairly easy to take enemies down. Meanwhile, you don't have to worry so much about the damage enemies inflict upon you, as the tactic of loading up on medkits and activating them before a fight still works. Basically, even if you are at full health, you can activate several medkits, and they'll delay their healing effect until you start to sustain damage.
Logan does have access to some cool implants, such as heat vision, which allows him to see through walls.