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Codename Panzers: Phase Two
(hx) 07:44 PM EDT - Oct,02 2005

Codenamed: Panzers: Phase Two is the aptly named sequel to Codename: Panzers: Phase One. Most of the game plays out exactly the same as Codename Panzers: Phase One (check out my review of the first game for a better understanding of what Panzers is all about). The sequel adds new missions, new units, updated graphics and improved AI combined with a fantastic cinematic story.

The game follows a similar structure to Phase One, in that there are three single player campaigns - you get to play as the Italians in North Africa, the Americans in Sicily and Italy, and the Yugoslav partisans. The first two campaigns can be tackled in any order. Whoever finishes both campaigns gets to enjoy a bonus campaign in Yugoslavia. Each mission features primary objectives, optional objectives, and secret objectives. Although you only need to satisfy the primary objectives to progress to the next stage, taking the time to fulfil the other objectives invariably results in more prestige points/experience being awarded. While experience impacts both effective firing range and line of sight or spotting capabilities, the prestige points are used to buy new units to add/upgrade to your army (which is possible between missions).

Phase two adds over 20 new units. The Italians now have the M13/40, the Carro Armato and the Semovente ATGs. The Allies have the M3 Grant/Lee, the Daimler Dingo and the Bofors 40mm Halftrack. There's also a flame throwing vehicle which can force the occupants of a tank out without destroying the vehicle being attacked. Offboard artillery and air strikes are also available in some scenarios, all of which helps to complete the picture that this is more than just another real-time strategy game.

Overall, the single player mode really does a great job of keeping you on your toes and not knowing what to expect to come. The game isn't called Codename: Panzers for no reason. The gameplay itself is strategy heavy - tank rushes are still always the best bet, but usually, you don't have that many tanks to do it with, so some thought is required. Also the AI has been improved in Panzers Two and the enemy will act and react better to the actions that you take. This does can make the game more challenging to defeat, but it also helps to add to the realism. Attempting to fight a battle like you would in other real-time strategy games will undoubtedly get you killed.

Codename Panzers: Phase Two has also multiplayer support with up to 8 players online and this is really a delight to play as well. The game can be played over the internet through Gamespy or Direct IP (connecting to a specific IP address of another player's computer). LAN mode is also available for playing against other gamers. There're three multiplayer modes: Team Match, Domination, and Mission where human-controlled teams have to complete objectives rather than destroying each other, although this is unfortunately not a full co-op mode*. Yes, there is no co-op mode. Apparently, it was originally planned by Stormregion to include co-op mode in the release of Phase 2, just like in Phase 1. But since CDV have set a release deadline in the contract they have with Stormregion the latter decided to make the deadline and scrap some features :(

Overall, Codename Panzers: Phase Two is a great game. If you enjoyed the first game then this should be the game for you, especially if you are a hardcore strategy game fan.

related links: homepage, SP demo #1, SP demo #2, MP demo, patch v1.06, cheatsmods, Codename: Panzers Phase 2 DVDROM

System requirements: Intel P3 or AMD Athlon 1.0 GHz, (Intel P4 or AMD Athlon 1,8 GHz recommended ), 256MB RAM (512 MB recommended),  T&L capable video card with 64 MB RAM (128 MB recommended), 100% DirectX compatible Sound card, 3.5 GB free disk space, Internet connection (56k or faster) required for multiplayer gameplay (some firewall or router may block the ports 5555 and 6500 required for  online playing. In this case you have to open these ports for Multiplayer)

Update: Patch v1.06 adds the promised co-op mode.

snd: 4/5 - some great sound effects for the vehicles and gunfire, solid music, rather annoying voice-acting
gfx: 4/5 - the same as Phase One, maps are great looking, nice nighttime effects, vehicles are detailed (there's a real sense of weight and momentum to them), infantry are visually blocky
playability: 5/5 - excellent, extremely varied missions and challenging objectives, improved AI, map editor, multiplayer up to 8 players (Team Match, Domination, and Assault modes) no co-op mode!, some minor bugs
genre: WWII real-time strategy
platform: PC-DVD
release: September 2005
developer: Stormregion
publisher: CDV
Overall: 84%

last 10 comments:

ambazador(02:38 PM EDT - Apr,10 2006 )
these games this one panzers rocks, still waiting for price lowering coz acctually i dont think about buyin' full priced original.

> 8)

I hate provocateurs:)))

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