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I am looking for a '90s first-person shooter game, where you were inside some futuristic combat vehicle driving on a battlefield. Your armaments included twin machine guns, a flamethrower and some missiles. Graphically, it reminds me a well known game, Descent, except here you were not flying and there was an open sky.

I remember one level where there is a large trench you could drive into, and your enemies included turrets launching missiles or grenades, and mechanical "spiders" launching red fireballs. There was a second segment of this area, that was made of a network of water canals and islands.

I played this game more than 20 years ago on Windows 95 or 98 and I think (but am not certain) that the name of the game started with 'B.'

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I think you mean 1998's Battlezone.

screenshot from the game

It was a successful marriage between an FPS and a real-time strategy game, where you could build a base, including turrets, while riding a hovering tank. It took place on different planets. The trench you are referring to was part of the demo, IIRC.
I also remember the gameplay being very smooth and satisfying, which it shares with Descent. I can imagine the vehicle design was similar as well, consisting of parallelograms and diagonals (like the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk :).
As far as I can tell it meets most of your other specifications as well: the guns on the protagonist's tank could be customized, and I think enemy turrets launched heat-seeking missiles that you could avoid by quick maneuvering.
I don't remember a segment with canals and islands, but I believe I never played the entire campaign.

Battlezone was followed by Battlezone II: Combat Commander. Some (aspects) of my memories of the games might have conjoined, so I could be somewhat mistaken in my description of the first game.

In 2016 a remastered version was produced and released by Rebellion, called Battlezone 98 Redux.

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    This indeed looks very similar to what I described. Wide selection of weapons, similar graphics, UI is also mostly green...I think selected weapon indication was on top of the screen, but then again, my own memories are a bit blurry. Thank you for this suggestion, I will look at Battlezone more closely to see if this is it.
    – user160176
    Dec 29, 2022 at 23:06
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You might be referring to 1999's Recoil. The graphics should look alike Descent just because they share the same time frame.

The game centers on driving a tank (which eventually can become a boat, a hovercraft, or a submarine) in either first or third person. The tank's primary weapons are dual (fancy) machine guns with a variety of secondary weapons (including flamethrowers and missiles)

It is a very short game, with only six levels, all of which were somewhat structured as mazes with an open sky (with planes and helicopters flying over you). You might be referring to the second level, which is filled with trenches and in which you obtain the ability to transform your tank into a boat, and then navigate a second part of the level where canals and other bodies of water separate different objectives. Turrets are a very common enemy throughout the game, although I'm not sure what mechanical "spiders" might be (but do take into account I have also not played this game in two decades).

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  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. This looks like a very promising answer; is there any chance you could find a screenshot or two to make this even better?
    – DavidW
    Dec 28, 2022 at 23:54
  • The description in the question indicates that the game the OP is looking for is played from a first-person perspective, though, whereas the screenshots I've seen for Recoil show the tank from a third-person perspective. Dec 28, 2022 at 23:56
  • @LogicDictates, yes, I agree. I'm not positive Recoil is the game the OP is looking for, but I'm sure the game allowed for first-person perspective (even though I always played third-person), and it does contains other elements the OP mentioned, that's why I posted the answer as a possibility. Should I have included t/in the answer hat the first-person perspective, even though possible, is not the way the majority of people play the game? Dec 29, 2022 at 20:32
  • @DavidW, as per the other comments, I'm not sure this is the correct answer, considering that one of the elements in the question (first-person perspective) was optional and most screenshots feature a different perspective. I'm searching for a screenshot wich shows FPS clearly. Dec 29, 2022 at 20:34
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I believe the game that you are looking for is BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Inception and Revenge

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    – Community Bot
    Dec 28, 2022 at 7:57
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    Thank you for the idea, but this is not that game. BattleTech seems to be a real-time strategy, while the game I am looking for is a first person shooter, where you are directly controlling your vehicle from the inside.
    – user160176
    Dec 28, 2022 at 11:11
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    A cursory search reveals that those games are not first-person shooters. Dec 28, 2022 at 12:43
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Your description reminds me of Mechwarrior 2, it was a 3rd person game, but had a 1st person view option. It doesn't start with a "B", but I remember playing it on our windows 95 machine.

Here's a screenshot that looks super familiar to me. It shows rockets being fired from the upper left corner towards some enemies. It is in first person mode.

screen shot for mech warrior 2

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Can you confirm a scene that matches the setting and weapons described in the question?
    – DavidW
    Dec 28, 2022 at 16:08
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    The IP MechWarrior comes from is called BattleTech (as are other games from it), which would match the B.
    – MJD
    Dec 28, 2022 at 21:58
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    @DavidW added a screenshot. I don't recall specific levels but it sounds like a plausible level. The screenshot does include the open sky mentioned in the question.
    – Ryan
    Dec 29, 2022 at 18:00
  • @MJD I didn't know about the relationship with BattleTech I learned something
    – Ryan
    Dec 29, 2022 at 18:01
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If you say it looks close to Battlezone, I’d try Incoming by Rage Software from 1998

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F. This answer already has an accepted answer, so you need to provide a lot of evidence if you want to suggest that this is a better answer.
    – DavidW
    Jan 10 at 22:18
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I was thinking Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri, came out in 1996 for DOS. You're in a combat suit and some of the weapons sounds familiar.

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