Urban Assault (PSX)


Considering the thriving fandom for the PC version of this game, there’s next to nothing on the net about the multitude of builds of Urban Assault for the Playstation. And that may be a clue as to why. While many of the forty-four different versions work, many do not even load, especially the later ones.

Having poked around some of the leaked games from the Climax lot, I found that there is a playable build. It is not perfect and some areas could certainly do with improvement. And in comparison with its PC predecessor, the PSX version has a number of issues. The controls have been squashed down, while the graphics are very much of a lower res and muddy textures pervade the landscapes. Getting past these problems, there is a game that is worth playing if you don’t mind a combination of real-time strategy and first-person shooter.

The version of interest is the one dated 7th June 1999. There are six builds for this one, but I settled on 1.04A as it might be slightly later. Anything after this date/build fails to load, although this might be fixed in the future with codes or hacking. Compared to the previous build, 1.03, there are marked improvements in 1.04. The game has a Sony ID number (SCES 01963) and is at least a very late beta. The different factions and forty missions from the PC game seem to be present, along with Death Match and Capture The Flag modes against the AI. The latter only feature the same level against the same enemy, no matter which level you chose for either mode.



In the 1.03 build (dated 28th May), all missions are available from the start. But there are more primitve graphics (compare the above screenshot to the others from the later build). Some textures are missing in some of the missions, including the final level. The 1.04 version plays like a retail release and the graphic issues seem to have been fixed.



Having said that, there are still problems, such as pop-up and a void between the sky and the ground/horizon. These might have been optimised in the 1.05 build.



Using ground vehicles seems to be better for the draw distance, though, in the 1.04 build.

I won’t go into the actual mechanics of the game, except to say that there is a learning curve to overcome. Going back to the issue of a condensed control system, here is a summary of the controls for the PSX.

HOST STATION

L1 – CREATION MENU/CYCLE MENU CLOCKWISE
L2 – CYCLE CREATION MENU ANTICLOCKWISE

- CREATION MENU – SELECT VEHICLES TO CREATE
-SQUAD MANAGER – JUMP TO SQUAD LEADER
- JUMP TO HOST STATION – JUMP BACK TO HOST STATION
- JUMP TO NEXT SQUAD LEADER – JUMP TO NEXT SQUAD’S LEADER
- COMPUTER SITUATION ANALYSIS – COMPUTER GIVES AN OVERVIEW OF THE CURRENT BATTLE
- JUMP TO NEXT UNIT IN SQUAD – SWITCH TO NEXT UNIT IN THE CURRENT SQUAD
- ENERGY MANAGER – CONTROL THE DIFFERENT ENERGY RESOURCES
- JUMP TO NEXT GUN TURRET – JUMP TO HOST STATION DEFENCE TURRETS

LEFT - CYCLE MENU CLOCKWISE
RIGHT – CYCLE CREATION MENU ANTICLOCKWISE
X – SELECT
TRIANGLE – CANCEL/GO BACK
SQUARE – SMALL MAP/LARGE MAP

VEHICLE

R1 – ACCELERATE
R1 – DE-ACCELERATE/REVERSE
CIRCLE – FIRE WEAPON
X – FIRE SECONDARY WEAPON
DPAD – UP AND DOWN TO ELEVATE GUNSIGHT, LEFT AND RIGHT TO TURN VEHICLE

There are three debug and cheat codes that I have found:



TRIANGLE & SQUARE – UNIT ID ON HUD ON/OFF



CIRCLE & X – DEBUG INFO?
L1 & L2 & R1 & R2 – ALL LEVELS, PLUS ALL VEHICLES AND RESOURCES AVAILABLE IN EACH LEVEL

Needless to say, the last one is of interest. This must be used at the level map screen.


For more on the Urban Assault universe and how to play the game, see the old Terratools website (link below). There’s a wealth of information right there.

Links

Terratools Urban Assault Website
Urban Assault Releases at Hidden Palace
Back to Tech Demo